In this week’s AHL Simulation of the Week, the Norfolk Admirals welcome the Eastern Conference leading Syracuse Crunch to town. For the Admirals, who sit four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, every game is a must-win. As for the Crunch, even though they hold onto the top seed in the conference, only two points separates first from fourth place. While a loss won't hurt their playoff chances, losing home-ice advantage is something worth avoiding. Gametime between the Syracuse Crunch and the Norfolk Admirals is 7:30 ET.
The Admirals came to play tonight, scoring early and absolutely decimating the visiting Crunch by the score of 4-1. The goal scoring started within the first minute of the game when Brayden Irwin shot one past the ill-prepared Riku Helenius. Adding insult to injury, defenseman Sami Vatanen would score a mere 7 seconds later after Irwin won the centre-ice faceoff. Helenius’ night got even worse a few minutes later as Mat Clark blasted one from the point, giving the Admirals a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The scoring wouldn’t end there. In the closing minutes of the first, Alex Hutchings of the Crunch would reduce the deficit, thanks in part to some fine passing from teammates J.T. Wyman and J.T. Brown. While there would be no additions to the score-sheet in the second, Devante Smith-Pelly would restore the three goal lead with six minutes remaining in the game.
Three Star honors could have gone to a number of different players, as so many great performances were had this evening. Getting credit for the game-winning goal was enough to have Sami Vatanen named as the game’s First Star. Two Assists from Jay Rosehill helped him secure Second Star honors while Brayden Irwin’s performance in the first minute of the game was enough to have him named the Third Star.
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