The Norfolk Admirals split games last weekend against the Albany Devils and will play the Adirondack Phantoms tonight. Tonight’s game is the third in a home series of five games that will carry them into the final three home games of the season next week after a road match against Charlotte this Sunday.
Saturday night marked goaltender Cedrick Desjardins’ return to net following an injury that took place January 16. He made 22 saves that helped the Admirals beat the Devils 4-1. A goal was earned by Matt Fornataro, Tim Marks, James Wright and Stefano Giliati. Fornataro also had an assist and Marc-Antoine Pouliot had two.
The match-up against Albany on Saturday showed an entirely different team battling the Admirals. The Devils picked up their play, became more aggressive, skated faster and poured on the defense. The puck possession was also a little more equal this game, as opposed to the Admirals’ possession prevalence Friday night.
It wasn’t looking good for the Admirals in the first period, as Albany scored three goals and the home team blanked against former Admirals goaltender Mike McKenna, in net for the Devils.
Jaroslav Janus replaced Desjardins in net starting the second period. Paul Szczechura improved the Admirals odds just 2:03 into the period with his seventeenth goal of the season. Szczechura would go on to score a second goal in the third period that tied the score 4-4. Also notching goals were Chris Durno and Mathieu Roy.
Albany went ahead with their fifth goal of the game just 34 seconds later. Admirals defenseman Vladimir Mihalik scored his first goal of season and tied the score at 5-5, which gave the Admirals the overtime game potential.
The game continued into a shootout. Albany’s Steve Zalewski scored in the opening round and Mike McKenna stopped all five Admirals attempts, securing the game win for Albany.
As the Calder Cup Playoffs loom ahead, the Admirals keep up the race. Currently, Norfolk is in fourth place with 84 points. Charlotte took sole possession of third place with a 5-2 win against Adirondack last night.
The complete Eastern Division standings are as follows:
1. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 101 points
2. Hershey, 91 points
3. Charlotte, 86 points
4. Norfolk, 84 points
5. Binghamton, 79 points
6. Albany, 64 points
7. Syracuse, 61 points
8. Adirondack, 58 points
For more information about the Norfolk Admirals, visit their website. For details about the Calder Cup Playoffs, see the AHL website.