Worcester, MA - The Norfolk Admirals traveled North to face the Worcester Railers for a three-game series. In the first game on Friday night, the Admirals managed to score late in the game, forcing it into overtime. However, the Railers emerged victorious with a 4-3 win.
Thomas Milic made his 16th appearance in goal for the Admirals this season, putting in a solid effort despite the loss. He stopped 28 of 32 shots.
Early in the first period, the Railers took the lead when Ryan Verrier scored his second goal of the season with a powerful shot from the point. Despite a strong forecheck from Norfolk, they were unable to score until the latter part of the period.
With eight minutes remaining, Aaron Miller scored his first goal as an Admiral and sixth of the season to tie the game at one. He received a pass from Mark Liwiski and fired a shot past John Muse. The score remained tied until the final minute of play when Norfolk gained their first advantage. Denis Smirnov scored off a deflected shot from mid-air to give the Admirals a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.
During the second period, both teams had several chances to score, and there was a possibility of an emergency goalie debut following a shot that hit Milic in the head. However, the score remained the same for the majority of the period. Towards the end of the period, the game went to 4-on-4 hockey, and the Railers managed to tie the game up at two with a slapshot from the point by Artyom Kulakov. His shot marked his first goal of the season.
In the third period, 99 seconds after the start, the Railers scored again when Riley Piercy deflected Zsombor Garat's shot to regain the lead 3-2. The Worcester team intensified their pressure after the goal to maintain their advantage. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the rink, the Admirals had several opportunities to tie the game, but Muse in the net prevented Norfolk from equalizing.
With time running out, Brandon Osmundson scored his second goal of the year after a desperate effort in the crease, tying the game at three. Milic made numerous significant saves towards the end of the third period to keep the game tied. However, 60 minutes of playtime was not enough to decide the winner.
During the overtime period, both teams took a minute to adjust to the 3-on-3 action. Eventually, Worcester managed to score the winning goal, securing a 4-3 victory in OT. Blade Jenkins was responsible for this goal, which also happened to be his ninth goal of the year. Norfolk's losing streak continues and has now reached six games.
Sentara Health Three Stars of the Game
1. WOR - B. Jenkins (Game-winning goal)
2. WOR - D. Kuefler (2 assists, +2)
3. WOR - J. Muse (40 saves off of 43 shots)
Norfolk will face the Railers in their second game this weekend, with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m. tomorrow.