Norfolk, VA – The Norfolk Admirals were looking to get back to their winning ways on Friday night against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The last time the two teams met, it was Greenville who came out on top in both games. The weekend series started out with a bang for the Admirals, as they scored three first period goals to defeat the Swamp Rabbits, 4-1.
Brandon Halverson got the start in goal for the Admirals on Friday night and he made 33 saves on 34 shots to pick up his third win of the year.
Norfolk jumped out front courtesy of a beautiful tic-tac-toe play, which started with Zach Franko, as he tied his man up in the in the defensive zone and led to an odd man rush the other way. From there, Franko skated in on the left-hand side and fed a pass across to Roman Ammirato in the right circle, who found a streaking Sam Povorozniouk and he deflected the pass past the outstretched pad of Greenville goaltender, Ryan Bednard, to give Norfolk a 1-0 lead.
The Admirals added another goal from Charlie O’Connor later in the period. Norfolk won the faceoff in the Greenville zone and were able to maintain control of the puck with Alex Rodriguez in the right circle. Rodriguez fed a pass back door that was redirected off of O’Connor’s skate and past Bednard to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead.
Norfolk continued to apply pressure and cashed in on the power-play near the end of the period. Povorozniouk played the puck to Sebastian Vidmar as he skated in towards the net and slid a drop-pass to a streaking Josh Holmstrom, whose wrister beat Bednard on the blocker side to give the Admirals a 3-0 lead.
The Admirals would come out strong in the second period with multiple chances, including one from Alex Rodriguez, who had a strong chance on the breakaway, but the puck rolled on him and Bednard was able to keep the score at 3-0.
No scoring would come for the rest of the second period and Greenville started to add the pressure heading into the final frame.
The Swamp Rabbits answered the Norfolk goal with a tally of their own from Chad Duschene mid-way through the third. Michael Pelech skated into the right circle in the Norfolk zone and went to skate through the slot where he lost possession of the puck, which led to a scramble and Duschene was able to regain control and fired a wrister past the stick of Halverson.
Greenville peppered Halverson in the final period but were not able to get any closer as the Admirals added a late empty net goal from Ben Holmstrom, who was in his first game back from injury, and won by a 4-1 final score.
1 Brandon Halverson NOR 33 Saves
2 Sam Povorozniouk NOR 1G, 1A
3 Josh Holmstrom NOR 1G, 1A
Written by Kristopher Clark