The Norfolk Admirals continued their four home stand against the Albany Devils Friday night at Scope Arena in downtown Norfolk. Norfolk enters Friday’s contest second in the East Division with five points trailing East Division leader Wilkes-Barre Scranton by a single point. Prior to Friday’s contest, the Anaheim Ducks summoned goaltender Frederik Andersen in lieu of Viktor Fasth who is out with an injury.
Before the game Admirals enforcer Zack Stortini talked about the game plan for this weekend chatting, “We’re very well prepared. Our coaching staff prepares us extremely well on the ice and mentally going through game tape and systems.”
Norfolk elected to start John Gibson in goal while the opposition gave the go-ahead to Keith Kinkaid. Before Friday’s night start Gibson was 0-1 with a goals against average of 2.89 while Kinkaid bolstered a 3.03 goals against average.
Norfolk took an early lead on the power play as Steven Whitney redirected a Kevin Gagne point shot at the 7:19 mark of the first. Whitney’s goal was his second of the 2013-2014 campaign. Minutes later the Devils found the equalizer while on the power play as Eric Gelinas propelled a slap shot past Gibson knotting the game at one. Albany led the way in the shot department outshooting Norfolk 12-4.
Both Gibson and Kinkaid stood tall in net during the middle frame as both teams failed to score. Norfolk was outshot 10 to 3 during the second period of play.
Like a carbon copy of the second, Gibson and Kinkaid both were stellar in goal for their clubs in the third. So the tilt went to overtime. The stalemate was still in effect as the horn sounded to end O.T., which of course means a shootout.
The Admirals locked up the second point in the shootout with goals by Cramarossa and Smith-Pelly. Gibson stonewalled all five of Albany’s shooters. Norfolk was one for two on the power play while Albany cashed in once on six chances. Gibson picked up his first professional win while Kinkaid was handled the loss.
Following the shootout win Norfolk’s head coach Trent Yawney commented on the style of Friday’s game saying, “Anytime we tried to get anything going by breaking out of our zone, we only reached the redline and we turned it over. We have to sharpen up with our puck skills especially our passing. When you catch them in-between you have to able to make a couple of passes and at least get into the zone and get an offensive chance.”
Devante Smith-Pelly talked about his shootout goal, “I just go down and I have my mind made up. I don’t really think too much. I’m just trying to shoot it.”
The Admirals look to build on their shootout win this Saturday as the same two teams clash in downtown Norfolk at 7:15.
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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