Trois-Rivières, QC - The Norfolk Admirals are in first place in the ECHL North Division. That is a statement that has not been uttered in the Hampton Roads area since their playing days in the American Hockey League (AHL). On Friday night, Norfolk won their third consecutive game, thanks to a three-goal second period and two goals from Justin Robidas that made all the difference in their 4-1 victory over Trois-Rivières.
Yaniv Perets made his return in the cage for the 11th time this season as he made 22 saves off of 23 shots to earn his fifth victory on the year.
In the first period, both teams were engaged in a defensive battle. Norfolk found themselves in the penalty box four times throughout the period, but they managed to kill off each penalty without any damage taken. On the other end, the Lions also had to kill off two penalties. The score remained even as both teams defended well.
Norfolk outshot the Lions 8-6 in the period, but they were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. The score was tied at 0-0 after 20 minutes of play. However, the Admirals found a spark in their offense in the second period.
With less than five minutes left in the period, Carson Golder scored the first goal of the game to break the tie. Thomas Caron assisted with a one-time feed. Just a few minutes later, Darick Louis-Jean scored his first goal since March 17, which extended the Admirals' advantage to 2-0. He picked off the defender and scored a breakaway goal in his homecoming return to Quebec.
In the final seconds of the period, Justin Robidas scored his seventh goal of the year. He got the rebound off the initial shot from Louis-Jean to close out the Admirals' best second period of the season so far. The period ended with Norfolk leading 3-0.
Robidas scored his second goal of the night just 39 seconds into the third period, bringing his total goals for the season up to eight. However, Trois-Rivières responded quickly as Maxim Trépanier scored to break up Perets' shutout, making the score 4-1. The final period saw both teams incur several penalties, much like the first period.
Although Trois-Rivières gained momentum, the Admirals stayed the course and secured victory against the Lions.
Sentara Health Three Stars of the Game
1. NOR - J. Robidas (2 goals, +3)
2. NOR - D. Louis-Jean (1 goal, 1 assist, +1)
3. TR - N. Lariviere
The Norfolk Admirals will conclude their trip to Canada tomorrow afternoon with game three against Trois-Rivières. They will be looking to complete the series sweep, with puck drop scheduled for 3:00 p.m.