The Norfolk Admirals deserve to win the AHL championship. They are 42-3 in their last 45 games. Yes, that's right, they've won 42 of their last 45 games.
Given that track record, they may have taken a 3-0 series lead against Toronto in the finals no matter what Thursday night. However, they should not have taken their 3-0 lead the way they did.
Visiting Norfolk beat Toronto, 1-0, in overtime after former Sabres prospect Mike Kostka dumped the puck into the Marlies' zone and watched as it bounced off a stanchion and into the net while goalie Ben Scrivens went behind the net -- where the puck was supposed to go.
Lost in the celebration was the fact the Admirals were offside on the dump-in. The AHL admitted its mistake today.
“We have spoken with Toronto Marlies management and confirmed that a rules interpretation error by the on-ice officials occurred on the Norfolk Admirals’ overtime goal during Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals," the league said in a statement. "On the play, a dump-in from center ice by a Norfolk player caromed off a stanchion and into the Toronto net. The correct application of AHL Rule 83.4 would have negated the Norfolk goal due to a delayed offside call.
“As AHL By-Laws do not allow for any change to the final result of a game based on an incorrect rule interpretation, the result of the game stands.”
The Admirals can close out the Marlies on Saturday afternoon in Toronto. Before that, be sure to read about Admirals star, Canisius College grad and AHL MVP Cory Conacher in Saturday's editions of The Buffalo News. We caught up with the rising star in Toronto before Thursday's game.
UPDATE: Due to breaking news and space constraints Friday, the Conacher profile will run in Monday's editions.