The Norfolk Admirals are two points closer to a playoff berth as they defeated the top ranked team in the Eastern Conference, the Syracuse Crunch. The Admirals boarded their bus after the game to make the hour-long hike to Binghamton, NY to battle against another Eastern Conference threat, the Binghamton Senators. Puck drops at seven o’ clock Saturday night.
After a scoreless first, Syracuse forward Vladislav Namestnikov redirected a Mark Barberio blue-line slap shot that squeaked past Norfolk netminder Igor Bobkov just minutes into the middle stanza.
Newly acquired centerman Kyle Wilson knotted the game scoring his first goal in a Norfolk uniform. Admirals captain Nate Guenin propelled a shot towards Crunch goalie Cedrick Desjardins. The netminder turned away Guenin’s attempt, but left a rebound which Wilson found and buried to score his sixth goal of the year.
Admirals rookie Chris Wagner erased the tie later in the second period. Wagner intercepted a Syracuse pass and bolted down ice howling a slap shot past Desjardins breaking the one to one tie while chalking up his fifth of the season.
Admirals streaky left-winger Josh Brittain racked up his tenth goal of the season at the 6:23 mark of the third periord deflecting a Mat Clark point shot that got the better of Desjardins pulling the Admiral ahead by two. The Crunch did not let the Brittain goal go unanswered as tough guy Jared Nightingale picked up his second of the year pulling the Crunch within a goal at the 7:19 mark of the third.
Crunch captain Mike Angelidis scored the game tying goal with seconds remaining in the game. Angelidis found a loose puck in a scramble in front of Bobkov. During the commotion, Angelidis poked the puck out of Bobkov’s reach sending the game into overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the game went into a shootout. Bobkov stood tall in net as he shut down all five of Syracuse’s shooters. Desjardins stopped four; however; Desjardins failed against Brittain who scored the lone goal in the shootout sealing a four to three victory for the Admirals.
Syracuse barely outshot the Admirals on net with 41 to 37 shots. Both squads failed to convert on the P.P. Norfolk was scoreless on their lone attempt while Syracuse couldn’t convert on four P.P. chances. Winning goaltender Igor Bobkov collected his eleventh victory of the year while his counterpart Cedric Desjardins suffered his fifteenth loss of the year.