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 Norfolk Admirals

Admirals Take Game One Against Trois-Rivières In Kelly Cup Playoffs

April 17, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Norfolk Admirals News Release

Trois-Rivières, QC - In their first postseason appearance in a decade, the Norfolk Admirals embarked on a best-of-seven series against the Trois-Rivières Lions in Quebec, playing the first three games on the road in pursuit of the Kelly Cup. The Admirals took a two-goal lead in the second period and did not look back as they held on to defeat the Lions 4-2 in a hard-fought game one victory.

Oskari Salminen received the nod to start in the cage and did not disappoint in his ECHL postseason debut. He finished the night with 33 saves off of 35 shots faced in the Admirals' win.

During the first five minutes of the game, Norfolk played aggressively and had a power play opportunity, along with five shots on goal. However, the Lions' goaltender, Zachary Émond, commendably prevented them from scoring. Thomas Caron had a great chance on goal with his flashy speed down the ice and having a one-on-one opportunity, but unfortunately could not net the goal. Both goaltenders showcased their impressive skills by making grade-A saves on both ends of the ice, making them the highlight of the period.

In the later part of the first, Norfolk was penalized when Austin Keating and Simon Kubicek were sent to the box. However, the Admirals' defense, led by Salminen, put up an excellent effort and successfully killed off both penalties. Salminen's impressive kick save prevented the home team from gaining momentum. At the end of the first twenty minutes of play, the score remained tied at zero. The Admirals outshot the Lions by 11-7.

In the second period, Norfolk got off to a great start and made the most of their second power play opportunity of the night. After three minutes, Brady Fleurent deflected Keating's shot into the back of the net, giving the Admirals a 1-0 lead. Shortly after, Dakota Krebs gained possession of the puck on the side wall and passed it to Gehrett Sargis in the slot for a one-timer snipe, extending Norfolk's lead to 2-0. It took one minute and 43 seconds for the Admirals to score twice to jump ahead.

The Lions had another power play opportunity at the halfway mark of the period, but Salminen and the Admirals managed to defend their zone well. In the latter part of the period, both teams increased their physical play, but Norfolk continued to play their style of hockey and held onto their two-goal lead as they headed into the locker room.

The last 20 minutes of the game were very tense and exciting, especially in the final five minutes. Throughout the game, the Admirals had been leading 2-0, but with five minutes left, Trois-Rivières managed to score a centering pass tap-in from Cedric Montminy, making it 2-1. The game got more intense as it progressed, and there were many penalties given in the third period, but no more goals were scored, so the score remained 2-1.

In the final five minutes, the Lions made a desperate effort to equalize, but Salminen made some big saves to keep his team ahead. The Admirals' defense was also boosted by their numerous blocked shots. With a minute left, the Lions removed their goalie and Fleurent scored his second goal of the night, extending the Norfolk lead to two. However, chaos ensued following the goal, leading to multiple penalties and misconducts.

As Norfolk kept their 3-1 lead, Trois-Rivières managed to score once again, with Montminy scoring his second goal of the night out front of Salminen. The final minute was very tense, but the Admirals displayed their grit and sealed the victory with another empty-net goal from Carson Musser, making the final score 4-2.

Norfolk holds the 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series.

Sentara Health Three Stars of the Game

1. NOR - O. Salminen (33 saves off of 35 shots faced)

2. TR - C. Montminy (2 goals)

3. NOR - B. Fleurent (2 goals)

What's Next

Norfolk returns to the ice at Colisée Vidéotron for game two of their series with the Lions. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.

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