Norfolk is Still Good at the Skills Competition

Shawn Dulin

Norfolk opened up the season on the road with a 3-2 SO win over the Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers.

Final Score: Admirals 3, Wolf Pack 2 (SO)

First Period Recap: The first period of the opening game was scoreless with both teams getting 9 shots on goal, Frederik Andersen got the start for Norfolk. Zack Stortini and Brad Staubitz both took early penalties to put the Admirals on the penalty kill. The thing that makes enforcers good is not taking minor penalties in their limited ice time. Fifteen seconds after the second PK Stortini got into his first fight of the season with Micheal Haley. About five minutes after leaving the box, Stortini got in his second fight of the period but this time he took on Dylan McIlrath. Norfolk had one power play chance in the first.

Second Period Recap: Early into the second period rookie Steven Whitney scored an unassisted goal, capitalizing on a Wolf Pack turnover. After that, both teams got sloppy and gave up a lot of penalties. Hartford took five penalties and gave the Admirals a 5 on 3 chance to end the period, Norfolk could not score on it in the second. Norfolk only took three penalties and killed them all. With just twelve seconds left in the period Andrew Yogan instigated a fight with Mat Clark giving Norfolk a short 5 on 3 power play to start the third. Hartford had a shot advantage of 15-9.

Third Period Recap: Another Norfolk rookie scored the second goal of the game. Rickard Rakell scored his first pro goal while the Admirals were on a 5 on 3 carried over from the second period. Fellow rookies Charlie Sarault and Kevin Gagne assisted on the play that put the Admirals up 2-0. Unfortunately it only took five minutes for Hartford to answer on a power play of their own with Danny Kristo beating Andersen - Nolan Yonkman was the Admiral in the box. The Admirals killed two more penalties through the period and with under a minute left it looked like they had the game won. That is, until a scramble in front of the net in the final seconds of the game. The puck was under Andersen and eventually slipped into the net. The referee initially waved it off and called the game but then it was reviewed and over turned, so to overtime we go!

The overtime period was the only time all night that Norfolk had more shots than Hartford, 3 shots to 1. Neither team could beat a goalie in the short five minutes though, so the teams went to the skills competition where Norfolk went 7-1 last season. They still are good at it it seems!

Norfolk Shootout
13 Rickard Rakell Goal
17 Charles Sarault No Goal
23 Devante Smith-Pelly Goal
18 Steven Whitney No Goal
Total: 2
Hartford Shootout
16 Oscar Lindberg No Goal
29 Danny Kristo Goal
20 Chris Kreider No Goal
6 Andrew Yogan No Goal
9 Ryan Bourque No Goal
Total: 1

**********

The Good: Norfolk went out with a young roster and came out with a win.

The Bad: Norfolk had seven power play chances but only converted on one of them, this will need to improve.

The Ugly: The team gave up eight penalties but luckily the Wolf Pack have an inept power play and only scored once.

**********

Most Valuable Ducklings:

3rd MVD: Rickard Rakell - He scored his first pro goal and scored in the shootout.

2nd MVD: Devante Smith-Pelly - He finished a +1 which is a good start compared to last season and had the game winner in the shootout.

1st MVD: Frederik Andersen - Starting the season where he left off. Stopped 35 of 37 shots and only allowed one goal in the shootout.

Next Game: Sunday, October 6th at 3:00 PM ET in Bridgeport, CT

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