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Admirals complete sweep in seasontoopening series
Admirals complete sweep in seasontoopening series

By Jim Hodges
Virginian-Pilot correspondent
© October 14, 2012

NORFOLK

Kyle Palmieri and Peter Holland fired in shootout goals, and goalie Igor Bobkov turned back four Worcester shooters to give the Admirals a 4-3 win and a sweep of their season-opening weekend series.

Only James Sheppard scored for the Sharks in the shootout.

Worcester tied things at 3-3 when Matt Tennyson re-directed Bracken Kearns' shot into the Admirals goal with 3:08 to play in regulation. It punctuated a period in which the Sharks owned a 19-5 shot advantage over an Admirals team trying to protect a one-goal lead.

"We didn't panic, and well, a win's a win," Devante Smith-Pelly said.

The Admirals benefitted from Patrick Maroon spotting up in the face of Worcester goalie Harri Sateri. It's where Maroon is most effective, and it was a prime location for him to tip in Kyle Palmieri's shot for a first-period power-play goal, and to re-direct Smith-Pelly's pass under Sateri in the second.

Smith-Pelly's second on-the-mark pass, only two minutes later, became John Mitchell's goal and a 3-2 lead.

Worcester sent a quick message that it wouldn't repeat Friday's listless start when Kearns hammered the Admirals' Sami Vatanen into the boards only 26 seconds in. Kearns drew a charging penalty along with some punches. Mitchell, and the Admirals, responded with Maroon's power-play tip-in.

It was their first power play goal of the season after going 0 for 3 on opening night. They were 1 for 5 on Saturday and were demonstrably more energetic with a man advantage.

But it was clear that this was a different Sharks team than the one that fell to the Admirals 4-2 in the season opener.

Only 2:12 later, Yanni Goude evened things 1-1 by whacking in a rebound of Frazer McLaren's shot to end a three-shot Worcester flurry that the Admirals couldn't find a way to clear.

It happened again with 24 seconds to play in the opening period when James Sheppard backhanded a rebound of Matt Irwin's shot past Bobkov for a 2-1 lead. Again, the goal ended a three-shot burst for the Sharks, who challenged the Admirals' goal 15 times in the opening period. Worcester had only 21 shots Friday and only two in the first 18 minutes.

Sheppard's goal came only seven seconds after the Admirals had killed Worcester's third power play of the first period.

Maroon nearly ended it before the shootout but came up short on a steal and shot with five seconds left.

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