John Wright/Norfolk Admirals
The Norfolk Admirals gave up a third period lead but came through in the shootout to top Syracuse 4-3.
Final Score: Norfolk 4, Syracuse 3 (SO)
First Period Recap: The Norfolk Admirals weathered an incredible storm to start the game with recently idle goalie Igor Bobkov coming up big and stopping 18 first period shots. Obviously most of the play was in the Norfolk defensive end but the Admirals managed to get 11 shots on net. Collectively the teams had an insane 29 shots on goal to open the match. Neither team scored and there were no penalties called.
Second Period Recap: The Admirals were the first to fold giving up a goal just 1:43 into the second with Syracuse's first shot of the period. Vladislav Namestnikov, who ended up leading the Crunch with 6 shots on net, earned his fourth goal of the season with Philip-Michael Devos and Mark Barberio helping out. Just over four minutes later former Crunch player Kyle Wilson tied the game up with his 6th of the season, Josh Brittain and Nate Guenin got the assists. At the 11:14 Chris Wagner scored an unassisted goal putting the Admirals up 2-1 and the score stayed that way the rest of the period. Norfolk came out surprisingly strong in this 20 minutes and out-shot Syracuse 19-8 while killing off three penalties and only getting one power play.
Third Period Recap: Just under three minutes into the third period Eric Neilson kept trying to instigate a fight with Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond but PL3 didn't want to go right then, somehow they both got unsportsmanlike conducts and Leblond had some words for Neilson when he went to his box. As soon as the doors opened they dropped the gloves with Neilson taking the slight edge and unfortunately energizing the home teams fans. Josh Brittain did his best to quell the enthusiasm by scoring the Admirals third goal of the night with 13:37 left in the game after he deflected a Mat Clark shot, Hampus Lindholm got the secondary assist. Unfortunately the Crunch are still good at coming from behind in games. Jared Nightingale scored his second goal of the season with 12:41 left on the clock with Mike Angelidis and Namestnikov helping him out. Norfolk held on to the 3-2 lead until Syracuse scored with just 20 seconds left on the clock and the Admirals unable to clear the zone while the Crunch had an extra attacker. Matt Taormina and Mark Barberio assisted on Angelidis' game tying goal.
Overtime: Both teams only had 2 shots on net in the extra 5 minutes and no goals were scored and no one took a dumb penalty.
The Good: The Admirals win their 4th game in a row and continue a strong end of season push.
The Bad: Igor Bobkov really played well tonight after having 13 days off since his last game, his team kinda let him down at the end of the third period.
The Ugly: My prediction of Kyle Wilson was pretty ugly, with him playing center on the first line he seems to have found his scoring touch again.
Next Game: Saturday, March 16th, 7:05pm ET at Binghamton