Norfolk, VA - The Norfolk Admirals secured their first overtime victory of the year last night and returned to Norfolk Scope for the second game of their four-game series against the Newfoundland Growlers. Despite conceding the opening goal, the Admirals scored two unanswered goals to secure their third consecutive victory.
Thomas Milic was called upon once again as the starting goalie, marking his 18th appearance for Norfolk. Milic's performance was outstanding as he made 21 saves out of 22 shots, providing his team with the necessary impetus to overcome Newfoundland in the match.
During the initial period of the game, both teams exhibited a cautious approach to the game. The Admirals displayed a robust forecheck early on, but the Growlers gradually found their offensive rhythm. Both teams incurred minor penalties, but neither team was able to capitalize on the power play opportunities. The period was fiercely competitive, but with Norfolk outshooting Newfoundland 8-7 in the first, the score remained tied at zero.
The Growlers were quick to get on the scoreboard in the second period, with Keenan Suthers scoring his fourth goal of the season just 30 seconds into the period, off a power-play. Despite the goal, the Admirals continued to exert pressure in the offensive zone, forcing Vyacheslav Peksa to make several saves.
It wasn't until the final eight minutes of the period that Denis Smirnov was able to tie the game. Josh McDougall passed the puck to Smirnov in the slot, who fired it past Peksa. In the latter part of the period, the Admirals gained momentum with a barrage of shots on goal, creating multiple close chances. However, the score remained tied at the end of the second period after 40 minutes of play.
During the third period, the Norfolk Admirals exhibited sustained pressure in their gameplay. Five minutes into the third period, Smirnov delivered a pass to Danny Katic, who subsequently glided into the offensive zone and scored a powerful goal past the shoulder of Peksa. This marked the first lead of the evening for the Norfolk Admirals, who continued to maintain an unyielding stance.
Newfoundland exhibited a resurgence of energy on their end of the ice and had several opportunities to level the game. However, Milic, the Admirals' goalkeeper, made critical saves that kept his team ahead. In the final minutes of the game, the Growlers made a desperate attempt to tie the game by emptying their net. Nevertheless, the Admirals were able to defend their lead and clinch their third consecutive victory, much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd.
With the win, the Admirals find themselves back in second place in a formidable ECHL North division.
Sentara Health Three Stars of the Game
1. NOR - D. Katic (1 goal, +1)
2. NOR - D. Smirnov (1 goal, 1 assist, +2)
3. NOR - T. Milic (21 saves off of 22 shots)
The Norfolk Admirals host game three of their series against Newfoundland tomorrow afternoon with puck drop at 3:05 p.m.