ECHL North Division Semi-Final Game 3: Norfolk Admirals vs. Trois-Rivières Lions | 04/20/2024

Wyatt Nash/InsideTheRink

The Norfolk Admirals are heading back home with a 2-1 series lead thanks to stellar efforts from Josh McDougall and Yaniv Perets in a 2-1 win over the Trois-Rivières Lions Saturday night at Colisée Vidéotron Arena. The Admirals played a full 60 minutes tonight and went back to their simple play to avoid turning the puck over a costly number of times.

McDougall was named the number one star of the game after he collected both goals for the Admirals. Perets was named the third star after a much-needed bounce-back win between the pipes, stopping 24-of-25 in the winning effort, which included five grade-A chances that could have easily given the Lions the victory.

The Admirals powerplay, which was ranked 7th in the ECHL during the regular season, went 0-for-5 in the game, while their penalty kill went 1-for-4. Through the first three games, the Admirals are 2-for-13 (15.4%) on the powerplay and 11-for-14 (78.6%) on the penalty kill.

First Period

The first period was physical yet again, but this time, it was the Admirals on the other side of the physicality. At every opportunity they had, they were laying the body. As expected, Admirals goaltender, Perets, found his game stopping all 12 shots he faced in the first frame, including a couple grade-A chances by the Lions. Perets would deny Nolan Yaremko of his first goal of the playoffs on a breakaway with a big blocker save to keep the game scoreless.

Period one ended scoreless, and Trois-Rivières outshot Norfolk 12-5 for the period. Admirals went 0-for-1 on the powerplay and killed off the Lions’ only powerplay opportunity.

Second Period

McDougall would open the scoring in game three at 9:28 of the second period. Gherett Sargis, who was not in the lineup for game two, lifted the stick of a Lions’ defender to take the puck off him in the Lions’ zone. Sargis skated around the net and found an open McDougall in the slot, who would one time it past Lions’ goaltender, Zachary Emond.

At 11:34, the Admirals almost extended their lead to two, but Emond would deny Danny Katic a wide-open goal with the shoulder to keep the score 1-0.

Just a minute after Emond’s big save, McDougall secured his second of the night with a floating shot that had eyes to beat Emond on the glove side at 12:36.

Trois-Rivières finally figured out Perets and capitalized on a power play at 17:21 to bring its deficit to just one, thanks to none other than Yaremko. The Lions would quickly move the puck between Jakov Novak and Miguel Tourigny at the top before moving the puck over to Yaremko at the top of the left-wing circle, who beat Perets to the blocker side.

The Admirals took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Shots for the second frame were 10-7 Admirals and 19-15 overall for the Lions. Norfolk went 0-for-2 on the powerplay and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill in the period.

Third Period

At 4:04, Perets would bail Brady Fleurent out after he turned the puck over at the blue line. Alex-Olivier Voyer would receive a pass in front of the net all alone, but Perets was there to shut down the five-hole attempt to keep the score 2-1.

Perets left a juicy rebound out for Lions’ forward Justin Ducharme at 7:14 after a Chirs Ortiz shot from the blue line. Yaniv would be bailed out after Ducharme shanked a shot to tie the game and missed a wide-open net on the left side of Perets.

Norfolk were close to extending their lead to two again. At 11:31, the Admirals had a great chance on a wide-open net after a loose puck found Austen Keating. However, the Lions did what they have been doing all series long; put their body on the line to prevent a goal. The score stayed 2-1 after the block.

Perets denied yet another grade-A scoring chance at 12:08, but this time, it would be Novak with the opportunity. A streaking Novak got in behind the defensemen of the Admirals and found himself on a breakaway. Novak tried to go to the backhand to beat Perets on the glove side, but Perets was there to take it away.

Lions’ Parker Jones took a costly penalty for Roughing with 2:26 to go in the final frame. Up by one, the Admirals took their time moving the puck on the outside. Trois-Rivières gained possession of the puck and emptied its net with 1:12 to go. With 30 seconds to go, Trois-Rivières took yet another costly penalty as Nicolas Guay was called for Slashing to put the Lions down 5-on-3.

Norfolk would kill the final 30 seconds and hang on to take the game 2-1 and take a 2-1 series lead back to their fans.

Admirals outshot the Lions 11-6 in the final frame and 26-25 for the game. Norfolk went 0-for-2 on the powerplay in the final frame and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.

What’s Next?

The Admirals will travel back to Norfolk, VA, with a 2-1 series lead to play game four in front of their home fans, who are waiting eagerly to welcome playoff hockey back to Norfolk Scope for the first time in 10 years. The game is Wednesday, April 24 with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Zachary Alvarado

Inside The Rink journalist covering the Wheeling Nailers and Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL. I am a Duquesne University Sports Information and Media major graduating in December. I have been passionate about hockey since I was 4 years old.

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