Thiessen Sturdy and Blacker Clutch in Shootout Victory
LEWISTON, Me. – Norfolk goaltender Brad Thiessen shined yet again saving all six shots in the shootout as the Norfolk Admirals (38-25-3-7) edged the Portland Pirates (35-33-4-3), 3-2, in a shootout on Sunday afternoon at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The Admirals’ Brad Thiessen (6-6-2) saved 32 of 34 shots faced as Portland’s Chris Rawlings (1-3-1) stopped 26 of 28 shots in his fifth appearance between the pipes as a Pirate.
Portland seized control to start the game on a tip-in goal by Brett Hextall. Rookie sensation Andy Miele threw a puck in front that Hextall redirected off his stick at the goalmouth to take the lead six minutes and 30 seconds into the first.
Emerson Etem answered on a rebound scoop and score after Andre Petersson’s shot dropped to the ice off Rawlings’ chest as Etem closed in on the Portland net. Etem wasted no time in flipping the equalizer over Rawlings’ right pad to even the score at 1-1 11:34 into the first period.
With less than two minutes remaining in the second, one of the several new faces in a Norfolk jersey gave the Admirals their first lead of the game. Forward Nic Kerdiles swung at a loose puck in the slot that snuck through Rawlings’ legs for Kerdiles’ first goal of his professional career. The Admirals held a 2-1 lead at 18:22 of the middle frame and carried the advantage to the final period.
Norfolk was six seconds away from picking up two big standings points until another Portland rookie, Lucas Lessio, redirected a shot through Thiessen’s defense. The Pirates tied the game, 2-2, at 19:54 sending the game to overtime.
No game-winner in overtime forced a shootout that went six rounds until Admirals’ defenseman Jesse Blacker sealed it for Norfolk. Blacker pulled a wrister through the five-hole of Rawlings after six straight saves by Thiessen that wrapped up a very strong road trip for the goaltender and his team. The Admirals went 4-1-1-0 in the six-game trip topped off by the 3-2 shootout win Sunday afternoon at Portland.
Norfolk was 0-for-5 on the power play and held the Pirates to 0-for-3 on the man advantage.
The Admirals are still tied with the Hershey Bears for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after the Bears' defeated Binghamton in overtime on Sunday. Norfolk returns to the Scope Wednesday night for a two-game series with Hershey that will most likely identify the last member of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime.
1. Brad Thiessen - NOR
2. Chris Rawlings - POR
3. Lucas Lessio - POR