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Admirals Sink Pirates In Shootout

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

NORFOLK, VA - Kris Versteeg had a goal, an assist and a shootout conversion as the Norfolk Admirals (37-12-4-1) came back from a pair of two-goal deficits in defeating the Portland Pirates (23-20-2-6) 4-3 on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope.

Portland jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one period on the strength of two goals by Mark Hartigan. He scored a five-on-three power play goal at 6:47 and then a four-on-four marker at 12:58.

Norfolk fired back midway through the second period. Versteeg sent a pass from the right circle across to Carl Corazzini in the high slot. Corazzini sent a wrister past Pirates netminder Sebastien Caron at 10:32.

Portland briefly re-established a two-goal lead two minutes later, as Aaron Rome tallied at 12:31.

However, the Admirals fought back two minutes later. Brandon Rogers dropped down the right wing from his defensive position and circled behind the net before centering a pass toward the bottom of the left circle. Adam Berti one-timed the puck home at 14:55.

Norfolk knotted the score at 3-3 with 3:24 remaining in regulation. David Bolland sent a pass across the slot from the left circle to Versteeg at the edge of the right circle. Versteeg wasted no time in sending the puck into the back of the net to force overtime.

Admirals goaltender Joel Martin, who was signed to a tryout contract just hours before the game due to illnesses to both Corey Crawford and Mike Brodeur, was strong in net during the third period and overtime session to keep Norfolk's hopes for a two-point night alive.

Martin also would come up big in the shootout, as neither team dented the twine in the extra session. Versteeg and Jonas Nordqvist converted their attempts, and Martin denied all four Portland shooters as the Admirals won the shootout 2-0 and the game 4-3.

Martin (25 shots, 22 saves) picked up his first career AHL win in his Admirals debut and his second career AHL start. Caron (36 shots, 33 saves) was saddled with the shootout loss.

The Admirals were 0-2 on the power play. Portland was 1-5.

Three Stars:
1. Kris Versteeg - NOR
2. Mark Hartigan - POR
3. Carl Corazzini - NOR

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