(norfolkadmirals.com) — Despite falling into a two-goal hole, a pair of late tallies by Nic Kerdiles and Rickard Rakell’s overtime redirection led the Norfolk Admirals to a 3-2 win Tuesday night over the Checkers.
It didn’t take long for the scoring to get started, and just 25 seconds into the first period, Charlotte drew first blood. Brock McGinn took a shot on Yann Danis which was initially stopped, but the Norfolk goaltender couldn’t fall on the rebound, and with a wide open left side Justin Shugg hit twine. Ryan Murphy received the secondary assist as Charlotte went up 1-0.
Charlotte doubled up their lead early in the middle frame while killing a high-sticking penalty by Trevor Carrick. Andrew O’Brien was in position at the blue line but tripped, and Brendan Woods took it the distance, sliding a shot five-hole past Danis at 5:36. Norfolk poured on 19 shots in the second period, including multiple chances in the last two minutes, but Checkers goalie John Muse was a wall in net and the Admirals were kept at a 2-0 deficit.
The third period belonged to the Admirals, with Charlotte not registering a single shot until the 16-minute mark. With Danis off for an extra attacker, Kerdiles took a diving shot in close. The puck sailed over Muse and into the net which finally put Norfolk on the board and cut Charlotte’s lead to one. Newly-reassigned Rakell and Chris Wagnerassisted at 17:52.
Just 1:30 later, the trio struck again. A shot from the point sent the puck curling around the net and to Rakell’s stick. Muse kicked aside the attempt, but the rebound off his pads hit Kerdiles’ stick, who buried it to tie the game with 38 seconds remaining. Jesse Blacker appeared to win the game 26 seconds later when he took a slapper from outside the zone, but the play was deemed offsides.
Midway through overtime, Charlotte’s leading scorer, Greg Nemisz, came in all alone against Danis. Nemisz’ shot seemed to be a sure thing, but Danis slid across at the last moment and stonewalled the Checkers forward with the blocker.
A shootout appeared inevitable with only eight seconds remaining in the extra period, but Rakell had no intention to let it get that far. Blacker ripped a shot from the high slot which was deflected by a Charlotte stick, but the puck fortuitously went straight to Rakell’s tape. A perfect redirect later, and the Admirals skated to an incredible comeback win, topping the Checkers 3-2.
Muse stopped 47 of 50 shots, while Danis turned aside 18 of 20.
Charlotte went 0-for-5 on their power play, and Norfolk went 0-for-4.