By Ken Peacock
It looked like Norfolk was in for an easy night Friday. At the end of two periods they found themselves with a nice 4-0 lead. In the middle of the third Tokarski and the rest of the Admirals embarrassed themselves and lost 5-4 in front of 4,026 fans. Norfolk (21-11-1-2) gets a chance to redeem themselves tonight as they host Albany (15-13-5-2) in the rematch at Scope.
Norfolk opened the scoring, with a Mark Barberio goal at 9:04 of the first period. Barberio sent a rebound a Matt Fornataro shot under the glove of goaltender Jeff Frazee for his fourth goal of the season. Carter Ashton would get on the board with eight seconds remaining in the first period. Richard Panik, Philip-Michael Devos, and Carter Ashton worked the Albany defense. Panik beat a defender in the left circle and passed to Devos. Devos passed the puck to Ashton in the bottom of the right circle, and Ashton sent a shot on net that beat Frazee to give the Admirals a 2-0 lead.
Trevor Smith opened up the scoring at 7:29 of the second period. Mark Barberio sent a shot in on net that Smith deflected past Frazee for his 16th goal of the year. Evan Oberg would score his first goal as an Admiral at 12:47. Oberg sent a shot through traffic and past the glove of Frazee for a 4-0 Norfolk lead.
The final period was all Devils. Nick Palmieri got things rolling with a shot that got past Admirals netminder Dustin Tokarski at 7:47. Two Minutes later Mike Hoeffel added another goal to cut the lead to 4-2. 53 seconds later, Matt Anderson scored on the rebound to make the score 4-3. The Admirals and Dustin Tokarski were getting their rear ends handed to them, but it looked like they might escape from this disaster. Unfortunately for Admiral fans Erik Gelinas and the Devils had other ideas. With 26 seconds remaining in regulation the Devils tied the game 4-4. Brad Mills won the faceoff back to Eric Gelinas. Gelinas fired the shot over the shoulder of Tokarski to send the game to overtime.
Joe Whitney sealed the Devils comeback with 1:26 remaining in the overtime period. The Devils found themselves on a four-on-three advantage as Trevor Smith was called for a questionable tripping penalty. The Devils put on the pressure at the net and Whitney put the puck under Tokarski to give the Devils a 5-4 victory.
Dustin Tokarski (14-8-0) stopped 34 of 39 shots in for the loss while Jeff Frazee (6-8-2) stopped 28 of 32 shots for the victory. Norfolk was 1 for 2 on the power play while Albany was 1 for 3.
Albany Devils 5 (OT) at Norfolk Admirals 4 – Status: Final OT
Friday, January 6, 2012 – Norfolk Scope
Albany 0 0 4 1 – 5
Norfolk 2 2 0 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Barberio 4 (Fornataro, Angelidis), 9:04. 2, Norfolk, Ashton 15 (Devos, Panik), 19:51. Penalties-Barberio Nor (high-sticking), 4:38.
2nd Period-3, Norfolk, Smith 16 (Barberio, Panik), 7:19 (PP). 4, Norfolk, Oberg 1 (Gudas, Johnson), 12:47. Penalties-Hoeffel Alb (high-sticking), 5:24; Angelidis Nor (goaltender interference), 18:25; Zajac Alb (goaltender interference), 19:10.
3rd Period-5, Albany, Palmieri 3 (Zajac, Hoeffel), 7:47. 6, Albany, Hoeffel 3 (Mills, Burlon), 10:06. 7, Albany, Anderson 6 (Veilleux, Gelinas), 10:59. 8, Albany, Gelinas 6 (Mills), 19:34. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period-9, Albany, Whitney 8 (Harrold, Anderson), 3:31 (PP). Penalties-Smith Nor (tripping), 3:00.
Shots on Goal-Albany 13-13-11-2-39. Norfolk 12-11-8-1-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 1 / 3; Norfolk 1 / 2.
Goalies-Albany, Frazee 6-8-2 (32 shots-28 saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 14-8-0 (39 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Bill Lyons (27), Mark Hamlett (81).