The Norfolk Admirals topped off their 4 game road trip with a dramatic shootout 5-4 victory against the Albany Devils. Albany rounds out the 5th and final spot in the Northeast Division. Norfolk is hunkered down in 2nd place in the Eastern Division of the Conference trailing 1st place by just 2 points. The Syracuse Crunch currently holds the pole position in the Eastern Division with 16 points.
Admiral’s left wing Luca Caputi kicked off scoring the game’s 1st goal at the 13:27 mark of the 1st when he attempted a cross-ice pass that was interrupted by a Devils’ stick. The puck deflected off the Devils defenseman’s stick and glided past Devils goalie Jeff Frazee for Caputi’s 1st goal of the campaign. Minutes later Chad Wiseman netted his 2nd goal of the season redirecting a Steve Zalewski shot past Norfolk rookie netminder Frederik Andersen.
The Devils demolished the 1-1 stalemate on a Tim Sestito goal at the 8:24 mark of the middle stanza. Sestito snuck the puck past Andersen on his backhand to pull his club to a 2-1 lead. Norfolk outshot Albany 14 to 12 during the middle frame.
Former Anaheim 1st round draft pick Peter Holland netted his 6th goal of the season as he was parked in front of Albany’s goal. Devante Smith-Pelly won a battle for the puck behind the net and sailed the puck to Holland who put it past Frazee to even the tilt up at 2. Minutes later while on a 5-3 power play another Duck 1st round draft pick Kyle Palmieri slammed the puck past Albany’s goalie on a 1 time shot from the point that gave Norfolk a 3-2 lead. Norfolk doubled up on the lead as Palmieri gave the Devils’ fans an encore and widened the lead by 2 on the power play. Albany returned with a goal of their own scored by Matt Anderson whose goal was shorthanded and sank the 2-goal deficit. The Devils knotted the matchup when Adam Larsson beat Admirals goalie. Anderson found the loose puck in in front of Andersen and flipped it in the net to even things at 4-4. The Admirals and Devils were even in the shot department ending the 3rd with 5 shots apiece.
The Baby Ducks and the Baby Devils couldn’t figure things out in the extra frame so a shootout commenced. Shooters for Norfolk included Palmieri, Caputi, Holland, Lasch, and Maroon. The Devils matched the Admirals shootout roster with Anderson, Butler, Whitney, Josefson, and Larsson. Norfolk captured goals from Holland and Maroon while Albany only cashed in on Whitney’s tally. Norfolk’s Patrick Maroon locked up the goal that ended the Admirals 4 game road trip. Kyle Palmieri was named 1st Star of the Game and Luca Caputi earned the 3rd Star. The road weary Admirals are now looking forward to home cooking as they embark on a 3-game home stand starting Friday at 7:30 pm against the Columbus Blue Jackets, AHL affiliate of the Springfield Falcons.
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