Bobkov ends personal losing streak in Admirals shootout win

Courtesy of the Anaheim Ducks

Admirals goaltender Igor Bobkov has struggled in the first two months of the season. On Saturday night, he was called upon start due to an injury to starting goalie Frederik Andersen and he came up big.

In Friday night's loss to Bridgeport (Islanders), Admirals goaltender Frederik Andersen was injured in overtime on what ended up being the game winning goal, after it was reviewed. He laid on the ice for awhile but eventually got to his feet. Andersen is now 'day-to-day'.

On Saturday, it was announced goaltender Marco Cousineau had been called up from the Fort Wayne Komets in the ECHL. He hadn't played a game since Nov. 2 because of a groin injury, according to Ice Chips blogger (Komets blog) Justin Cohn of the Journal Gazette.

Needless to say, goalie Igor Bobkov needed to have a big game after his last couple of outings and he did.

To start the game, the Admirals played like I've only seen them play once or twice this season. They were incredibly physical, the forecheck was relentless and they were dominating puck possession. At one point, the Admirals had out-shot the Sound Tigers 10-2; however, the one problem they just can't correct popped up again - bad penalties.

Mat Clark took a dumb penalty after the play had stopped, sending the top power play team out to do their thing. The Admirals left Nido Niederreiter wide open in front of the net and Bobkov never had a chance to stop him at that close of range. The period ended with Bridgeport not reeling as much as they did in the first three quarters of the game.

In the second period, the Sound Tigers scored on a 3-on-1 breakaway. Bobkov was, once again, let down by the poor play in front of him. Nick Schaus was the only defender back. He couldn't seem to make up his mind on who to take out of the 3-on-1 equation, making it easy for Bridgeport.

Later, Nathan McIver and John Kurtz fought for the second time on the weekend. McIver received the decision, getting some extra shots in while Kurtz was on the ice. Kurtz gained back some pride with just under a minute left in the second. While on the opposing blue line, he received a long distance pass from Gabe Guentzel and scored on the breakaway, waking up the 4,000-plus fans in attendance at the Scope.

The third period gave the Admirals a lot of chances to tie the game up and they eventually did. Patrick Maroon used his huge 6'2, 230 pound frame to overpower the defender below the goal line and send a pass to Devante Smith-Pelly. DSP tied the game at 2-2 about halfway through the period. By this point, Bridgeport was doing anything and everything possible to get to overtime, never having any solid chances. After regulation, the Admirals out-shot Bridgeport, 50-38.

The overtime period went by quickly. Sami Vatanen and Nick Schaus were the only Ads to do as much as possible to score a goal but were unsuccessful. On to the shoot-out.

Shootout Results:

Bridgeport Sound Tigers Norfolk Admirals
Nino Niederreiter - No goal Kyle Palmieri - No goal
David Ullstrom - No goal Peter Holland - No goal
Colin McDonald - No goal Emerson Etem - GOAL
Casey Cizikas - No goal Patrick Maroon - No goal
Jon Landry - GOAL Corey Elkins - No goal
John Persson - No goal Chris Wagner - No goal
Johan Sundstrom - No goal Devante Smith-Pelly - GOAL

Etem's goal was a pretty awesome fake that completely threw off Bridgeport's Kevin Poulin.

Bobkov made some big saves through out the game and shoot out. He looked to have possibly solved his biggest issue of rebound control. He kicked a lot of pucks to the boards or covered them instantly.

With Saturday's win, the Admirals have won four of six games played in the month of December.

The next game for Norfolk is on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at Hershey. They return home for two on Friday (Dec. 21) and Saturday (Dec. 22) to play the Albany Devils.

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