Final Score: Norfolk 2 Hershey 4
First Period: Igor Bobkov started in goal, relieving John Gibson after two big games. Joseph Cramarossa is out injured from last night's little scrap, nothing serious. Brett Skinner went down early in the period from a high stick to the mouth which yielded no call. Nolan Yonkman tried to tie up the Hershey Bear's player responsible and in the commotion Nate Walker netted the early goal for Hershey at 1:35 in the game.
Max Friberg was hit hard against the glass by two Hershey players causing the glass to come loose and the fans were there to hold it up until it could be put back into the supports. Rickard Rakell was playing smart and stealing pucks throughout the period, making his presence known in all good ways, as was Antoine Laganiere.
Charlie Sarault got into an uncommon fight with Walker of Hershey. It wasn't a very notable fight, neither able to land punches but Sarault wrestled Walker to the ice and both take 5 minute fighting penalties at 10:19 in the period.
The Admirals went on the power play 4 on 3 with a kneeing penalty assessed to Hershey.
Alex Grant scored his fourth goal of the season on the power play at 12:19 in the period. All four of Grant's goals this season are power play goals. Merely 18 seconds later, at 12:37 in the period Yonkman dropped mitts with Joel Rechlicz of Hershey earning them both fighting majors with Rechlicz getting an extra two for roughing. There were a lot of big punches thrown, but no clear winner.
At 18:26 Ryan Parent took a double minor for high sticking and Garnet Exelby made a huge hit on one of the Hershey players that rocked the boards and made the entire arena groan. The period ends with the Bears out shooting the Norfolk Admirals 16-8 and tied at one.
Second Period: Yonkman started the period off playing well in the corners and fighting hard for the puck. At 5:45 Zack Stortini was credited with a goal off of a redirect from a Brett Skinner shot with the primary assist going to Chris Wagner to go ahead 2-1.
Once again Yonkman gets into a scrap, a mere 23 seconds after gaining the lead, and is charged with two minors, slashing and roughing. Capitalizing on the penalty, Hershey scored 39 seconds into the power play. The shot bounced off the leg of Bobkov to find its way into the net at 6:47 in the period to tie the game at two.
The Admirals took another penalty for tripping called against Norm Ezekiel. Luckily the Admirals lead the league in penalty kills with a percentage around 91% and they managed to not let any pucks find the net.
The period passed fairly uneventfully until Matt Clark took a penalty for closing his hand on the puck at 17:38 in the period. As the penalty expired, Hershey got the even strength goal in the final seconds of the second. This ended the period with a score of 3-2 in favor of Hershey.
Third Period: With two teams who are notorious for playing very slow and not very well in the third period, this game may be a surprise. Hershey has gone into the final frame with the lead and blown it twice already this year. There isn't much to note in the period save a few things.
Exelby took a cross checking penalty at 8:53 to put the Admirals on the penalty kill. The game continued fairly uneventful for the next five minutes.
Around the 13 minute mark the Admirals started to turn up the heat on Hershey. Exelby made a nice move to steal the puck and fired off a a near miss. Rakell had another close call after a nice steal. With more action than the announcers can keep up with play kept going at a fairly good pace.
The final whistle came with 39 seconds left in the game. Bobkov allowed a soft goal from Hershey to shatter the attempts of a game tying goal for the Admirals.
The Good: Zack Stortini did something useful, without fighting, and John Gibson got a little break to give Bobkov a start.
The Bad: Too many bad penalties. It looked like the guys forgot the rules and made some seriously careless mistakes. Add to that too much fighting and not enough puck handling and this game could have been much worse.
The Ugly: Too many soft goals. Bobkov allowed two very soft goals which could have been a huge factor in momentum for this game.
The three stars of the game were:
3rd: Brett Skinner (N)
2nd: Julien Brouillette (H)
1st: Peter LeBlanc (H)
3rd Icehole: It's hard to choose this one but Matt Clark took the careless late penalty in the second which set up the go ahead goal for Hershey and shifted the momentum in the direction of Hershey.
2nd Icehole: Bobkov- he allowed two very soft goals, as previously mentioned, for four goals against in the game. I think he has shown why his original assignment to the ECHL fits him so well.
1st Icehole: Nolan Yonkman for nine minutes in penalties and too much fighting. He came out of the gate looking for fights and he didn't stop. He played much like Stortini was playing before he was put on a leash.
Next Game: The Admirals come home to rest and practice before heading back out on the road to face the Albany Devils (affiliate of the New Jersey Devils) on Friday, Nov 1 at 7pm. Road games can be viewed via the AHL website or heard at 1490amthegame.com