The Admirals lost a very rare early game Wednesday in Bridgeport, Connecticut; home of the New York Islanders affiliate, the Sound Tigers. The puck dropped at 11:06am EST to an arena packed with school children. I guess they have an awesome school system where they take field trips to hockey games.
The Sound Tigers started quickly, scoring just 3:40 into the first period on a Colin McDonald goal with Jordan Hill getting the assist. Admirals' starting goaltender, Frederik Andersen, should have stopped it but it got by him.
After the goal, things started to get a little physical with some hard hits and not many shots. Troy Bodie fought Brett Gallant - no idea why. Bodie received a cut from the fight and was M.I.A. for most of the first period. The Admirals had two power play chances. Never really getting any solid chances, they couldn't convert on either opportunity. Norfolk successfully killed their one penalty, and out-shot Bridgeport 13-9 in the period.
Early in the second period, the Admirals went on the power play. Just six seconds in to the man advantage, Kyle Palmieri scored his fourth goal of the season. Peter Holland received the assist. Not to be out done, the Sound Tigers countered with a goal on their man advantage opportunity. Johan Sundstrom scored on an assist from Brock Nelson.
Almost at the halfway mark, the Admirals tied it up on an Emerson Etem even strength goal, his third of the year. Ryan Lasch and Frederik Andersen took the assists.
Shortly after the goal, Bridgeport's Gallant had his second fight of the morning, this time with Jay Rosehill. There weren't a lot of punches thrown. Gallant ended up hugging Rosehill pretty much the entire time.
With 41 seconds remaining in the second, the Tigers regained the lead on a terrible turnover by Corey Elkins. Ryan Parent blocked the initial shot and the puck went to Elkins. For no reason, he plays the puck to the center of the ice, allowing for the Souund Tigers get the go ahead. Elkins had an open Admiral player on front side instead of where he sent his no look pass.
In the third period, the Admirals never began to dominate play the way you would think a team down one goal should. The period went relatively quick with a fight breaking up the monotonous play over midway through the period. Jordan Hendry fought Colin McDonald. Unfortunately, the camera cut away from most of the fight. Minutes later, Nino Niederreiter scored the back breaking fourth goal for Bridgeport, putting the Ads down by two. Norfolk pulled Andersen with over two minutes left in the game. The Ads couldn't do anything with the extra guy and the puck stayed in the defensive zone most the time.
Norfolk's John Kurtz had a big open ice hit on a Tiger. So, of course, in the mess of "answering the bell" on a clean hit, Kurtz fought Blair Riley. Riley would swing a lot but hit nothing, only throwing Kurtz off balance. Kurtz regains his balance and one hit KO's Riley to the ice. The Admiral immediately skates off the ice holding one of his hands.
After the horn sounded there was a scrum around the Bridgeport net. According to the box score, Gallant would come in and try to spear an Admiral. This resulted in a rematch of Bodie vs. Gallant. This would be Bodie's second fight, and Gallant's third, which, is an automatic game misconduct. Since it's after the horn, suspensions will likely happen. The fight wasn't great; both players threw a lot of punches but neither did any damage.
The positives from this loss are that Etem, Holland, and Palmieri are still playing well and putting up good numbers. The team tried to play a full 60 minutes; they even out-shot the Sound Tigers. A negative from the game is the penalty kill starting to sink down in the rankings.
The Admirals play three games in three nights this weekend, starting with a game Saturday in Binghamton, followed by Sunday in Springfield, and Monday at Albany before coming back home for a weekend series on the 16th and 17th against the Springfield Falcons.