The Norfolk Admirals opened the 2011-12 season at home with Friday and Saturday night games against the Charlotte Checkers. The Admirals scored an overtime win Friday night and followed up with a regulation win on Saturday.
Admiral Carter Ashton opened and closed scoring Friday evening, notching the final overtime shot 1:55 into play and leading the Admirals to their first victory of the season. With over 4,600 in attendance, the night was tense and fans were elated at the 2011-12 season Norfolk Admirals.
Charlotte answered every goal made by the Admirals. Between the last five minutes of the second and early in the third period, Charlotte scored twice. It was looking like the Admirals had fallen and were on the way to a loss. It was Admiral Pierre-Cedric Labrie that brought the Admirals back within one point, giving the crowd hope that all was not lost.
The Admirals tied the game at 5-5 with 3:22 remaining in the third. Trevor Smith sent a pass to Alexandre Picard, who deflected the shot over Charlotte’s goalie Justin Peters.
Dustin Tokarski was in net for the Admirals and stopped 25 of 30 shots. The Admirals made a total of 44 shots to Checkers goalie Justin Peters.
Saturday continued the volley of goals, with the Admirals once again opening scoring with a shot by Carter Ashton. Cory Conacher scored the winning goal, closing the scoring at 4-3.
Both teams alternated goalies Saturday night. The Admirals played Jaroslav Janus, who stopped 26 of 29 shots. The Admirals repeated their 44 shots of the previous night, giving Charlotte’s Mike Murphy a workout.
Of course, given the rivalry that is Charlotte and Norfolk, there were several skirmishes during the latter part of the game. It was interesting watching former Admirals captain, Chris Durno, take on the role as assistant captain for the Checkers.
Former Admiral Mathieu Roy got into a bit of fisticuffs with former teammate Mike Angelidis, but the slap that Roy planted on Angelidis’ rear at the end of the fight let us know that all was good.
There were a few standout players, but the rookies took the night. Tyler Johnson, who reminded me a bit of Blair Jones, was an active player and tallied two goals and an assist over the two games.
Carter Ashton was also a standout, opening scoring for the Admirals both nights and netting a total of two goals and two assists.
From the looks of the team opening weekend, the Admirals are certainly “Armed and Ready” for the 2011-12 season.
It’s always good to see the returning faces and the team has gained some great new talent as well. Together with steady goaltending from Tokarski and Janus and strong coaching, the Norfolk Admirals are ready for battle.
Come out to the Scope and see the Norfolk Admirals take on the Hershey Bears this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about the Norfolk Admirals and upcoming games, visit the website.