Fort Wayne, IN- The Norfolk Admirals kicked off their three-game road trip at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum where they faced the Fort Wayne Komets. This was their first matchup since March 2017, and the Admirals played exceptionally well, scoring five goals in the first two periods to secure a crucial 5-2 victory against the Komets.
Yaniv Perets returned to the Admirals after being called up to the Carolina Hurricanes, making his 12th appearance of the season. He made a total of 26 saves off of 28 shots as he grabbed his sixth victory on the season.
The Admirals took the lead just 97 seconds into the game when Ryan Foss made an initial hit on a Komet, freeing up the puck for Stepan Timofeyev. He skated from the left-wing circle and into the slot and got his shot past Tyler Parks to put the Admirals ahead 1-0.
The Admirals played well on the forecheck and Perets made several key saves to maintain their advantage in period one. After an interference penalty was called on Norfolk, they capitalized being a man-down as Danny Katic forced a turnover behind the Komets net and netted his fourth goal of the year off a broken play from Parks. That was the third short-handed goal for the Admirals this season.
After the first period, Norfolk led 2-0, outshooting Fort Wayne, 11-7. Eight minutes into the second period, Darick Louis-Jean received the puck off the won faceoff from Foss and scored from the top of the point to make it 3-0. A few minutes later, Norfolk went on the power play, but Ture Linden scored a short-handed goal to make it 3-1.
With less than five minutes in the period, Justin Robidas scored a pair of goals for his tenth and eleventh goals of the season to increase the Admirals' advantage to 5-1. His first goal came off a rebound from the initial shot of Thomas Caron, and his second goal came 2:19 later off a shot from the right-wing circle. Norfolk went into the break with a comfortable four-goal lead.
A few minutes into the final frame, the Komets managed to score again off the shot from Linden out front, which was his second of the night, making it 5-2. Perets made some big saves, including a diving save off a breakaway opportunity for Fort Wayne, as the Admirals stood firmly with their three-goal advantage.
As the final horn sounded, Norfolk got back into the win column with a crucial victory, getting back to two points out of first place in the ECHL North Division behind the Adirondack Thunder.
Sentara Health Three Stars of the Game
1. NOR - J. Robidas (2 goals, +2)
2. NOR - D. Louis-Jean (1 goal, +2)
3. FW - T. Linden (2 goals, +1)
Norfolk will travel to Wheeling, West Virginia for a pair of contests against the Wheeling Nailers. It is the first time this season that these north division foes square off on the ice. Game one is tomorrow night at WesBanco Arena with puck drop scheduled for 7:10 p.m.