Opening night in Norfolk and BOOM! Goes the Dynamite

We don't have a picture of Kevin Gagne - John Wright/Admirals

The Admirals celebrate 25 years by getting things started in a big way this year!

Final Score: Admirals 5, Senators 0

Pregame Warm-ups: Warms ups are warm ups nothing special. Unless you are a part of the Anaheim Ducks system and your team decides to run a warm up drill on the goalie that looks exactly like "Cleaning up the trash" from The Mighty Ducks movies. no really, everyone in front of the net trying to jam pucks from point blank range with no room for anyone to move. It was really awesome to see.

First Period Recap: Frederik Andersen was in net for the Admirals. Straight from the beginning it was easy to see the referees were going to be the best defensemen for the Senators. One referee even went so far as to push the players away from him, resulting in players being out of position to make plays. The game started off fast paced and just 4:22 into the game Peter Holland took the first penalty of the night, a two minute high sticking minor. About midway into the Senators' power play, Devante Smith-Pelly scored a beaut of an unassisted short hand goal.

About four and a half minutes later the Admirals went on the power play thanks to a slashing call against the Senators. The power play was horrid. The team looked lazy and lethargic. At one point, Anderson was dangerously far out of the crease, nearly to the blue line! The highlight of the power play was that Rickard Rakell had a one time off a cross ice pass that narrowly missed the goal.

At 13:11 into the game, Stortini did what he seems to do best, he got into a fight. Granted he was sticking up for a rough hit to someone else but he ended up getting charged with an  instigating penalty, five minutes for fighting, and a ten minute game misconduct. 17 minutes of penalties in the first period. I'm willing to bet that is more than his time on ice tonight [Ed. Note:  Probably more than his ice time for the whole week. -CK]. So with just under seven minutes left in the period, Stortini was sent to the dressing room. That little go around on the ice did light a fire though, this is where the period exploded.

With 4:41 left in the period, Alex Grant scored a beaut, assisted by Charlie Sarault and Anderson. At the same moment DSP took what appeared to be and elbow and or a stick to the face. He was face down on the ice for a brief moment before skating off to the dressing room by himself. Bringing the Admirals up 2-0. Before the goal announcement could even be made Holland was assisted by Chris Wagner and Grant for the Admirals third goal of the night with 4:28 remaining in the first.

With a little over three minutes remaining in the period, DSP returned to the Admirals' bench.

The final two minutes of the period were played on the PP for the Admirals, thanks to a Senators' penalty. with 1:33 remaining in the first, Grant scored again, assisted Sarault and Kevin Gagne. With 29.5 seconds remaining the Senators took another penalty and with 20.6 seconds on the clock, Grant netted his 3rd goal of the period, again assisted by Sarault and Gagne. The Admirals went to the dressing room ahead 5-0 after the 1st period despite being out shot for the majority of the period. The Admirals finished the period with 14 shots to the Senators' 10.

Second Period Recap: The Senators decided to switch out their goalies after the first period and it made a HUGE difference in the game. The Admirals started the second on the power play until Holland took a penalty one minute after the intermission for hooking.  Around 17:44 in the period, Andersen ended up losing his stick for about 30 seconds before making a huge glove save.

The Admirals looked like they were playing safe and the Senators came out of the room looking to get back into the game.  At the 17:12 mark the Senators scored. The referees made a call for no goal because the net was dislodged from the poles. The replay on the jumbo screen showed the puck was in the net before it became dislodged. This could have been a turning point in the game for the Senators. It was right around this point when the composure became more evident out of the Senators.Twice, Nolan Yonkman kept himself from being drawn into a senseless fight. Mat Clark did break up a swiftly approaching attack from the Sens. Clark would rack up two senseless minor penalties as well as one for Holland.

With one minute remaining in the period the intensity and the physical side of the game started to increase. The Admirals fired off only four shots during the second as compared to 13 from the Sens. The entire period was rather slow though there was plenty of puck handling. Although he didn't make the points board, Garnet Exelby seemed to be making some very good plays to keep the puck in the zone and just feeding to the next.

Third Period Recap: Another very slow moving period with good puck handling and movement. Stortini used his head for a change, to block a shot and left the ice for a few minutes. With 12:23 remaining Stortini was shocking! He actually didn't allow fights to be instigated.  With just over 11 minutes in the game remaining, Joseph Cramarossa had a break away and took a beautiful shot that had the goalie beat only to deflect off the far side post.

With 6:27 remaining in the game, both teams ended up simply dropping the mitts and throwing sticks. When the dust settled there were gloves, sticks, helmets, padding, and much other gear. The fight resulted in a fighting major, and a game misconduct for a secondary fight for Max Friberg. Wagner dropped his "partner" to the ice and took a fighting penalty. Finally, Yonkman dropped his guy to the ice and accepted his five for fighting. The final tally for shots on goal was 33 for the Senators over 24 for the Admirals.

**********

The Good: DSP looked like a team player who wanted to make a difference. The team skated fairly well, considering the refs as well as the Senators' skaters fell down a lot. The team looked great against the boards as well as having great puck movement.

The Bad: Too many senseless penalties again, and from guys who know much better.

The Ugly: Stortini's 17 penalty minutes, 'Nuff said

**********

Three Star Admirals

3rd Star: Devante Smith-Pelly- he played a great 2 way game and covered a lot of ice.

2nd Star: Frederick Anderson- he posted the shutout!

1st Star: Alex Grant- he scored a hat trick in the first period. He also had an assist to total 4 points. 

"Alex Grant became the second Admirals defenseman to record a hat trick. Duncan Keith netted a hat trick on February 18, 2005 against Hershey… The last player to score three goals in a the same period for the Admirals was James Wright who scored three goals against Binghamton on March 11, 2011… The Admirals first period goals matched the team record for most goals scored in a period at home." -According to the Norfolk Admirals


Honorable mention: Charlie Sarault- he had three assists in the first period and played a solid game all three periods.

Next Game: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at home against the Binghamton Senators again.

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