Game Recap: Admirals Blank Checkers 3-0 in Pre-Season Debut

Shawn Dulin

No NHL hockey? No big deal. We've got the AHL to take it's place. The Anaheim Ducks affiliate the Norfolk Admirals took on Carolina Hurricanes affiliate the Charlotte Checkers in the first pre-season game of the 2012-2013 season.

The Norfolk Admirals started their 2012-13 campaign off with a bang. The team scored 3 goals and the goaltending tandem of Frederik Andersen and Igor Bobkov kept everything out of the net. The Admirals will play the Checkers again today at Chilled Ponds, the official practice rink of the Ads.

In the first period, the younger players looked fantastic. Devante Smith-Pelly, Peter Holland, and Emerson Etem all had quality chances and showed good passing skills in the offensive zone by creating multiple scoring opportunities. Etem and Kyle Palmieri had an assist on the first goal of the game scored by Corey Elkins just after the halfway mark of the first period. The Admirals had two power play opportunities, but could not capitalize on either of them. Norfolk ended up outshooting the Checkers 11-5 in the first period.

The second period had a back and forth flow to it. Zac Dalpe of the Checkers tried his hardest to get the shots past by the 6'4" Danish netminder Andersen, but there wasn't a whole lot of room; Dalpe rang it off the post twice. The Admirals would see two more power play chances in the period, and once again, failed to score. The PP didn't look bad at all. They had some quality chances. The Checkers would see their second man advantage of the night and got no quality chances from it. The Admirals would be outshot 10-7 for the second.

In the third period, Kyle Palmieri scored a power play goal with the assist going to Smith-Pelly. Initially the assist was given to Sami Vatanen, but was later changed to DSP. Corey Elkins sealed the deal with his second goal of the night. Matt Smaby picked up the assist from a hard shot that the Checkers goalie, Justin Peters, couldn't handle. Originally the goal was credited to Ryan Lasch but changed after the game ended. Igor Bobkov played the third period after Andersen played the first and second.

Official Three Stars of the Game

  1. Corey Elkins
  2. Frederik Andersen
  3. Igor Bobkov

Shawn's Three Stars of the Game

  1. Elkins
  2. Palmieri
  3. Andersen

Player Watch

  • Hampus Lindholm: I thought he played well for his first full North American game. On offense, he joined the rush often. Lindholm wasn't outplayed in the defensive zone and wasn't afraid to, and did well at, clearing the crease.
  • Sami Vatanen: This guy is going to be the work horse of all special teams play. He took a shift at least once on every power play and penalty kill. He looked good.
  • Kyle Palmieri: He looked like normal Kyle; the guy that's going to score a lot again this season if he stays in the AHL. Palmieri had a goal and an assist in the game. He tended to stay on the blue line for the power play as a fourth forward.
  • Peter Holland: After the first period I didn't notice him a whole lot. When I did it was on the power play making good passes with DSP and setting up scoring chances.
  • Emerson Etem: This guy is deceptively quick. He caught a couple defenders off guard when the Admirals would dump the puck and he forechecked.
  • Devante Smith-Pelly: Like Holland, he looked very good early on the power plays. He was a different player from what I saw in the scrimmages. He wasn't being over powered and he was to get in a couple hits.
  • Corey Elkins: With 2 goals in the game, he became the veteran scoring presence for the team. I am hoping for a very productive season from him.
  • Frederik Andersen: Very solid in net, didn't give up many rebounds, and was always well positioned.
  • Igor Bobkov: He needs work on rebound control; other than that, not bad at all.

Line Combinations

Forwards

  1. Ryan Lasch - Peter Holland - John Mitchell
  2. Kyle Palmieri - Corey Elkins - Emerson Etem
  3. Chris Wagner - Troy Bodie (A) - Jay Rosehill
  4. Devante Smith-Pelly - Brandon McMillan - Josh Brittain

Defense

  1. Hampus Lindholm - Nate Guenin (C)
  2. Sami Vatanen - Jordan Hendry
  3. Matt Smaby (A) - Nick Schaus

Special Teams

Power Play

First Unit: McMillan - Holland - Smith-Pelly | Palmieri- Vatanen

Second Unit: Lasch - Elkins - Etem | Lindholm - Guenin

Penalty Kill

First Unit: Bodie - Wagner | Smaby - Schaus

Second Unit: Mitchell - Holland | Vatanen - Hendry

Did Not Dress

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