CHESAPEAKE, Va. – A third period comeback fell one goal short as the Norfolk Admirals were defeated by the Charlotte Checkers, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at the Chilled Ponds Ice and Turf Sports Complex. Both teams finished their preseason schedule with a 1-1-0-0 record.
The Admirals received goals from Peter Holland, Kenndal McArdle and Chris Wagner. Goaltender Marco Cousineau took the setback after stopping 23 of 27 shots through two periods. Igor Bobkov stopped all six shots he faced in the third period.
The Checkers took a 1-0 lead midway through the opening frame. After an Admirals forward broke his stick, Charlotte began to cycle the puck around the perimeter of the Norfolk zone. The puck wound up on the blade of Tim Wallace, who sent a shot from the high slot through traffic that eluded Cousineau at 13:10. Norfolk out-shot Charlotte, 13-11, in the first twenty minutes.
The Checkers took control of the game in the second period. Early in the stanza, Tommy Kivisto exited the penalty box after serving an interference penalty and accepted a breakaway pass from Rasmus Rissanen. Kivisto scored on Cousineau five-hole at 5:23.
The visitors took a 3-0 lead less than two minutes later. After Cousineau made a big save on a Beau Schmitz shot, Zach Boychuk found the rebound and chipped it up and over the goaltender at 7:05.
After stopping the first 20 shots of the game through 9:55 of the second period, Charlotte replaced goaltender Dan Ellis with John Muse. Norfolk briefly cut its deficit to two goals less than one minute after the goalie swap. Devante Smith-Pelly found Holland with a cross-crease pass, and Holland’s shot beat Muse at 10:49.
However, the Checkers restored its three-goal lead less than two minutes later on a power play. Victor Rask took a pass from Zac Dalpe and sent a shot past Cousineau at 12:11 to extend Charlotte’s lead to 4-1 after two periods. The Checkers out-shot the Admirals, 16-12, in the second period.
Norfolk began its comeback attempt just 1:25 into the final frame. Kenndal McArdle picked off the loose puck in the neutral zone and entered the Charlotte end along the right wing. He sent a wrist shot that beat Muse to trim the home team’s deficit to 4-2.
The Admirals drew within a goal of tying the game midway through the third period. Chris Wagner scored after chipping a shot over Muse at 9:22 with assists to Emerson Etem and Ryan Lasch.
However, that was as close as the game would get to being tied, as Charlotte withstood the Norfolk attack in last half of the third period. The Admirals out-shot the Checkers, 10-6, in the third period.
Muse stopped 12 of 15 shots in the final 30:00 of the contest for Charlotte.
Norfolk was 0-for-4 on the power play. Charlotte was 1-for-1 with the man advantage.
The Admirals' 2012-13 regular season begins on Friday at Norfolk Scope Arena against the Worcester Sharks. Individual tickets are on sale now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime.
1. Dan Ellis – CHA
2. Zach Boychuk – CHA
3. Kenndal McArdle – NOR