Bridgeport drew first blood in the tilt as Nino Niederreiter collected his 13th goal of the campaign beating Bobkov down low in the slot to pull Bridgeport ahead at the 16:09 mark during the 1st period. As the buzzer sounded to end the opening frame, Norfolk led the way in shots on net totaling 21 as Bridgeport managed only 14.
Sound Tigers John Persson lit the lamp on an odd man rush that doubled the Sound Tigers lead early in the 2nd period. Yawney and company answered with less than a minute left in the middle stanza. John Kurtz broke away from the play and zipped a wrist shot past Sound Tiger goalie Kevin Poulin on his blocker side to cut the Admirals deficit within a goal. Good fight and good goal for Kurtz who scraped with Nathan McIver earlier in the 2nd. As the middle stanza came to a close, Norfolk managed 13 shots on goal while Bridgeport fired 11 times.
Devante Smith-Pelly tied the game at the 9:01 mark of the 3rd period one-timing a Patrick Maroon shot that was out of Poulin’s grasp. The two teams were dead locked at 2 apiece when the horn blew to end regulation. The two teams headed to overtime.
Overtime came and went without a goal being scored so a shootout commenced. Norfolk’s Emerson Etem lit the lamp on the Admirals 3rd opportunity. The 5th shooter for Bridgeport Jon Landry hit pay dirt beating Bobkov to keep the shootout alive. Devante Smith-Pelly skated in on goal and sailed the puck past Poulin’s blocker which sealed the Admirals shootout win.
Devante Smith-Pelly commented on his winning shootout goal saying, “I wasn’t expecting to shoot, but I was watching to see if he was biting on any moves.” When asked about moves Smith-Pelly commented, “No move…not my style, I just go down and rip it.” Smith-Pelly shared that he was 0 for 10 having never scored in a shootout until last night. Devante also mentioned a never quit attitude in assisting the team to victory.
Norfolk head coach Trent Yawney shared his thoughts on the win saying, “They should be proud of their effort.” He also was quick to mention that he should have put 34 (Smith-Pelly) out there earlier in the shootout. When asked if there were any improvements that needed to made Yawney simple said, “The power play.” Norfolk was 0 for 3 on the power play tonight.
The Admirals will make a quick dash up to Hershey this Wednesday night before returning home to host the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, the Albany Devils, the 21st and 22nd of December.
Follow Ted on Twitter @bauerhockeydude
Ted grew up in Virginia. Warren has a passion for the AHL and dishes out articles about the Norfolk Admirals and the AHL. Follow him on Twitter @bauerhockeydude