Portland, ME - Following one of the most exciting games of the season, the Norfolk Admirals would travel to Maine to kick off a four-game road trip. Adam Huska would make his third start for the Mariners as he was recalled from Hartford yesterday. Jake Theut wouldman net for the tenth time this season with the Admirals and for the fourth straight game.
The first period was a defensive grind with the Admirals outshooting the Mariners just 12-7, with each team failing to score. At 6:53, Norfolk’s Ruslan Rakhmatov dropped the gloves with Mikael Robidoux, giving the fans something to cheer about heading into the second stanza.
The second period gave fans a little bit more to cheer about with the Admirals striking first on an unassisted goal from Alex Rodriguez just 17 seconds into the period. The Mariners would respond two minutes and 45 seconds later a goal from Connor Bleackley.
The tie wouldn’t last long with Alex Tonge scoring his tenth goal of the season with Norfolk on assists from Freddy Gerard and Sebastian Vidmar to go up 2-1. On that goal, Tonge extended his point streak to four games. The teams would trade goals once again, with Ted Hart netting a powerplay goal at the 4:41 mark, once again squaring the teams up at two goals a-piece.
Despite the high shot totals from both teams as the third period would dwindle down, Theut and Huska remained firm, doing everything in their power to help their respective teams from allowing the puck to cross the net. Theut and the Admirals would prevail as JC Campagna scoring the game winning goal with just 2:05 on the clock, giving him his 13th of the year and Norfolk’s first win since February 22nd.
“I think for us, it’s a matter of not getting too high and not getting to low either,” said Campagna after the win. “We need to ride this momentum. We remember how good it feels to win, but we’re also aware of how bad it feels to lose this year. We got some new guys that are coming in and are excited to be here.”
“This game ended up being one of the more enjoyable games for me to watch because they played very well with a lot of heart and passion and got rewarded for it,” said Admirals head coach Rod Taylor.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a season,” said Admirals assistant coach Ryan McGinnis. “Where we sit in the standings, you got to try and have fun. We try to bring the fun and teach within that fun. It helps to bring in guys that want to make an impression in pro hockey. You bring in hungry guys and as long as you keep bringing in guys that want to prove themselves, you can make things happen right, wrong or indifferent.”
The Admirals will head to Santander Arena to play the Reading Royals in the first of a two game set on Friday night at 7:00 PM. The Pregame Show will start at 6:40 on the Admirals Radio Network and ECHL TV.
Written by Chris Bova