Admirals sail away with 4-3 win Over Bruins

Kim Peacock

Regulation win over the Providence Bruins rights the ship!

Final Score: Norfolk 4 Providence 3

Scratches:

Stefan Noesen (knee) Healthy- Brad Staubitz - Stefan Warg - Jamie MacQueen - Brett Skinner - Ryan Parent - Norm Ezekiel

Starting Line:

Matt Belesky- Chris Wagner- Max Friberg with Garnet Exelby and Alex Grant on Defense and John Gibson in goal

Game Tidbits:

  • Before this game the Admirals were averaging 25 shots per game
  • Before this game the Admirals were 4-0 in games they led after the 2nd period
  • Peter Holland flew to Tampa to join the Ducks yesterday then came back to the Admirals to play today (his wings MUST be tired)
  • Nolan Yonkman and Holland wear the "A"s for the team with Exelby retaining the "C"
  • Exelby was previously a Bruin
  • Sami Vatanen and Frederik Andersen have rejoined the team
  • Viktor Fasth left the last game with what is now being called a headache but was recalled to the Ducks anyway

First Period:

Both teams came out ready to play and firing off shots at both ends. Early in the period the Bruins seemed to score a goal. After the call, there was a LOOOOOOOOOONG delay as the goal was under review. Ok it wasn't that long but three minutes seems forever in hockey time when you don't know what's going on in that little box.

Holland got his stick on a beautiful pass from Steven Whitney who recovered the blocked shot of Kevin Gagne to score the first goal of the game at 7:53 of the period. It was a quick movement but the job was done.

The Admirals were shooting a LOT. They finally started out-shooting an opponent!

The Bruins got the equalizer from Mike Moore about three minutes later.

Whitney didn't like that, so at 12:02 he found the net with some help from Vatanen and Holland. The Admirals reclaimed that lead and held on as tight as they could.

Feeling jealous and left out, Friberg converted on a pass from Wagner to make the score 3-1 only 16 seconds later.

Antoine Laganiere tried to dangle a puck to slip it in the goal but was denied and things started to get chippy.

Holland got a big face off win getting the puck to Yonkman who passes to Vatanen near the blue line. Not to be outdone, Vatanen blasted a screamer into the net at 17:21. It felt like the Admirals hired Oprah; "you get a goal, and you get a goal, yes you get a goal too!" for the period.

This goal seemed to light a fire under the Bruins. With only 1:10 remaining in the period, the Bruins crashed the net and got a penalty for goaltender interference. This was the only penalty of the period and Norfolk was not able to convert on the power play (not really surprising). The Admirals ended the period out-shooting the Bruins 20 to 8. That's just impressive for the Admirals. [Ed. Note: 20 shots in a period is pretty impressive for anyone, much less a team averaging 25 per game!!! -CK]

Intermission Interview:

Exelby spoke about a few things. He addressed the injury which left him sidelined for the 3 losses the team suffered. His elbow pad slipped out of place during the fight he was involved in and he cut his elbow up on the ice. It also wasn't moving quite right so he needed a few days to get it back in order.

He discussed the clipping major he was assessed with by saying it wasn't really a penalty. He understands the league moves to try to reduce injuries and he feels as though young refs don't know about hip checks. He goes further to explain that sometimes you need to take the hit to prevent injury that comes from trying to avoid the hit. Wise words from the "old man" on the team, I mean the voice of experience.

Exelby has been the captain of two other teams; Rockford and Grand Rapids. The role is one that Exelby is familiar with. His approach to being the captain is to not "be a dictator" and to "lead by example". He sees the AHL as a developmental league for the NHL and tries to teach the younger players that consistency is the most important thing to success in the NHL.

His career highlights are winning the Calder Cup then playing against Scott Stephens (his idol) in his first NHL game.

Exelby and his wife are expecting their first child, a girl, in about two and a half weeks. Choosing to have their daughter in Norfolk, Exelby says that is the first step to her being president. As a Canadian she would be ineligible.

Exelby has not been accepted well by many of the fans in Norfolk, though oddly enough the team seems, from my estimation, to play harder with him in the lineup and there was a noticeable hole in the line up while he was out. Maybe it's from his presence in the room.

Second Period:

Pete Michaud, the Admirals' Voice, made mention that Gibson looked off his game but is one of the few tendies who can win games regardless. That comment had barely been spoken when Gibson began blocking countless, rapid fire, shots. The period was not nearly eventful as the first.

It took a 5 on 3 power play for the Bruins to strike back against the Admirals and bring the deficit to two. Whitney took an elbowing penalty at 11:28 followed by Wagner's minor for interference at 13:02.

The Admirals fell back into old habits as they shot less and tallied another penalty when Mat Clark landed himself in the box for 2 minutes at 16:55. The period came to a close with the Bruins out shooting the Admirals 18 to 10 and the Admirals retaining the lead 4-2.

Third Period:

The Admirals opened the period slow and with few shots.They couldn't seem to clear the zone, AGAIN... This period was all about Gibson though. He made a leaping save by breaking up a pass on a Bruins break away early in the period.

At the midpoint of the period the Bruins turned up the heat. Moore took an interference penalty in the neutral zone. From this point forward, it was game on. Shots increased, speed increased, the Bruins just went at the net with all they had.

Whitney landed himself in timeout with a hooking penalty at 14:00 in the period. Luckily the Admirals outstanding Penalty kill held off the Bruin's advances. (The person incharge of arena sound thought it would be a good idea to play 'Livin' on a Prayer" while their team was down by 2 in the 3rd period).

Gibson made more huge diving saves and the net seemed to come dislodged easily. The puck was flying and Gibson was under constant pressure. The saves were made and the Bruins nearly got an open goal but Gibson managed to make the save with 56 seconds remaining.

The Bruins took an oddly timed time out with only 15 seconds left, but whatever the coach told his team worked because the Bruins found the back of the net, to bring them within 1 of the Admirals, with only four seconds remaining in the game.

There was a huge scuffle around the goal and one of the players knocked Gibson's stick from his hand just before the puck found its way into the net with the Bruins extra attacker in the mix. In the crowded crease, a fight ensues. Exelby managed to be charged with a major for slashing as well as a game misconduct. Matt Fraser of the Bruins was assessed with a checking penalty and was sent to the dressing room almost immediately. The Bruins out shot the Admirals 24 to 4 in this period.

********

The Good:

We got off the losing streak!! Gibson handled an NHL game's worth of shots and did amazingly well. The boys FINALLY scored at even strength.

The Bad:

There were lazy penalties, and the power play just wasn't powerful at all.

The Ugly:

Nothing the guys did in the first period carried over to the rest of the game; shooting, scoring, staying out of the penalty box, actually playing the game!

********

Three Stars:

3rd Star: Carter Camper (PRO) 3 assists

2nd Star: John Gibson (NOR) 47 saves

1st Star: Peter Holland (NOR) 1 goal 2 assists +3 for the game

********

Most Valuable Ducklings: (it feels good to do this again but it's really hard!)

3rd MVD: Sami Vatanen 1 goal 1 assist +3 on the night

2nd MVD: Peter Holland 1 goal 2 assists +3 on the night

1st MVD: John Gibson huge diving saves, aggressive play, faced 50 shots (24 in the 3rd)... he kept this game from being a vomit fest.

********

The Admirals head back to Manchester tonight to prepare for their second meeting with the Monarchs tomorrow, Saturday, November 16th. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm est. you can watch the game on the AHL website or listen via internet radio.

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