SYRACUSE, NY -- Norm Ezekiel and Steve Eminger score their first goals as Admirals to help Norfolk to a 3-2 shootout win over Syracuse Saturday afternoon.
Midway through the first period, Syracuse’s Dana Tyrell snuck a pass across the lower slot to Jon DiSalvatore who finished a one-timer to give the Crunch the early advantage. DiSalvatore’s fourth goal of the season came at 10:20 of the opening frame.
Later in the second, the Crunch erased another penalty just before Admirals’ forward Norm Ezekiel collected a puck along the boards in the attacking zone. Ezekiel threw it on net and surprised Syracuse netminder Allen York, beating him through his legs from distance.
Ezekiel’s first goal with the Admirals this season came unassisted tying the game at 9:57 of the second period.
With less than five minutes to go in the period, Norfolk jumped in front off the stick of another first-timer. Steve Eminger ripped a shot from the left point that flew by York to quickly give the Admirals their first lead of the afternoon at 15:39 of the second. It was also Eminger’s first goal as an Admiral.
Norfolk held the one-goal lead into the second intermission and encountered an ideal opportunity to extend it when Syracuse’s Cedric Paquette sat for five minutes on a boarding penalty that sent Charlie Sarault to the locker room.
Instead, Tyrell broke loose on a breakaway and capped the chance with a snapshot high to Thiessen’s glove-side and tied the game at two. The former Admiral’s marker lit the lamp two minutes and five seconds into the final period.
Neither side found the game-winner in regulation or overtime and the contest went to a shootout. Saturday’s game marked the league-leading eighteenth overtime game for the Admirals and their league-leading fifteenth shootout.
Alex Grant rifled one past York for the first goal and Emerson Etem slid one through the five-hole to give the Admirals two in the shootout. Brad Thiessen stopped all four shots he faced, securing a 3-2 victory and earned his second win of the season.
In all, Thiessen made 34 saves on 36 shots, while his counterpart Allen York saved 29 of 31 shots. Norfolk improves to 8-7 in shootouts and 24-13-1-7 overall. Syracuse loses their seventh in a row and are now 17-20-2-5.
The Admirals are tied for fourth with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Eastern Conference with 56 points and are also tied with the Penguins for second in the East Division.
The Admirals close out the weekend road trip tomorrow with a Super Bowl Sunday matinee against the Hershey Bears at 2:00 p.m.
Next Game & Promotions: The Admirals will return home to Scope for a pair of games next Friday (Feb. 7) and Saturday (Feb. 8) against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Friday's game is Military Appreciation Night presented by USAA. All military personnel can purchase tickets for just $11 when they present their valid military I.D. to the Scope Box Office. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Game tickets are now on sale, and are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
For 10-packs, or discounted group tickets stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com
The Admirals played their league-leading eighteenth overtime game this season as well as their league-leading fifteenth shootout. Norfolk is 2-1 in overtime and 8-7 in the shootout.
Norm Ezekiel and Steve Eminger each scored their first goal as an Admiral.
1. NOR #20 Alex Grant
2. SYR #42 Dana Tyrell
3. NOR #32 Norm Ezekiel