The Norfolk Admirals closed their two-game series against the Baby Sharks of Worcester with a victory in the shoot-out.
The last time the Norfolk Admirals lost in the regular season was in February. The Ads kept the streak alive Saturday night, winning the franchise's 30th game in a row.
The Admirals started the scoring even quicker Saturday night than they did on Friday. With a power play, just 1:11 into the game, a Kyle Palmieri shot was redirected by Patrick Maroon into the back of the net. This was a glimmer of hope for what so far has been a quiet power play unit.
However, he joy was short lived. The Sharks would even the score with two quick goals two minutes later. Play was sloppy; on a rebound that Igor Bobkov couldn't control, the Ads players could not step in and clear the puck. The Sharks would take the lead with just 24 second remaining in the first period off another sloppy play. Once again, a rebound was not controlled and the puck fell to two Worcester players and was an easy tap in. The Sharks would out shoot the Admirals 15-7 in the period.
On Friday night the Admirals struggled severely in the second period but it was definitely improved for this game. Six minutes into the second, Maroon would score his second goal of the night with Devante Smith-Pelly and Wagner getting assists. Just over two minutes later John Mitchell would score his second goal of the season with DSP getting yet another assist on the night. The Admirals would out play and out shoot the Sharks in this frame 14-9.
Going into the third period, I was hoping the Ads momentum would carry over but my hopes were crushed. The team took up a "play not to lose" strategy which often doesn't work in hockey. Nine minutes into the period, both teams had just two shots on goal. Then things got sketchy. The Sharks quickly had a 37-26 shot advantage and the Admirals could not get out of their defensive zone for any stretch of time. Worcester would end up evening the score on a shot from the blue line that Bobkov did not see at all. The Sharks received a power play chance soon after the goal but could not convert. Shots on goal at the end of regulation are 45-29 in favor of Worcester.
The overtime period went by fairly quick. Each team had 2 shots on goal and Ryan Lasch of the Admirals had, by far, the best scoring chance. Lasche received a beautiful long pass as he was all alone in the offensive zone, but he couldn't stay on his feet and nothing came of the golden opportunity.
The Admirals chose to go first in the shootout. Kyle Palmieri was first. He faked a forehand shot and went backhand, scoring up top easily. The Sharks counter with James Sheppard. Sheppard scored the one and only shootout goal for Worcester. Peter Holland followed Palmieri. Holland scored up high on goalie Harri Sateri, on what would turn out to be the shootout winner. Lasch, Sami Vatanen, and Maroon were all unsuccessful in the shootout.
Official Three Stars of the Night:
- Devante Smith-Pelly (NOR)
- Matt Tennyson (WOR)
- Patrick Maroon (NOR)
Dulin's Three Top Performers of the Night
- DSP - Can't deny what he did tonight, 2 assists tonight to make for 3 assists in two games this weekend. Played really, really well.
- Patrick Maroon - 2 goals from him is what this team needed to get going after looking flat after his first of the night.
- Matt Irwin- He didn't score for the Sharks tonight but he had 2 assists and was a +3. He helped his team get back into it, helping on the third goal of the night.