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Admirals Score Three First Period Goals, Defeat Orlando in McNiven's Debut

Sunday, January 12th
Admirals Score Three First Period Goals, Defeat Orlando in McNiven's Debut

NORFOLK, VA  --  The Norfolk Admirals were looking to rebound after a 5-0 setback on home ice last night. For Saturday Night’s game, they received reinforcements from the AHL’s Laval Rocket in Goaltender Michael McNiven. McNiven got the start in goal for the Admirals on Saturday night.

Norfolk jumped out in front with a goal from Zach Phillips, his seventh of the season and fifth with the Admirals. Charlie O’Connor played the puck from behind the net to the right point for Brayden Sherbinin who fired off a shot that was tipped by Phillips and snuck past Windsor.

The Admirals extended their lead with a goal from JC Campagna. Austin McEneny stretched a pass for Alex Rodriguez who skated into the Orlando zone in the right circle. Rodriguez fired off a wrist shot that was saved by Windsor, but Campagna was on the backdoor to knock in the rebound to extend the Norfolk lead to two.

The Admirals struck once again in the period thanks to Russian forward, Artem Ivanyuzhuzhenkov. Jakob Reichert skated into the Orlando zone and outmuscled the defender to gain control of the puck where he found Ivanyuzhenkov, who skated into the left circle and fired a wrister over the glove of Windsor

In the second period, Norfolk would get its fourth goal on an unforced error in the Orlando zone. Windsor gained control of the puck and attempted to play it off the glass. The loose puck found a wide-open Josh Holmstrom who stated into the right circle and roofed a shot past Windsor to give Norfolk a 4-0 lead.

The Admirals found the twine once again, this time from O’Connor. Sherbinin gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and found O’Connor streaking into the zone on the left side, who skated into the high-slot and fired a wrister top-shelf past Windsor to give Norfolk a 5-0 lead.

With the score 5-0 and the Solar bears lacking energy, Windsor was pulled in favor of Chase Perry, in an attempt to spark the club with some momentum. Orlando cut into the Norfolk lead with a goal from Peter Abbandonato. The Admirals were unable to clear the puck out of their zone which led to Abbandonato gaining control of the puck at the center blue line and firing a wrister that beat McNiven five-hole.

The Solar Bears added a short-handed goal from Colby McAuley later in the period. The Admirals were unable to get the puck through the neutral zone which led to a rush the other way and McAuley fired a shot over the glove of McNiven to cut the lead to 5-2.

Orlando struck once again from Johno May to cut the deficit to two. Norfolk turned the puck over behind their own net, the puck bounced out into the left circle where May was able to slide the puck past a sprawled McNiven.

The score remained 5-3 until Johnny Coughlin was right on the spot to one-time a shot on the power-play to put the icing on the cake as the Admirals won by a 6-3 final score. McNiven was strong in net making 30 saves on 33 shots and claims his eight win of the year, while Windsor suffers his sixth defeat of the season.

Written by Kristopher Clark

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