Final Score: Norfolk 3 Portland 4
Scratches: Stefan Noesen (knee), Ryan Parent (healthy)
- Frederik Andersen was called back to Anaheim to replace the injured Viktor Fasth
- Nolan Yonkman was called up to Anaheim to replace the injured Luca Sbisa
- Igor Bobkov was called from the Utah Grizzlies to backup John Gibson in Norfolk
- Mat Clark donned the "A" in place of Yonkman
Starters: Gibson, Garnet Exelby with Alex Grant and Maxime Sauve, Chris Wagner, and Steven Whitney out front.
Opening face-off, GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!! How long does it take to score a goal? Long enough for Grant to pass to Whitney before passing to Wagner who puts it in the back of the net, that's 32 seconds to be exact. That was the first shot on goal in the game. Wayne Gretzky says "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." The Admirals just made 100% of the shots they did take. It's a rare thing for them.
Ok maybe that was a fluke, lets keep going. Less than two minutes later, at the 2:18 mark, Charlie Sarault rifled a huge shot into the goal assisted by Joseph Cramarossa and Grant. This was the 2nd shot on goal for the Admirals and in the entire game. I like these odds for some reason. Portland VERY quickly changed goalies.
A mere 3 minutes later, Zach Stortini managed to make his first appearance in the penalty box. I'm betting you knew it was for fighting. Portland came out ready to take cheap shots and play a dirty game, and Stortini just kept them busy. Stortini even had the zebras talking to him before the game to tell him to behave; fat lot of good that did.
During the fighting penalty Sarault broke his stick, and he was tracking and playing hard without it. John Kurtz managed to get his stick to Sarault and play continued. There were many broken sticks through out the game.
David Steckel managed to strip the puck straight off the stick of a Portland player and net an unassisted goal eight minutes into the period.
Both teams continued to play hard and get chances at the net, though not a whole lot. With about 5:30 remaining in the period Exelby used his body to block the puck from a Portland breakaway to the net, saving the team a goal for certain.
Just a few minutes later Gibson took a big shot off the face mask as the team ran out the last two minutes in the period. The Admirals outscored Portland 3-0 but were out shot 8-10.
I don't know what happened during the intermission, but it was not a good thing. The Admirals came back to the ice slow and looked like they had no idea what was going on in the game. It looked like they were just playing to protect the lead, not like a team that wanted to increase it.
Portland found the back of the net at 8:13 in the period. It wasn't a spectacular goal, just a goal that happened.
There were three penalty minutes during the period.
With minimal stoppage. the period went by rather quickly as the Admirals were out shot 14-6.
A fast paced period that left the Admirals looking good at times, and lazy at others. Portland came out ready and firing shots left and right.
The Pirates took two early penalties that weren't smart--high-sticking and interference--but Kevin Gagne took four minutes for holding. Seconds after Gagne came out of the box, Portland put a cross ice pass right through the crease and the one timer top shelf on Gibson's glove side. It was a well executed goal at 16:56 in the third to bring the score to 3-2.
Just a minute and a half later the Pirates did the same exact thing to tie the game at three apiece with only 1:24 remaining in regulation. The period ended in a tie with Portland again out shooting the Admirals 12-2.
The five minutes of extra time allowed each team to put 1 shot on goal. The Admirals made the worst line change ever with under a minute remaining while they had a break away shot. With that the game went to a shoot out.
The Admirals shot first with Rakell netting his shot, Gagne missing, Wagner putting it in, Laganiere being denied, as well as Maxime Sauvet being denied. Gibson was good in net for the shoot out, just not quite good enough in the end.
3rd: David Steckel
2nd: Alex Grant
1st: Chris Brown (POR)
The team finally got some goals scored!
Not enough cycling the puck and not enough shooting.
They blew a 3 point lead by being too content to try to score more goals.
It's really hard to single anyone out in this game as an icehole. Everyone seemed to shut down slowly after the first period. I guess that's the coach's fault for not getting the guys fired up.
The Admirals play again Wednesday 11/27 at home against the Checkers. Puck drops at 7:15pm.
I'd like to thank all of you for reading and I hope you have enjoyed my game recaps for the Admirals. This is my final piece for Anaheim Calling for the foreseeable future. Thank you all for allowing me to share hockey with you.