Admirals Earn Fourth Straight Win After Shootout Thriller in Syracuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Josh Brittain had a goal, an assist and the only conversion of the shootout as the Norfolk Admirals (29-26-4-1) earned their fourth consecutive win with a 4-3 decision over the Syracuse Crunch (36-17-3-5) on Friday night at Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter.
Norfolk has now closed to within two points of the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with 16 games remaining in the regular season. The Admirals have won four straight games, have points in five straight games (4-0-1-0) and have points in 12 of their last 15 games (10-3-2-0) since February 8th.
Goaltender Igor Bobkov (11-16-0) stopped 38 of 41 shots through regulation and overtime before denying all five Syracuse shooters in the shootout. Kyle Wilson scored his first goal with the Admirals just days after playing for the Crunch. Wilson was acquired on Monday by the Admirals’ NHL parent club, the Anaheim Ducks, in a trade with Syracuse’s NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chris Wagner also scored for Norfolk, while Admirals captain Nate Guenin extended his point streak to five games with an assist.
The Admirals conclude their three-game road trip tomorrow night against the Binghamton Senators. They return to Scope on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to host the Adirondack Phantoms.
After a scoreless first period, Syracuse took a 1-0 lead just 1:43 into the second period. Mark Barberio sent a shot from the high slot that was deflected into the goal by Vladislav Namestnikov.
Norfolk answered back just over four minutes later. Captain Nate Guenin sent a shot that Crunch goaltender Cedrick Desjardins stopped. However, Kyle Wilson found the rebound at the bottom of the right circle and scored against his former team at 5:55 for his sixth goal of the season and first as an Admiral.
The Admirals took the lead a little more than five minutes later off a turnover. Wagner intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and skated into the Syracuse zone along the right wing. He sent a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle that sailed over the right shoulder of Desjardins at 11:14 for his fifth goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.
Norfolk doubled its lead 6:23 into the final frame. Mat Clark sent a feed from the right point that Brittain re-directed past Desjardins for his tenth goal of the season and a 3-1 lead for the Admirals.
However, Syracuse answered back less than one minute later. Jared Nightingale scored from the right circle at 7:19 to cut Norfolk’s lead to 3-2.
The Crunch tied the game at 3-3 with only 19 seconds remaining in regulation. With Desjardins on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker, Mike Angelidis sent the puck through traffic in the crease and it crossed the goal line for the game-tying tally.
After a scoreless overtime, Brittain scored in the bottom of the third round of the shootout and Bobkov stopped Matt Taormina in the top of the fifth round to seal the victory.
Desjardins (11-15-3) stopped 34 of 37 shots through regulation and overtime and three of four shooters in the shootout.
Norfolk was 0-for-1 on the power play. Syracuse was 0-for-4.
Norfolk's three-game road trip concludes tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. against the Binghamton Senators. All games can be heard on 102.1-FM, 1490-AM or 1021TheGame.com. You may also watch at AHLLive.com.
The Admirals return to Scope on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to face off against the Adirondack Phantoms. Both games begin at 7:15 p.m. and are Admirals Value Nights, with Family Fun Packs and Student Rush Night tickets available.
Family Fun Packs include four discounted Red Level Tickets plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $54 – that’s a savings of $37!
Student Rush Nights provide $9 White Level Tickets (normally $17 on game nights) for students with a valid current high school or college ID. In addition, when you buy a Student Rush Night Ticket, you get a buy-one, get-one free offer for the next Student Rush Night.
Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
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. Mike Angelidis – SYR
2. Vladislav Namestnikov – SYR
3. Josh Brittain – NOR