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Tam's Hat Trick Gives Norfolk First Series Win

Saturday, December 17th
Tam's Hat Trick Gives Norfolk First Series Win

NORFOLK, VA. - The Norfolk Admirals (5-17-4-0) picked up their first series win of the season on Saturday, riding the wave of a Mikael Tam hat trick to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays (12-10-1-1) by a score of 5-2.

After a scoreless first period, Admirals captain Josh Brittain found gold for the second straight night. A failed back door attempt for Brittain went astray just seconds prior, leaving Mikael Tam to chase the puck down at the point. Tam slid the puck over to Jaedon Descheneau, who originally couldn't handle the pass, but was able to corral it and throw one towards the slot area that #13 redirected past Adam Carlson to take the 1-0 lead. The mark came on the power play with Kelly Zajac in the box for South Carolina, a big momentum builder for an Admirals team that entered the night ranking last in league power play.

For the first time this season the Admirals would get another on the power play with the second coming from Mikael Tam. Frankie Simonelli, who arrived back in Norfolk following his reassignment from Bakersfield just hours before puck drop, quarterbacked the crew and teed up a perfect one-time blast for Tam's second point of the night. Tam, who was also just reassigned from the California AHL affiliate earlier this week, now has six points in three games with the team.

Unfortunately for the Admirals, their two-goal lead would perish quickly and single-handedly because of Derek DeBlois. DeBlois, who has been an absolute stud for the Stingrays since making his season debut last week, used the given time and space with his team on the power play to outlast Steven Summerhays, who was making his Admirals and season debut in net. The forward picked the blocker-side high corner for one of the more dazzling shots that has been put by a Norfolk netminder this season. That goal cut the Admirals 2-0 lead in half.

The lethal striker would cash in for South Carolina once again to conclude the second period. Also on the power play, DeBlois' fifth of the season (in just four games) came on a blast on the from the point this time. Kelly Zajac sent a pass from the right circle back towards the blue line area, where Alex Brooks would redirect it between his legs to DeBlois. Without hesitation, one of the hottest hands in South Carolina's deck rifled it past Summerhays to even the score.

Third period action got underway with a level playing field but the Admirals would take a 3-2 lead thanks to John Dunbar. Dunbar carried the puck into the zone, dropped it for John Kurtz, who then left it for Mike Krieg and Krieg's shot would be buried on a second effort by Dunbar. The goal was a momentum booster for Norfolk, pushing them to a fourth and eventual fifth goal.

Mikael Tam provided both of the final goals for the Admirals and the fourth was on the power play, Norfolk's third of the night with the man advantage. Paul Rodrigues slammed on the breaks and found Brodie Dupont in the slot area. The newly serving alternate captain with Nick MacNeil out due to injury, pushed the puck out high to Mike Krieg, who then found a wide open Tam geared up for a blazing slap shot that beat Carlson high. Tam's second of the night gave the Admirals a 4-2 lead.

Tam would cap off his night with an empty net goal, the icing on the cake of a 5-2 victory for the Admirals. Steven Summerhays earned the win in his first start of the season and with the team, stopping 23 of 25.

The team now hits the road for tilts in Greenville and the very same Stingrays next week. Following the brief holiday break, a trek to Elmira and Manchester follows before the team returns home for eight home games in January. Tickets for all eight games are on sale now and can be purchased on Ticketmaster.com and at the Norfolk Scope Arena box office. For more information on the team, be sure to check out norfolkadmirals.com and follow the team on all major social media platforms.Box Score

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