Saturday night was the rubber match between the Lions and the Norfolk Admirals, with both teams having each won one game of their three-game series. Starting in goal for the Lions was Joe Vrbetic and the Admirals countered with Thomas Milic, who suited up for the first two games as well.
The Lions opened the scoring early in the first period when Justin Ducharme scored his sixth goal of the season with assists going to Jakov Novak and Anthony Beauregard (it was Beauregard’s tenth assist of the season). The Admirals were undisciplined throughout the period, being assessed four of the period’s six total penalties. Norfolk’s Danny Katic received a 4-minute high sticking penalty at the 3:12 mark, and then just over four minutes later it was the Admirals’ Mark Liwiski sent off for a delay of game infraction. Liwiski was back in the box at 14:57 for roughing, as was his teammate (and former Lion) Thomas Caron, while Trois-Rivières’ Jake Bricknell was also hit with a 2-minute minor for roughing for engaging with Caron. Norfolk’s Ryan Foss tied the game at 1-1 with assists given to Stepan Timofeyev and Denis Smirnov. The period ended with the Lions’ Noah Laaouan given a 2-minute interference penalty.
The Admirals started the second period with a bang at the 55-second mark when the Lions’ Nicolas Larivière accidentally deflected the puck with his skate past Vrbetic. A lucky goal for Norfolk, it was credited to Carson Musser. The Admirals also played a more disciplined brand of hockey for most of the period, with only Justin Robidas and Trois-Rivières’ Nick Jermain both being penalized after a skirmish in the corner at 13:12, and then at the 20:00 minute mark Norfolk’s Simon Kubicek was given a 2-minute roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct while the Lions’ Miguel Tourigny was given a 2-minute roughing minor. Norfolk dominated the shots on goal department in the second period, registering 14 shots versus six for the Lions. The Lions would need to raise their level of play in the third period if they had hopes of earning a victory.
But as it turned out, the Lions didn’t display a renewed sense of energy in the third period. Norfolk’s Carson Golder scored at 5:15 with assists from Mathieu Roy and Robidas. A few minutes later Golder scored again, his second of the game. The Admirals’ other “Carson” – Musser this time – also found the back of the Lions’ net with his second of the night and fifth for the Admirals this season. The Lions remained frustrated by Norfolk netminder Milic until late in the period when Novak scored Trois-Rivières' second goal. But it was too little, too late for the Lions to narrow the gap any further, as Novak’s goal came with 12 seconds remaining in the game. Final score: Norfolk-5, Lions-2.