Admirals punch their ticket to the postseason with win over Atlanta

Published 11:06 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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After a decade-long drought, playoff hockey is coming back to the 757. Complete with an Oskari Salminen empty-net goal in the waning seconds of the game, the Admirals knocked off the Atlanta Gladiators 5-2 Friday.

Two of the Admirals five goals came in the first period, with Brady Fleurent scoring off a Stepan Timofeyev assist at the 13:57 mark. Timofeyev, who is on an eight game scoring streak scored his first of two goals on the night a few minutes later off Dmitry Kuzmin’s and Danny Katic’s sticks. Timofeyev scored his second goal of the night with the help of the second of three assists from Katic and Fleurent with 16:32 left in the second period.

Hampton Roads native Brandon Osmundson joined the party, scoring his eighth goal of the season on a Gladiators empty net with 2:19 left in the game.

With just 24 seconds left, Salminen launched a shot from his crease. As the puck traveled out of the neutral zone, dead on target to the Gladiator’s empty net, the crowd inside Scope Arena let out a thunderous roar as the puck crossed the goal line, sealing the Admirals spot in the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Salminen gave up just two goals on 27 shots in the win. Admirals are 19-4-2 in their last 25 games.

Game two of the Admirals series with the Gladiators returns to Scope Arena on Saturday, with puck drop scheduled for 6:05 p.m.