Admirals Snap Skid with 3-2 OT Victory over Penguins
NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk righted the ship during their first game at Scope Arena since October 18 with a 3-2 win, breaking a four-game losing streak in an overtime thriller on Halloween night.
Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead the AHL in penalty minutes, and tonight's game fell right in line. Big hits started fast and early, one of which culminated in a Penguins player heading to the visitors' locker room for repairs.
The hosts surrendered the first goal, the eighth time in eight games, as Dominik Uher deflected a shot from the right point past Admirals goaltender Jason LaBarbera at 4:56 of the first period. Less than two minutes later, John Kurtz and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Adam Payerl began a spirited bout which grew out of the teams' mounting frustrations.
The Admirals responded to Kurtz at 16:37 of the first. Following up his own shot, Brandon Yip scored his second goal of the year, lifting a rebound over the shoulder of Penguins' goaltender Matt Murray. Shea Theodore, temporarily joining the squad while on a conditioning assignment from Anaheim, and Chris Wagner contributed the assists. Neither team would extend their lead, and the frame concluded with the score knotted at one.
Much of the second period was spent in the Penguins' zone. While no goals were scored, fellow tough guys Steve MacIntyre and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond traded punches, waking up the crowd of 2,652 at Scope Arena. The teams would remain tied going into the third.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton capitalized early in the third period with a goal by winger Tom Kostopoulos at 4:03. LaBarbera made the initial save, but the puck proceeded to trickle through his pads and give the Penguins a 2-1 lead. Refusing to fall behind further, however, Chris Wagner built upon his team lead in goals when he scored his fifth of the year just 34 seconds later at 4:37. Yip captained the play, firing a shot from the right circle, which bounced off Murray's pads to the stick of Wagner. The marker was initially thought to have been kicked in, but officials ruled it a good goal, tying up the game once more.
Sixty minutes was not enough to decide the match, so the two teams stepped on the ice for a sudden-death overtime, the first of Norfolk's season. Barely over a minute into the extra session, Yip scored his second goal and third point of the game at 1:14. Wagner and Andrew O'Brien recorded the assists on a shot from the slot to break the Admirals' losing streak and get back into the win column.
LaBarbera made 14 saves on 16 shots, while Murray stopped 15 of 18.
Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton are back at it tomorrow night for the second of eight matches this season, with puck drop set for 7:15 p.m.
1) NOR Brandon Yip (2 G, 1 A)
2) NOR Chris Wagner (1 G, 2 A)
3) WBS Tom Kostopoulos (1 G)
NOTES ... Wagner is tied-third in the league in goals with five and has seven points in four games ... Yip had a game-high five shots on net and has three goals in the last three games after going scoreless through the first five contests ... Both teams were perfect on their penalty kills ... 19-year-old Theodore registered his first point of the season in his first game with Norfolk this season ... Wagner and Yip led both teams with a +2 rating ... Penguins rookies Jean-Sebastien Dea and Bryan Rust were held off the scoresheet for just the third time in 10 games.
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