Estero, FL — The Norfolk Admirals were looking to make it a successful weekend sweep on Saturday night when they took on the Florida Everblades at Hertz Arena. After defeating the Orlando Solar Bears on Friday night, 3-2, the Admirals were seeking revenge on the Everblades, who came into their arena last and spoiled their opening weekend with two wins.
Alex Sakellaropoulous made his first start of the season, giving Brandon Halverson a rest after he made 49 saves in the victory over Orlando. Despite Sakellaropoulous standing on his head with 38 saves, Florida scored three second period goals, which eventually led them to a 4-2 victory over the Admirals.
In the opening weekend series, the Admirals drew first blood in both games, but ultimately fell in defeat both times. On Saturday night, Josh Holmstrom got the scoring started in the first period for the Admirals, with his second goal of the season. It was another power-play goal for Norfolk and they have scored a man-advantage goal in all four games this season. Alex Rodriguez and Christian Horn picked up the assists.
After one period of play, the Everblades outshot the Admirals, 10-6.
Once the second period came around, it was all Everblades on both sides of the ice. Aaron Harstad scored his first goal of the season for Florida to tie the game at one. Nearly two-minutes later, defenseman Logan Roe blasted a shot from the point which got past Sakellaropoulous to give the Everblades a 2-1 lead. The bleeding worsened for Norfolk at the 8:48 mark of the period as Tanner Jeanot scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 3-1.
Midway through the period, Roe collided with Horn at the blue line, prompting Horn to fall down to the ice, holding his hands on his head. He was helped off the ice and did not return to the game.
As a result of the hit, Roe was hit with a five-minute charging major and a 10-minute misconduct. 14 seconds after the Roe penalty, Jacob Graves took a charging penalty, giving the Admirals a two-man advantage. John Gustafsson tipped in a pass from Charlie O’Connor to make it 3-2.
The Admirals took three costly penalties in the third period, which prevented them from getting chances on Florida goaltender, Ken Appleby. Sakellaropoulous was pulled with 1:30 to go, then Jeannot was called for a slashing penalty, making it 6-on-4 with the pulled goaltender. Johnny Coughlin turned the puck over at the blue line to Florida’s Ben Masella. He then found Michael Huntebrinker at center ice and he put it into the empty net, securing the third straight victory for the Everblades.
The two teams will not meet until later in February 2020.
The Admirals are back in action at Norfolk Scope on Wednesday when they take on the South Carolina Stingrays. It’s $2 beer night along with College Rivalry Night. Tickets can be purchased at the Norfolk Scope Box Office or visit www.norfolkadmirals.com/tickets.