Admirals take commanding 3-1 series lead in first home playoff game in a decade

Published 12:02 am Thursday, April 25, 2024

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Story by Norfolk Admirals

Photo by Ed Pugh / Suffolk News-Herald

In the first playoff game at Norfolk Scope in a decade, the Norfolk Admirals faced off against the Trois-Rivières Lions in a crucial game 4 contest. A three-goal opening period propelled the Admirals to a triumphant 6-3 victory as Norfolk took a 3-1 series lead.

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Yaniv Perets made his third consecutive appearance in net for the Admirals and showcased a stellar performance. He finished the night with 29 saves off of 32 shots faced in the Admirals’ win.

During the first 20 minutes of the game, the visitors exhibited a superior forecheck, but the highlights of the period were Perets’s outstanding goalkeeping performance and Gehrett Sargis’s and Austin Keating’s efforts, which combined for three goals.

Norfolk took an early lead with a deflection by Sargis off Andrew McLean’s shot, followed by Keating’s first professional goal. Keating and Sargis then scored again with a two-on-one breakaway chance, with Keating assisting Sargis for his second goal of the night and third of the playoffs. Perets was also impressive in the crease, having been outshot 14-8 in the period.

At the beginning of the second period, Thomas Caron scored his first postseason goal in just 22 seconds, giving the home side the momentum. However, the Lions fought back and Cedric Montminy scored his fifth goal of the series, beating Perets glove-side.

The score stayed at 4-1 until the last five minutes of the period when Jakov Novak scored his second goal of the series, making it 4-2. Novak was eventually ejected from the game after a hit on Stepan Timofeyev, leaving the Admirals with a five-minute power play to end the period. However, the score remained the same after 40 minutes.

During the initial minutes of the third period, the atmosphere became tense and eventful. Norfolk had a better forecheck, but the Lions continued to stick around and make things interesting. Jacob Paquette scored his first playoff goal and the Lions came one goal closer. The Admirals, however, remained unfazed.

With less than five minutes left, Simon Kubicek took possession of the puck at the point after receiving a pass from Danny Katic. He then fired a powerful shot into the goal, increasing the lead to 5-3. The Lions tried desperately to make a comeback but were unsuccessful. Darick Louis-Jean sealed the Admirals’ playoff victory on home ice by scoring the final goal in an empty net.

Norfolk leads the series 3-1 through four games.

Sentara Health Three Stars of the Game

1. NOR – G. Sargis (2 goals, +2)

2. NOR – A. Keating (1 goal, 1 assist, +2)

3. NOR – D. Louis-Jean (1 goal, 1 assist)

What’s Next

The Admirals host game five from the Scope on Saturday night. With a win, Norfolk will clinch a second-round berth in the Kelly Cup playoffs. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.