Elkins Finishes Hat Trick in Overtime as Admirals Top Whale
NORFOLK – Corey Elkins' third goal of the game came with 29.2 seconds remaining in overtime as the Norfolk Admirals (3-0-0-0) defeated the Connecticut Whale (0-2-1-0), 5-4, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Sami Vatanen recorded three assists in the contest for his first multiple-point game in North America. Jay Rosehill and Peter Holland also scored for Norfolk, while Igor Bobkov stopped 26 of 30 shots for the win.
Keeping with a theme of their first three games of the season, the Admirals opened scoring early in the contest. Connecticut defenseman Matt Gilroy took the puck from behind his own net and attempted to skate it out of the zone along the right wing. However, Elkins swept the puck off his stick and broke in alone on Whale goaltender Jason Missiaen. Elkins netted his first goal as an Admiral, stick-side with a shot from the slot at 1:02.
However, Connecticut struck back less than two minutes later with a power play goal. Gilroy sent a shot from the right point through traffic and past Bobkov at 2:55.
Norfolk took a 2-1 lead midway through the first period on Elkins’ second goal of the game. While the teams skated four-on-four, Vatanen forced a turnover in the right corner and fed a pass to Nate Guenin. Guenin returned the puck to Vatanen, who threaded it from the right circle across the slot to Elkins in the left circle. Elkins deked from forehand to backhand before lifting the puck over Missiaen, off the crossbar and into the net at 9:47.
The Whale tied the game at 2-2 midway through the second period on Gilroy’s second power play goal of the game. Gilroy took a pass from Kyle Jean in the slot, and sent a shot through a screen and past Bobkov at 9:13.
Norfolk reclaimed the lead in the seesaw battle less than three minutes later. Troy Bodie won a puck battle behind the Connecticut net and shuffled the puck to Chris Wagner. The rookie forward sent a pass through the legs of a defender to Rosehill in the slot. Rosehill’s shot eluded a screened Missiaen at 12:02 for his first goal of the season.
The lead doubled just over two minutes later on the power play. From the left point, Vatanen prevented a Whale clearing attempt from escaping the attacking zone. He threw the puck across the ice to Kyle Palmieri in the right circle. Palmieri moved the puck a couple of feet to his left to Holland, whose shot beat Missiaen’s glove at 14:16 for a 4-2 Norfolk lead.
However, the Whale tied the game in the third period on a pair of goals by former Admiral Brandon Segal. He cut the Norfolk lead to 4-3 just 4:03 into the final frame. He then knotted the score at 4-4 with just 1:36 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, Ryan Lasch recovered the puck behind the Norfolk net and found Vatanen in the left circle. Vatanen then spotted Elkins in the right circle, and the fourth-year pro finished the hat trick at 4:30 with a shot that beat the left leg of Missiaen (24 saves, 29 shots).
Norfolk was 1-for-6 on the power play. Connecticut was 2-for-7 with the man advantage.
The same two teams square off again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m. A ticket to the Admirals game also gets you in to the college hockey showdown between Old Dominion University and Northern Virginia Community College at 2:00 p.m.
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. Corey Elkins – NOR
2. Sami Vatanen – NOR
3. Brandon Segal – CT
NOTES … The Admirals started a season with three straight wins for the third time in their 13-season AHL history, joining the 2004-05 and 2010-11 seasons … The longest winning streak to start an AHL season by the Admirals is four straight victories in 2010-11 … Kyle Palmieri (1g, 2a) and Peter Holland (2g, 1a) each have points in all three of Norfolk's games this season … Elkins is the first AHL Admiral to complete a hat trick in overtime … Elkins became the third AHL Admirals player to record a hat trick for his first three Norfolk goals, joining Andy Hilbert (November 30, 2005 vs. Binghamton) and Trevor Smith (October 21, 2011 vs. Binghamton) … Brandon Segal, who scored two goals for Connecticut tonight, appeared in 99 career regular season games with the Admirals, scoring 38 goals and 76 points between the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2011-12 seasons. He also won the 2012 Calder Cup with the Admirals … Seven of the 10 goals scored by Connecticut this season so far have been scored on the power play … Did not play: Gabe Guentzel, John Kurtz, Garrett Klotz, Luca Caputi.