NORFOLK, VA. –Norfolk saw a three goal lead disappear in the third period as the Admirals fell in overtime 5-4 to Atlanta on Wednesday night.
Norfolk’s Grant Besse scored twice and Brady Vail notched an assist to push his point streak to five games, tying a career high. Darik Angeli notched a goal in his Admirals debut, the forward now has goals in four of the six games he’s played this season.
Norfolk scored a pair of special teams goals in the opening frame to take a 2-0 into the first intermission. After Taylor Stefishen took a slashing penalty it only took the Admirals 0:16 to capitalize. Trevor Mingoia deflected Angelo Miceli’s wrist shot from the point. After Matt Ginn made the initial save Admirals captain Brodie Dupont found the loose puck and shoveled it past Ginn to give the Admirals the opening tally. Six minutes later Norfolk doubled the lead. With a man in the box the Admirals got a prime scoring chance after Brodie Dupont blocked a shot at the point. The captain then sent the puck ahead to a streaking Grant Besse who tucked a bandhand shot five hole on Ginn. For the second straight game the Admirals capitalized short-handed.
In the second period Atlanta cut the lead in half just three minutes in. Taylor Doherty slammed a slap shot from the high slot past Jamie Murray, getting the Gladiators on the board. After two period shots were tied at 21-21 but the Admirals were holding onto a 2-1 lead.
Norfolk pushed the lead to 4-1 in the first three minutes of the third. Darik Angeli scored his first goal as an Admiral only 1:10 into the frame. Brady Vail quickly tapped a pass between the legs that found the stick of Angeli. The Admirals newcomer snapped a quick shot past Ginn to give Norfolk a 3-1 lead. A minute and a half later Grant Besse got his second of the night. Entering the zone on the right wing side the forward quickly wristed a shot low to the far side, past Ginn.
Trailing 4-1 the Gladiators Phil Lane got Atlanta back in the game. The forward scored back to back goals in a seven-minute span cutting the lead to 4-3. With time winding down the Gladiators found their way back on the board again to tie the game up. The tying tally came with 1:47 left to play in regulation off the stick of Alex Gacek.
All tied up the Admirals headed to the extra frame for the second straight game. This time the result went against the Admirals. Chase Witala pounced on a mishandled puck at the blue line and took it the other way on a break-away. The Gladiator beat Jamie Murray, giving Atlanta the 5-4 OT victory.
Witala finished the night with one goal and three assists, while teammate Lane also notched a four point night with two goals and two assists.
Norfolk’s Murray made 34 saves in the loss while Matt Ginn made 26 in the victory.
The Admirals hit the road for the weekend as they travel to Brampton on Friday and Wheeling on Sunday. Norfolk will be back at home for a three-in-three against Adirondack and Wheeling next Thursday thru Saturday.