Duluth, GA — The Norfolk Admirals were looking to continue their winning ways in the midst of their Thanksgiving week marathon. Coming off a recent victory in Orlando the night before, the Admirals were riding a huge wave of positive momentum into Wednesday night against the Atlanta Gladiators.
With the victory, the Admirals could have potentially crawled just one point behind Atlanta for fourth place. The night started out strong for Norfolk, picking up right where they left in Orlando. Brayden Sherbinin put home his third goal of the season to give the Admirals an early lead. Zach Franko would follow that up with a goal of his own to make it 2-0. The goal marked Franko’s fourth in an Admiral uniform.
It seemed as though everything was going Norfolk’s way and Alex Sakellaropoulous made 13 big saves to keep it 2-0 Admirals after one period of play.
The Gladiators were 0-6-0-0 on the season after trailing one period of play coming into Wednesday night. But something clicked during the intermission break for Atlanta and they came out in the second period, guns blazing.
Fifth-year captain Derek Nesbitt got started on the power play just 54 seconds into the period with his fourth goal of the season. Atlanta continued to pressure Sakellaropoulous with tons of rubber and Eric Neiley eventually tied the game up at two with his fourth goal of the season at the 13:28 mark. Just like that, all the momentum had swung into the favor of the Gladiators.
Dan Vlader got the start in goal for Atlanta as he was sent down from Providence (AHL) earlier in the day. After allowing two quick goals, the Boston Bruins draft pick was able to start tall and keep Norfolk off the scoresheet in the second period. Tommy Marchin got in on the fun for the Gladiators in the second period at 17:18 mark to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.
In the third period, the Admirals strung together a couple of good chances on Vlader, but couldn’t sneak one past him. The Admirals finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play and registered only 22 shots on goal. Atlanta put another goal past Sakellaropoulous for the fourth time in the final frame and that is how the night would end for Norfolk.
Sam Povorozniouk was held of the scoresheet on the evening, which marks the first game since he joined the Admirals that he did not register a point. Sakellaropoulous make 38 saves on 42 Atlanta shots in the defeat.
The Admirals are back in action at Norfolk Scope on November 29 and 30 against the Jacksonville Icemen. Tickets are available for purchase as the Scope Box Office or via Ticketmaster through norfolkadmirals.com/tickets.