NORFOLK, VA.- The Norfolk Admirals scored three unanswered goals to help pace the way to a 3-2 victory over the Charlotte Checkers Wednesday night at the Norfolk Scope.
It didn’t take long for the Checkers to get on the board. Defenseman Philippe Cornet floated a shot toward the Norfolk net that beat goaltender Viktor Fasth. Fasth moved left but was beat to his right side off the crossbar just 1:35 into the first.
Charlotte hung on to the one-goal lead through the rest of the first period but not through the second. Norfolk’s Antoine Laganiere steered home an easy tap-in manufactured by an Alex Grant shot fake then pass across the slot. Grant started the play and Laganiere finished it with 11:26 left in the second.
The Admirals kept the pressure on Charlotte netminder Justin Peters and scored again with 46 second left in the period. This time it was John Kurtz with a one-timer from the far side circle after Dave Steckel found him with an assist from below the goal line.
In the third, Norfolk installed some insurance on their fifth power play of the evening. Admirals’ defenseman Alex Grant blasted a shot through goal-front traffic that Rickard Rakell put a stick on and redirected past Peters’ left side.
The power play marker lit the lamp at 6:08 as Rakell tallied his thirteenth of the season.
Charlotte did in fact take advantage of a four-minute double-minor penalty on Steckel when a puck bounced off two Checkers on its way through the wickets of Fasth. Brett Sutter received credit for the power play goal at 16:48 of the third period.
Viktor Fasth made 22 saves in a winning effort, his first this season. Justin Peters stopped 21 pucks in his third game for Charlotte en route to suffering his second loss of the year.
Norfolk killed off the remainder of the Steckel penalty and withstood the extra attacker in the last minute to beat the Checkers, 3-2. The win bumps the Admirals up two places into sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 29-17-1-7 record and 66 points.
The GEICO Challenge Cup Standings: Charlotte - 8pts Norfolk - 6pts
The Admirals continue their homestand on Friday and Saturday as they play host to the top-seeded Manchester Monarchs. Friday's game is American Cancer Society Night and is set for a 7:30 p.m. start time, while Saturday's game begins at 7:15 p.m. Come early on Saturday and watch ODU's hockey team battle Northern Virginia Community College at 2:00 p.m. Free admission with purchase of Admirals game ticket.
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
Game Notes: Forward Max Sauve played in his 200th professional game on Wednesday.... 25 years ago today, the ECHL awarded an expansion franchise to Blake Cullen for $25,000. The team would be known as the Hampton Roads Admirals and became a model minor-league franchise. The team played 11 seasons in the ECHL, before making the jump to the American Hockey League and becoming the Norfolk Admirals.
1. John Kurtz (NOR)
2. Alex Grant (NOR)
3. Dave Steckel (NOR)