Daily Press (Sunday)

Admirals struggle to kill penalties again, drop first game of road trip


Yaniv Perets, who has spent most of the season with the Norfolk Admirals, is a rare goaltender to reach the National Hockey League as a rookie pro.

Friday, though, wasn’t one of his better nights. Nor was it a great night for Norfolk’s powerplay unit.

Perets, who led Quinnipiac to last year’s NCAA Division I championsh­ip, yielded three goals on seven shots before being replaced as the Admirals lost to Worcester 6-3 before 2,934 fans at DCU Center in Massachuse­tts. It was the first of three ECHL road games Norfolk is playing in three days.

Anthony Repaci, named the game’s No. 1 star, scored twice for the Railers against Perets, who twice has been promoted by the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and once played most of the third period in relief.

No. 2 star Zach White had a goal and an assist for Worcester. The Admirals’ Danny Katic, the No. 3 star, had a goal and an assist.

Worcester led 2-1 after the first period despite the Admirals’ 10-6 advantage in shots, which included a Mark Liwiski goal.

After Repaci scored his second goal, just 1:20 into the middle period, Norfolk coach Jeff Carr pulled out Perets in favor of Kristian Stead. The Admirals’ offense responded with goals by Chesapeake native Brandon Osmundson — his sixth for Norfolk — at 3:05 and Katic on a power play at 6:41, tying the game at 3.

But soon after, at 8:19, White gave the Railers — a New York Islanders affiliate — the lead for good by beating Stead on a man-advantage set up when Norfolk’s Josh McDougall was called for slashing at 7:12. Then Connor Fedorek was whistled for slashing at 8:43, and Daylan Kuefler capitalize­d just 18 seconds later for the Railers (18-16-3-2) with another man-advantage goal for a 5-3 advantage.

Stead made 11 saves, but that costly span of less than two minutes was all too familiar for the Admirals (19-17-3-1), who gave up five power-play goals in Wednesday’s loss to Newfoundla­nd without a successful penalty kill. Until that night, Norfolk had won four games in a row and had been one of the league’s best teams at killing infraction­s.

Worcester goalie Ken Appleby, who made 33 saves, shut out Norfolk the rest of the way. Trevor Cosgrove scored into an empty net with less than two seconds on the clock.

The teams, among the competitor­s for four playoff berths in the North Conference’s seven-team Eastern Division, had a rematch Saturday night.

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