Norfolk went to New Hampshire for the first game of their opening round series.
Going into this game, you would expect the Admirals to be the underdog with the #8 seed. Unlike the Anaheim/Dallas series, this was not a paper tiger scenario. Manchester was top five in offense and defense with steady-but-not-spectacular goaltending, mostly from JF Berube. Turns out scoring a lot is good for your team.
The Admirals were out Devante Smith-Pelly, Rickard Rakell, and Emerson Etem for tonight’s game. That line alone was responsible for 134 points for the team. Norfolk would need to find scoring elsewhere, perhaps from late-season acquisition Andre Petersson, skilled newcomer William Karlsson, somewhere. Instead, no pucks found the back of the net.
Norfolk did manage to get some shots on goal– 30 to Manchester’s 26. Still, they could not take advantage of any power play opportunities, even with Sami Vatanen back. John Gibson was fantastic as usual and gave his team the opportunity to win. Unfortunately, they couldn’t score any goals.
The chances that the Admirals go all of tomorrow without a goal are somewhat slim. While they might show up on the scoreboard once or twice, it’s hard to imagine they have the firepower to battle back with the Monarchs. A statement like that is more depressing when you realize Manchester managed 2 goals all game, with the second coming incredibly late. If Norfolk can’t find offense between now and Saturday night, it’s going to be a short series.
Radoslav Illo slotted in the fourth line… Chris Wagner wore the second A as Etem and Smith-Pelly are in Anaheim….