Norfolk took to the road for another three-in-three trip in the Northeast. Results were a little better for these comeback kids. Let’s get into it.
Sometimes, friends come to town and you have to hang out. I missed most of this game thanks to other business. I can’t give a lot of info on this but what we do have in stats only is pretty great. John Gibson, fresh off his AHL Goaltender of the Month award, pitched a shutout against the ADevs. Norfolk got most of their scoring done in the first period. YONK fired a shot from the point that Jamie MacQueen tipped in for his first Admirals goal. Luca Sbisa, who was in the lineup for a conditioning stint, notched an assist on the goal. The Ads got another goal from Max Sauve, putting them up 2-0. Steve Whitney would get another goal, and that’s all the Ads would need to win the game. A solid effort with 2 points, and Gibson got a first star.
Highlights of Gibson’s shutout
Saturday saw a weird, wacky game that saw the Ads use two goaltenders. Nothing really happened in the first period, with John Gibson looking good as always. Then the second period happened. Within the span of about 30 seconds, John Gibson gave up 2 goals to the Sound Tigers. Trent Yawney had seen enough and replaced him with Igor Bobkov. Most Ads fans were on pins and needles, given Bobkov’s career. Then, the Ads got back on the board with goals from Max Sauve and Chris Wagner. Then the third period happened.
Bridgeport’s Joey Diamond got hit, some Sound Tigers took exception with it, and somehow a lineman went down. Dave Steckel took advantage of this, as no whistle was called, and fired a shot home for a goal to put the Ads up 3-2. Ah, it was for naught. Mike Halmo would find the net for Bridgeport with about 5 minutes to go. The game went to overtime. Despite starting with a power play advantage, the Ads could not capitalize and went to the shootout.
Yawney picked some weird shooters. His first shooter? Alex Grant, a defenseman known for his power shots, not his deftness. He missed. His next shooter? Defensive specialist Steckel, who also missed. The Sound Tigers would get two shootout goals, and take the decision. This made it a 3/4 in terms for points on the weekend.
Highlights of the Bridgeport game
With 3 points in the books, the Ads would look to make it a nice five out of six against a not-that-great Bears team. Unfortunately, rivals are rivals and weird stuff happens. John Gibson got the nod in goal again, making it the third game he participated in in three days. Rickard Rakell was recalled and replaced by Peter Holland in a lateral swap. Sbisa would be recalled as well, with Brent Skinner taking his place. The move paid off, sort of, as Holland scored around five minutes in to bring the Ads to a 1-0 lead in the first. Later in the period, Alex Grant would fire away for his fifth goal of the year and put the Ads up 2-0. Well, that wouldn’t last long.
Norfolk made a constant march to the box, giving the Bears a real chance to score. Eventually, this would catch up to them. Cameron Schilling would fire a shot from the point that would get tipped in by Ryan Stoa, then Dimitry Orlov found the net, and finally Dane Byers would get a goal to put Hershey up 3-2. At this point, you would not be blamed if you thought Norfolk would lose this one.
A whole lot of nothing transpired between the second and end of the third period. Down 3-2, the Admirals pulled John Gibson. It worked! Kevin Gagne found the net for his first goal of the season and sent the game to OT. It’s nice to see a team that can come back from weird situations two nights in a row and get some points.
Nothing happened in overtime, of course. The shootout was mostly disappointing save for Chris Wagner, who was the only scorer. It was enough to give the Admirals a win and secure 4 points. Once again, Gibson got the 1st star. For the weekend, he put up .943 save percentage.
Has Wagner’s shootout goal, doesn’t have Grant’s?
The Ads are now tied for first in the East division. Up next: the rival Syracuse Crunch come to town.