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RECAP | Katic Nets Hat-Trick in Crucial Victory Against Thunder

Saturday, March 23rd
RECAP | Katic Nets Hat-Trick in Crucial Victory Against Thunder

Glens Falls, NY - Following a 5-4 defeat last night, the Norfolk Admirals played their second game of the series against the Adirondack Thunder. The Admirals made a remarkable comeback in the game and claimed a decisive 4-1 victory over the Thunder. Danny Katic displayed an exceptional performance by scoring a hat-trick.

Yaniv Perets played a crucial role in securing the victory by making his 30th appearance in the cage. Perets made 26 saves off of 27 shots faced throughout the game, which contributed significantly to the Admirals' win.

The initial 20 minutes of gameplay were characterized by intense hostilities and numerous penalties on both sides. During the first three minutes of the game, the Admirals displayed a superior forecheck, outshooting the Thunder 6-0 in an attempt to take an early lead. However, the Thunder rallied and responded with a strong forecheck of their own, settling into the game.

Perets played a critical role in the opening period by making nine saves and standing firm against the Thunder attacks. Norfolk faced a double-minor penalty on Carson Musser, but the Admirals successfully managed to fend off the four-minute penalty kill and return to full strength unscathed. As the period approached its final stages, Adirondack faced a double-minor penalty themselves, giving the Admirals a chance to seize the initiative.

With 55 seconds remaining in the period, Katic tapped in a crucial goal in front of the net, taking advantage of the first of the double-minor penalties. The Admirals then added a second power-play goal with just 13 seconds left, as Stepan Timofeyev fired a shot from the left point to extend their lead to 2-0. Norfolk took a two-goal lead having outshot Adirondack 11-9 into the middle period.

During the second twenty-minute period of a highly intense game, both teams were motivated to emerge victorious. The penalties on both ends of the ice continued to accumulate, but Norfolk prevailed in their successful handling of the power play, scoring another goal to increase their lead. Katic's second goal of the night, and 22nd overall, resulted from a deflection of Smirnov's shot, resulting in a 3-0 lead.

Following the goal, Adirondack increased the pressure, ultimately scoring a goal from Ryan Wheeler, for his sixth of the season, with seven minutes remaining, reducing the lead to 3-1. Despite multiple penalties and a relentless offensive push by Adirondack, Perets's outstanding performance in the net kept the score unchanged after 40 minutes, even though Norfolk was outshot 14-10 in the middle period.

The third period was crucial as Norfolk fought to maintain its two-goal lead. The Admirals opened the final twenty minutes with an opportunity to add to their successful power-play goals, but Adirondack held firm. As the clock ticked down, Adirondack's desperation increased, but Norfolk held on to secure the victory 4-1.

Norfolk sealed the victory with an empty-net goal in the final three minutes of the game. Katic, who gained possession of the loose puck following a save from Perets, sealed the game with his shot, hitting the open net for the hat-trick and the dagger.

The Admirals' first hat-trick of the season capped off a remarkable comeback performance as they evened the series at one game. Norfolk improved their record to 36-20-5-1 and remained in second place in the ECHL North Division with 78 points.

Sentara Health Three Stars of the Game

1. NOR - D. Katic (3 goals, 1 assist, +1)

2. NOR - Y. Perets (26 saves off if 27 shots faced)

3. NOR - D. Smirnov (3 assists)

What’s Next

Norfolk will play its final game in Glens Falls against the Thunder tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in a crucial rubber match.

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