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September 25, 2013

#17: Admirals Win Emotional Triple OT Game at Wheeling

The Admirals 25th home opener on October 11 is just 17 days away! So we are counting down the days recognizing 25 memorable moments in the 25 years of Admirals Hockey, in a segment we call 25 in 25. Each day we will highlight a great moment in the Admirals proud 25-year history to get you set for the 2013-14 home opener!

#17: Admirals Win Emotional Triple Overtime Game at Wheeling

Prior to the spring of 1998, the Hampton Roads Admirals had been part of the two longest postseason games in ECHL history (1991 & 1997 playoffs). On April 22, 1998 at the Wheeling Civic Center, the Admirals made it three.

The Admirals entered Game One of the Northern Conference Finals a little bus lagged. Two nights prior, the Admirals defeated Roanoke in overtime to clinch their best-best-of-five series 3-2. The team immediately hopped on the bus to travel to Wheeling, West Virginia to take on the awaiting Wheeling Nailers for a game that would take place less than 48 hours later.

The Admirals came out with a spark, but Wheeling goaltender David Brumby made several spectacular saves to keep the puck out of the net. The stellar goaltending allowed the Nailers to take the lead 1-0 when Joe Harney beat Admirals goaltender Sebastien Charpentier on a backhanded shot halfway though the opening period. However, Alex Alexeev tied game on a hard shot which clipped past the pads of Brumby.

After a scoreless second period, the teams exchanged goals in the third, as the Admirals received markers from Victory Gervais, and Joel Porier to send the game to overtime, or as it would turn out, overtimes.

Neither team could seal the game in the first two overtimes. As fatigue started to set in, the Admirals knew they needed to score early in the third overtime, or the combination of an overtime game two days prior, a lengthy bus trip, and five periods already played would take its toll.

The clock struck midnight between the second and third overtimes, which sent a few of the 4,000 fans home a little early because it was a Wednesday, and many had to work a few hours later.

Finally at 3:39 of the third overtime, the Admirals' Dan Ceman tipped and redirected a Chad Ackerman shot from the point past Brumby for the game winning goal and seal the 3-2 victory.

At the time, the game became the second longest game in ECHL history of 103:39 minutes played (4 hours, 54 minutes)

The win proved to be key as the Admirals dropped the next two games in Wheeling. The Admirals then won three straight at home over the Nailers to take the physical and very emotional series 4-2.

The emotional aspect of this series came just hours before it began. Just six hours prior to Game One, Admirals goaltender Sebastien Charpentier learned of the passing of his grandmother for whom he was very close with. Following the news of his grandmother, Charpentier was uncontrollably distraught and cried in the hotel and at the pregame meal. He went for a walk but could not seem to clear his mind. Charpentier received a call from his father later that day who told him play in the game and win for his grandmother. His father added "...she will be on your shoulder with you."

Charpentier then composed himself, and promised Head Coach John Brophy that he would not allow his team to lose that night. Charpentier stopped 48 of 51 shots faced to help lead the Admirals to the triple over time win.

The Admirals went on to win its third ECHL Championship, and Charpentier was named the Kelly Cup Playoffs MVP.

Tomorrow on 25 in 25, we will relive moment #16 as we countdown to the Admirals home opener on October 11!

Previous 25 in 25 Admirals Moments:

#25: Rod Taylor Sets Several ECHL Records .

#24: Maroon's Hat Trick Goal in OT Caps Off Admirals Rally Over Syracuse .

#23: Tom Bissett's Nine Point Game .

#22: Admirals vs. Lock Monsters Brawl after Period .

#21: Etem's Two Goals in a 39 Second Span Lift Admirals to 2-1 Win .

#20: 14 Former Admirals Hoist Stanley Cup in 2010 .

#19: Admirals Rout Johnstown 10-0 to Advance to Finals.

#18: I-64 Rivalry between Hampton Roads and Richmond.

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