NORFOLK, VA. - The Norfolk Admirals (7-20-4-0) started off the new year with a win, taking down the Adirondack Thunder (15-9-2-3) on Wednesday.
The Admirals struck for the only tally in the opening period, coming from yet another connection between T.J. Foster and John Dunbar. Foster carried the puck into the Adirondack zone, however lost control, giving way to Thunder defenseman Conor Riley. Riley turned the puck right back over though, giving it to Foster who made a move to his backhand to before being stopped by J.P. Anderson, the netminder for Adirondack. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, Foster, gathered the rebound and sent it in front to Dunbar for a slam dunk goal to make it 1-0 Admirals with just 2:03 left in the first.
Nick MacNeil extended the Admirals lead to 2-0 in the second period with a power play goal. Set up in their umbrella-scheme, Brodie Dupont worked the puck from the point over the Mikael Tam in the left circle, where he would wind up for a blast that was deflected down in front by MacNeil. The alternate captain caught enough of the puck to redirect it into the net, advancing the home team's lead to a pair.
While J.P. Anderson was in net for the Thunder, Brandon Anderson defended the cage at the opposing end of the ice. Now wearing #31 (formerly #35), the British Columbia born goalie was strong most of the evening for Norfolk. One of his biggest saves came with eight minutes left in the second period, when an Admiral turned the puck over, leading to Mikkel Aagaard being left alone in the slot. Anderson was up to the task though, extending his glove to keep the game 2-0.
Adirondack would get on the board to start the third though, coming off of a swift transitional play from the Thunder. Beginning all the way back behind their own net, Anderson came out of his net to play the puck, shuffling it to a defender. Three tape-to-tape passes later, former Admiral Ty Loney received the puck in front of Brandon Anderson, shifted to his forehand and went upstairs to get his team on the board.
With the game at 2-1, the Thunder had a chance to tie the score 6:31 into the third, in the form of an Dennis Kravchenko penalty shot. Kravchenko was in all by himself before being obstructed by the tandem of Dmitrii Sergeev and Frankie Simonelli. In the penalty shot attempt, Kravchenko appeared to have the goaltender beat, shifted to his backhand but was unable to life the puck off the ice, thus sliding the puck into the extended pad of Brandon Anderson, who was able to keep the game at that 2-1 score.
The Thunder would however, tie it with just 4:58 left in the game. Defenseman Kevin Lough spread the ice by distributing a pass up to Gunnar Hughes from his own zone and from the left wall, Hughes sent it towards Mikkel Aagaard. Aagaard, who had a hat trick the last time the two sides met, split the defense and beat Anderson up over the blocker, similar to where Loney went.
However, the tie would only last 8 seconds, when Jaedon Descheneau swatted one out of midair for the game-winning goal. Immediately off the faceoff, Brodie Dupont corralled the puck forward, just getting enough to push it over to Nick MacNeil. MacNeil, who gave it back to Dupont, was the one who wound up throwing the puck on net, only to be baseball-style swung home from Descheneau for his seventh goal of the year.
Dupont would put the icing on the cake with just over a minute left, hitting the empty four-by-six to give his team the 4-2 win. That was the third point of the evening for Dupont, the evening's first star.
The Admirals have now won three of their last four at home and will host the Elmira Jackals this weekend. Tickets for all games are on sale now on Ticketmaster.com and at the Norfolk Scope Arena box office. For more information on the team, visit norfolkadmirals.com and follow them on all major social media platforms.Box Score