(Photo Credit: Tom Boland / Reading Royals)
READING, PA. - Despite trailing for the majority of Friday night, the Norfolk Admirals (26-37-4-0) earned a win in overtime against the Reading Royals (37-24-4-2), 3-2.
The first 20 minutes of action had a brisk pace to them but were largely uneventful, other than Justin Crandall's 20th of the season giving the home team first blood. Walking into the zone uncontested, the University of Minnesota-Duluth product fired one low to the blocker side of Brett Kilar, who was making just his second career pro start.
In the second Reading went ahead 2-0 as Mike Periera used his dazzling speed to go to the outside of Trevor Gerling and slide one low and cross the body of the Admirals netminder.
However, the Admirals had an answer just 35 seconds later as Domenic Alberga got Norfolk on the board. Some hard-working play along the boards by Ben Murphy allowed the supporting Tommy Giroux to feed #8 for a one-timer that was guided top shelf.
That set the stage for a 2-1 third period, one that would remain at that score until with just 4:42 remaining. It was Ben Murphy's turn to be on the scoring end of the deal, as more determination led to his 15th of the year and the game-tying goal. The rookie out of Bowling Green fired a hard wrist shot from just inside the blue line, one that would spring in and out of the glove of Martin Oullette, dropping down in front of the Reading goalie. Amidst three Royals defenders in front, Murphy plowed in to slap his own rebound home, knotting the contest in the final minutes.
There was no further scoring in regulation, thus forcing overtime for the two sides. The additional five minutes came to a quick close though as the very first shot of the extra frame was buried by T.J. Foster, extending his point streak to ten games and giving Norfolk the victory on a two-on-one with John Dunbar.
Brett Kilar improves his professional record to 2-0-0-0 with 37 stops on 39 shots for the Admirals. Martin Oullette suffers the overtime loss, allowing three goals on 34 shots.
Norfolk now heads north to Glens Falls, NY for a Saturday evening contest against the Adirondack Thunder. Puck drop is set for 7:00 and all the action can be heard on 102.1 FM The Tide or watched live on ECHL.TV.
Following that game the Admirals return home to take on the Atlanta Gladiators on Monday night. The game will be the makeup of the original contest that was scheduled for Wednesday, March 29 and postponed. All tickets from this past Wednesday's game will be valid for Monday and tickets are also on sale on Ticketmaster.com and at the Scope box office.