Norfolk Admirals vs. Tyler Johnson, Admirals Lose.

John Wright/Norfolk Admirals

It was no contest as the Syracuse Crunch thrashed the Ads 6-1 thanks to a hat trick from AHL MVP Tyler Johnson. The loss dropped Norfolk out of a playoff spot to ninth by way of tiebreakers.

Final Score: Admirals 1, Crunch 6

First Period Recap: The Norfolk Admirals headed to Syracuse to take on the Crunch for the final weekend of the regular season with two games remaining after this one. Frederik Andersen held the Crunch off for most of the period until it went down hill in the final five minutes. Former Admirals Captain Mike Angelidis scored his 11th goal of the season 14:20 into the period. Recently announced league MVP Tyler Johnson scored just 38 seconds later for his 34th goal of the season. With 58 seconds left J.T. Wyman scored his 13th goal of the season to put the Crunch up 3-0. The period ended this way and it would be Andersen's last play of the game. Norfolk got out-shot 12-6 and took the only penalty of the period.

Second Period Recap: The second period marked the debut for highly touted goalie prospect John Gibson who just came to the Admirals from the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. Gibson was able to play 11:56 of shutout hockey until Vladislav Namestnikov scored his seventh goal of the season. Less than two minutes later the Admirals finally got on the board with Patrick Maroon scoring his 25th on the season, Nate Guenin got the assist. Yet again with under a minute to go in the period the Crunch scored,and yet again it was Johnson with 49 seconds left. Norfolk once again got out-shot but this time 12-9 and did nothing on their only power play.

Third Period Recap: The final 20 minutes was basically cruise control for the Crunch. Norfolk out-shot them 12-9 but could not put another goal up on the board. Three and a half minutes in, Brian Lee slashed an Admirals player and was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct. Chris Wagner dropped the gloves to try and fight him but only got a roughing minor for his effort, canceling out part of the major. After Wagner was released, the Admirals took a too many men penalty canceling out the rest of the major. Johnson capped off his night with a hat trick at the 7:48 mark scoring his 36th goal of the season.

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The Good: Somehow there are four teams tied for seventh place in the conference, the Admirals have no tie breakers though so they are technically 9th.

The Bad: This team is terrible without Sami Vatanen, it seems like I have said this before. His skill shouldn't be underestimated.

The Ugly: The Admirals effort. Yeah it is late in the season. Yeah there are some call ups. But you are a freaking professional hockey team fighting for a spot to possibly win a championship. This team simply did not show up tonight. I don't think it helped that Yawney decided to have possibly the worst defensive pairing of all time with Ryan Parent and Matt Smaby playing together. Put in Nick Schaus or Gabe Guentzel, you know, players who can skate and move the puck in the offensive zone.

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3rd Icehole: Trent Yawney - ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

2nd Icehole: Peter Holland - In his first game back from a long stint in Anaheim he went -3 and had a shot on goal.

1st Icehole: Jordan Hendry - Another player just back from Anaheim, although he didn't play at all, and also finished -3 with a shot on goal. Maybe Anaheim's lackluster play is spreading like a disease to the Admirals.

Next Game: Saturday, April 20th at 5:00pm ET at Albany

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