ECHL Game Recap: Norfolk Admirals vs Trois-Rivieres Lions (04/27/2024)

Norfolks' Carson Musser goes through the line after scoring against Worcester.

The Norfolk Admirals continue their pursuit of the 2024 Kelly Cup in their first-round matchup against the Trois-Rivieres Lions. Norfolk, who hold a 3-1 series lead heading into game five, could advance to round two in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with a win over Trois-Rivieres.

Lions Start Strong, Lead 1-0 After 20

Trois-Rivieres wasted no time establishing the upper hand over Norfolk. The Lions had a smooth rhythm all throughout the game and a strong forecheck which overwhelmed Norfolk. Chris Jandric would get the Lions on the board with a breakaway goal that tricked Admirals goaltender Yaniv Perets. The crowd was stunned as Trois-Rivieres broke the deadlock just six minutes into the game.

Despite having a couple of power-play opportunities in the first period, Norfolk would also be called for penalties, opening more ice in the ensuing four-on-four. Norfolk entered the second period down 1-0 and was outshot by Trois-Rivieres 13-8.

Better Second from Norfolk, Lions Squeak 3-2 Lead After 40

Norfolk played an overall better second period, but Trois-Rivieres, even though severely limited, fought back against Norfolk’s change of pace. The Lions quickly extended their lead as Jakov Novak scored short-side, cleanly beating the Norfolk netminder.

With a change of momentum needed, Norfolk would get a power-play opportunity to claw back into the game. After some puck movement, Danny Katic would fire an impressive backhand shot past Trois-Rivieres goaltender to cut the lead in half. Just minutes later, Jonathan Yantsis was given a match penalty for boarding for an egregious hit which is clearly avoidable and wreckless in nature. Yantsis should expect a call from the ECHL disciplinary crew and receive a lengthy suspension. Darick Louis-Jean, the Norfolk player who was hit, was stretchered off the ice but gave a thumbs-up on his way off.

Norfolk didn’t let this hit hinder their play as they would get some quality chances on Trois-Rivieres netminder Zachary Emond, but they were cleanly turned aside. In the dying minutes of the second period, Norfolk found more life as Austen Keating would solve the Lions’ netminder and energize the crowd. Just 22 seconds after Norfolk’s tying goal, Jakov Novak scored his second goal of the game, dashing the hopes of the Admirals and silencing the crowd.

With a more even scope heading into the third period, Norfolk outshot Trois-Rivieres 11-4 in the second frame and were on the hunt yet again to tie the game. Down 3-2, Norfolk needed another strong third period if they wanted to close out the series.

Lions Hang On, Defeat Admirals 4-2 to Force Game Six

Early in the third period, Norfolk received their only power-play opportunity to tie things up. John Parker-Jones would get called for slashing around two minutes into the third period, and Trois-Rivieres would successfully kill off this penalty.

Just minutes after the Trois-Rivieres penalty kill, Nicolas Guay would score the insurance marker for Trois-Rivieres making it 4-2 with 15 minutes left to play. While Norfolk made a decent push throughout the ensuing time, Thomas Caron would get called for interference with just 1:06 left to play. The final dagger was in the hearts of Norfolk and Trois-Rivieres had forced game six in the 2024 Kelly Cup North Division First Round.

Both teams are back in action on Sunday, April 28th, at the Norfolk Scope. Puck drop is set for 7:05 pm EST in the pivotal game six between the Norfolk Admirals (3-2) and the Trois-Rivieres Lions (2-3).

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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