Final Score: Norfolk 4 Hershey 3
Another road game with radio coverage. There are 2 important notes at the beginning of this game. The Admirals' Rickard Rakell has once again been called up by the Anaheim Ducks as they return Peter Holland to Norfolk. The Washington Capitals have just returned Dmitry Orlov to the Bears.
First Period: The Admirals spent no time getting off to a quick start, leaving the Bears home crowd silent for the first half of the period.
Peter Holland jumped out to an early scoring start for the Admirals by firing a wrister from the blue line to score at 4:56 in the period. This was Hollands 4th goal of the season and Max Friberg and Maxime Sauve each tallied an assist.
Charlie Sarault was all over the ice. He was making great passes, working the boards, and breaking up passes. I lost count of how many times his name was mentioned in 5 minutes.
Alex Grant finally posted his first even strength goal of the season at 10:15 in the period. Grant now has a team-leading 5 goals on the season. Jamie MacQueen and Steven Whitney notch the assists.
Antoine Laganiere took a high sticking penalty at 11:43. Near the end of the penalty the Admirals got a lucky break on a "no goal" call by the officials citing a hand pass infraction. It was not clear if it was a deflection to the goal or if it was a hand pass to set up the goal. This also seemed to be the fire Hershey needed to push them as they scored their first goal at 14:55.
The Admirals took two penalties at 15:06 and 15:33 by David Steckel and Mat Clark respectively. The resulting 5-on-3 yielded a Hershey goal by Orlov at 16:09 to tie the game at 2.
As the second penalty expired the Bears scored the go ahead goal.
Hershey took a boarding penalty at 18:27 and Friberg got up very slowly and shakily got to the bench.
The period ended with Whitney going off for holding the stick. Hershey out shot the Admirals 19 to 10 in the first period
Second Period: There is only one thing to say about the whole period; PENALTIES. Nearly half the period was a power play in some form. Both teams were playing sloppy and careless hockey. Thankfully, the Admirals lead the league in penalty killing at a little over 90% for the season. There's still no excuse for such carelessness.
The brightest spot of the whole period was Max Sauve. He was moving fast enough to collect his own puck movements across the ice.
The Bears, again, out shot the Admirals 8 to 2. With that few shots on goal it really was hard to concentrate on much of anything happening in the game.
Third Period: Hershey came out strong to open the period and put John Gibson to the test. Joel Rechlicz fired several shots but Gibson was there to make the saves, he even had a big diving save across the mouth of the net. In the midst of his strong play, Rechlicz killed his own momentum with a 2 minutes slashing penalty. (I'm sure Gibson didn't mind!)
Shortly after the Admirals' power play wore off they gave up a power play to Hershey. It seemed like two historically slow third period teams were going to continue the pace of the second period.
Clark got things going a bit for his team with a big hit around the 12:45 mark. It was a give and take situation as Clark was then also checked hard, which led to a little scuffle on the ice and the Admirals managed to pull a penalty out of the situation. The 2 minute boarding call put the Admirals on the power play, which is not their strong suit. [Ed. note: Gee that sounds familiar! - Kyle] More importantly, it got the team fired up.
Charlie Sarault had some huge movements and pinged the crossbar with the rebound setting up another big shot from Grant which was a near miss. As the power play ended there was another shuffle but no punches and nothing major occurring.
The hero moment came with 1:03 remaining in the game. The Admirals had the empty net and an extra attacker as Kevin Gagne netted his first goal of the season to tie the game at three. Holland and Grant were credited with the assists. The period ended with the Bears out shooting the Admirals 14-11.
OVER TIME: The extra period was a quick five-minute, 4-on-4 stint that only had one burst of action. Gibson ended up losing his stick in the shuffle of the game and got some help from a teammate to block some shots until the puck was cleared and he got to his stick. The Admirals had the only 2 shots on goal for the extra period.
Shoot Out: After allowing the 3 unanswered goals in the first, Gibson showed why he is the boss. All five Hershey shots got blocked by Gibson as Chris Wagner managed to hit the back of the net and seal the game for the Admirals 4-3.
The Good: The team picked up a huge win at the end of a road trip with Gibson's turn-around in play.
The Bad: The team is still drastically low in shots for themselves.
The Ugly: Penalties!! The boys are still spending too much time in the box, tonight it wasn't even fighting.
Most Valuable Ducklings (MVD):
3 Max Sauve: He was a +2 on the night and was a great support player for the team.
2 Peter Holland: Fresh off his NHL stint, Perter Holland, did a great job with the team tonight by notching an assist and a goal.
1 John Gibson: In addition to blocking 40 shots on goal, he continued on his pace and blocked all 5 shootout attempts. He kept the team alive after giving up three goals early on in the game.
The Admirals return home to Scope as they face the Syracuse Crunch in their next game on Friday, 8 November at 7:30