The Norfolk Admirals improved their record to 4-0 after sweeping the New York Rangers affiliate, Connecticut Whale, over the weekend.
This Norfolk Admirals team just keeps on winning. The last two games against the Sharks and Whale weren't the prettiest, but they still pulled off the victory. But Saturday night's game, in my eyes, was beautiful. Special teams were performed really smoothly. The Admirals weren't taking stuff from anyone. It was as perfect of a win that a team could get.
Troy Bodie would started the first person with the Admirals first short-handed goal on a pass from Chris Wagner, who was tripped in the neutral zone. Just over eight minutes into the game Sami Vatanen would get his very first North American goal while on a power play. Vatanen's cannon of a shot was set up by Kyle Palmieri and Peter Holland. At the 16 minute mark, the Whale would get one back. The period ended with the Admirals up 2-1 and the Whale out shooting the Ads, 14-10.
The Admirals started the secod period on the man advantage. Ryan Lasch scored his first goal of the season with Corey Elkins and Vatanen getting the assists. I am gonna go ahead and say that I am a psychic. Just 30 minutes earlier I called the Lasch goal on Twitter.
Christian Thomas of the Whale would bring the game back to within one goal. Near the end of the frame, Hampus Lindholm took a penalty. It set up Chris Wagner to get his first professional goal, and the second short handed goal of the night. The Whale would once again out-shoot the Admirals in the period, 16-12.
The third period had a carry over penalty from the second. The Whale would finally get their man advantage goal 35 seconds into the period. Yet, the Admirals would not back down on special teams. Patrick Maroon would jam the puck into the net after a long shot fell in front of the goalie, for the third power play goal of the night Vatanen and Palmieri would get the assists.
Palmieri finished off another solid game for him with a weird kind of wrap around goal. The Connecticut should of stopped the shot, but it slipped through the goalie's pad with just 45 seconds left in the game. Holland and Nate Guenin get the assists.
All kidding aside, the Admirals look like they are finally clicking on special teams. They were 3-for-8 on the power play and looked good even when they didn't score. The energy/checking line of Bodie - Wagner - Jay Rosehill have played amazing; the line produced two short handed goals in the game. I believe they started the game as a reward for excellent play. Or as some think, myself included, they started incase the Whale got all uppity on the faceoff.
In the second period, Bodie would fight former-Admiral Mike Vernace and pretty much made him turtle. Bodie somehow got a double minor out of it for (attempted?) "head butting". He didn't really do anything. I didn't know attempting things drew penalties.
Sami Vatanen once again showed his offensive prowess getting a goal and an assist. This guy is going to be dangerous on the PP, especially if teams keep leaving his cannon shot open, like the Whale did all weekend. Emerson Etem is having a rough beginning. He isn't playing particularly bad. Etem certainly has the hands and vision but it's just not equalling goals.
The Admirals go on the road next weekend to face the St. John's IceCaps for the first time since sweeping them in the Eastern Conference finals.
For those of you who do listen to the games or watch them, St. John's has their own time zone that is an hour and a half ahead of EST. The west coast the games are gonna be on pretty early Saturday and Sunday. [Ed. Note: PST is 4 1/2 hours behind St. John's time.]
If you ever have questions through the week or during the game, tweet me @ShawnDulin.