The Norfolk Admirals continued their struggles Wednesday night. Four minutes in, and on the first shot by the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina), Norfolk goaltender Igor Bobkov allowed in another soft, early goal. At 8:25, Admirals sophomore Peter Holland tied the game up at 1-1. Last season's backup goaltender for the Anaheim Ducks, now-Checkers goalie Dan Ellis, was positioned just a couple inches off and the puck sneaked by him.
With a little over five minutes to go in the first, Sean Dolan scored for Charlotte. Moments after Dolan's goal, Mat Clark went off for high-sticking, putting the Checkers on the power play. Seconds in to the power play, Drayson Bowman scored. Towards the end of the period, Jay Rosehill would finally do what all the fans wanted and fought Justin Soryal. I'd give Rosehill an edge on the fight. The first came to an end with Bobkov letting in three goals on nine shots.
The second period flew by. No scoring took place until 14:25 into the period, when Riley Nash redirected an impossible shot to stop into the net, putting the Checkers up 4-1.
Sami Vatanen responded 90 seconds later. Troy Bodie made an impressive pass from behind the goal line to a surging Vatanen coming up from the blue line. Sami's initial shot was blocked, but he would put his own rebound into the net. Troy Bodie had an awesome game last night, big on the penalty kill and hustled the entire game.
Vatanen's goal was the last point the Admirals put on the board in the contest. Chris Terry of Charlotte put the game away with 1:03 remaining in the second period on the fifth goal against Bobber. Bobkov let in five goals on 15 shots through the first two periods. In my eyes, only one wasn't in his control.
The third period had no scoring but a ton of shots. The Admirals, in an attempt to claw back, out-shot the Checkers 18-16. Many shots were poor attempts at trying to score, like Kyle Palmieri throwing the puck at net as soon as he got to the circles. Vatanen took slashing penalty with a 1:31 left in the game, killing any chance of the Admirals scoring at least one more goal. Bobkov finished the night stopping 26 of 31 shots with a few impressive saves mixed in.
Admirals Notes: Of the Admirals 39 shots on goal, 20 shots came from Patrick Maroon (5), Vatanen (6) and Palmieri (9) ...With Holland's first period goal he is now the points leader on the team with 15, averaging one point per game ... The Admirals are 4th in the division with one point more than Hershey and a game in hand ... Igor Bobkov is now 42 of 42 in GAA and 36th in save percentage while Frederik Andersen is 20th and 15th ... Sami Vatanen is 9th in scoring for defensemen with three goals and nine assists ... The Admirals have been outscored 26-10 in their last six losses.