The Norfolk Admirals received an early Christmas present Saturday night at Scope sweeping the two game weekend series against the Albany Devils. With the win, the Admirals sit even Steven at 13 wins, 13 losses. Admirals rookie Emerson Etem netted two goals in the tilt.
This game was a goalie showdown with neither Admirals netminder Igor Bobkov or Keith Kinkaid of the Albany Devils budging until the 3rd period. Bobby Butler and the Devils broke the stalemate with a long overdue goal at the 4:42 mark of the third period as he accepted a Steve Zalewski feed that snuck past Bobkov to pull the Devils ahead by one.
With the team down by one goal late in the third period, Norfolk’s head coach Trent Yawney opted for an extra attacker and pulled goalie Igor Bobkov. Emerson Etem lit the lamp to knot the game at 1-1 on a play he described as a ” Tic Tac Toe goal” when he one-timed a shot past Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid low in the attacking zone.
Etem pulled a rabbit from his helmet just five seconds into the overtime period as he scored down low in the zone again. This time, he skated with the puck towards the goalmouth and backhanded the shot past Kinkaid to right ship and gave his team a reason to celebrate Christmas a tad bit early. Etem commented about the two goals being similar to one another saying, “A lot of goals I’ve scored in Juniors are from around that area. I’m comfortable shooting the puck from there. Right when you get that puck, you have to fire it.”
Norfolk head coach Trent Yawney commented on Etem’s play tonight stating, “You can see why he scored 70 goals in Juniors.” Yawney also talked about Etem’s transition from juniors to pro declaring, “He is probably the one player that I have coached so far that has made the biggest jump in terms of a player coming out of college or juniors and making this transition into pro hockey that for players is the hardest transition they will ever make.”
Yawney mentioned that Etem was caught in some Junior habits early on, but broke out of those habits pretty quick. Everyone can see now that Etem has broken free of any Junior habits he picked up while playing in the WHL that followed him to the pro game by netting two goals tonight.
The Admirals will enjoy a quick holiday break with their families before embarking on a 3-game road trip that begins on the 28th in Syracuse with a stop in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the night after, and ending in Springfield on the 30th.
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