Duluth, GA.- Six unanswered goals and a five-goal third period propelled the Admirals (16-19-5-1) to a 7-4 come from behind victory on Friday night in Atlanta.
The victory was the Admirals third straight, and moved Norfolk within four points of the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Domenic Alberga bagged a trio of assists in the victory, while Chase Harrison recorded two goals and an assist.
One game removed from a hat trick performance TJ Melancon helped the Admirals open the scoring. The defenseman stepped into the offensive zone and sent a quick pass back door for Grant Besse. Besse, crashing hard to the net, carefully tapped the puck past Dan Vladar and into the net, giving Norfolk the 1-0 lead 3:50 into the first. Phil Lane got the Gladiators on the board just past the midway point of the first period. Lane curled out from the right post and sent an odd angle shot past Ty Reichenbach, tying the game at 1-1. Atlanta would tack on another goal before the end of the first to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Atlanta pushed the lead to 3-1 early in the second as former Admiral Brady Vail scored on a slap shot from the slot just 2:04 into the period. Late in the period that lead would grow once more. Colin Jacobs took advantage of back-door pass from Taylor Stefishen, tapping the puck past Reichenbach to extend the Atlanta lead to 4-1. With less than a minute left in the second the Admirals would draw the game back within two. Darik Angeli, sprinting down the right wall snapped a shot into the top left corner that went in and out with 4.3 seconds left in the period. Angeli’s 14th of the season started the Admirals comeback.
Alex Pompeo continued the comeback just a few minutes into the third on the man-advantage. Parked in front of the net on the man-advantage, Pompeo picked up a rebound and slammed it home past Vladar to bring Norfolk within one. With less than five minutes to play in regulation the Admirals power play was presented with another opportunity and capitalized again. Former Glad Patrick D’Amico fed Michael Young at the point who quickly sent a shot past Vladar, into the top corner of the net, tying the game at 15:30 of the third.
Three minutes later the Admirals took the lead. After a collision in front of the net a loose puck bounced out to Chase Harrison, who wasted no time putting the puck into the nearly empty net. After a lengthy review the goal was deemed good, and the Admirals took a 5-4 lead. Off the ensuing faceoff Atlanta pulled the netminder in an attempt to even the score, however Norfolk got an empty netter from Harrison and Tommy Schutt to cap off the night.
The Admirals finished out the night two-for-three on the man-advantage, while holding killing off three of four Gladiator power plays.
Norfolk and Atlanta face off again on Saturday night with puck drop set for 7:05 pm.