The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Norfolk Admirals 4-3 in overtime Saturday night. Norfolk Head Coach Trent Yawney called the game, “The whole entertainment package.” Yawney hit the nail on the head because this game had it all—scoring, defense, and solid goaltending.
After a scoreless 1st period, Norfolk’s John Kurtz kick-started the Admirals offense when his shot was redirected off a Crunch defenseman’s skate beating Crunch goalie Dustin Tokarski which put Norfolk in the driver’s seat early.
Alexander Killorn tied the game at 1 less than a minute later knocking home a J.T. Wyman rebound. Patrick Maroon pulled the home team ahead at the 12:28 mark of the 2nd period when he found a loose puck in front of Tokarski on the power play.
Vladislav Nametnikov tied the game via an odd man rush backhanding the puck past Norfolk goalie Igor Bobkov late in the 2nd period.
The 3rd period was drop em’ hockey. Norfolk’s John Kurtz and Syracuse’s Jared Nightingale met at center ice and blows were exchanged. Seconds after the tilt, Crunch forward Richard Panik tickled the twine with a wraparound goal that pulled the visitors ahead 3-2. Jay Rosehill and Eric Nelison also engaged in some extra-curricular activities later in the 3rd.
Maybe the most surprising duel was when Norfolk’s leading scorer Peter Holland faced off against Richard Panik. Coach Yawney commented on the fight saying, “That kid kind of taunted our bench and it was a little bit unprofessional on his part and maybe it wasn’t the right time, but at the same time good for him. He stuck up for the group.”
Admiral’s Assistant Captain Patrick Maroon chirped about Holland’s fight saying, “We’re here to stick up for our teammates. He did a great job doing that. The game is about playing for each other and playing for the guy beside you.”
Holland’s fight paved the way for a Kyle Palmieri power play goal that knotted the tilt at 3-3 as he scored on a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle. Palmieri’s tying goal was his 11th goal of the 2012-2013 campaign. The two teams couldn’t figure things out in regulation so the game went into overtime.
Crunch right-winger Brett Connolly found the back of the net early into the overtime period which sealed the 4-3 O.T. victory. Dustin Tokarski was credited with the win while Igor Bobkov suffered his 10th loss of the season.
Newly acquired Norfolk forward Dan Sexton was competing on many different lines. Sexton shared his thoughts stating, “I played with a lot of these guys last year.” Sexton played 71 games with the Crunch before the flip flop in affiliations. When asked about similarities from last year to this year’s team Sexton said, “It always good to come back and play with the same guys. You feel like we have more invested with each other. It feels good to keep building on that.”
Norfolk’s head bench boss commented on Sexton declaring, “He’s finding his way. We had Sexton before. He is a gifted skater and he’ll handle himself well.” Sexton played on many different lines. Coach Yawney gave his reasoning behind this tactic stating, “We lost Wagner last night so we were moving guys around. Sometimes its just gut feeling.”
Norfolk’s next tilt is today at the RBC Center, home of the Carolina Hurricanes, in Raleigh, North Carolina where they will face off against the Hurricanes affiliate the Charlotte Checkers.
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