Giroux's Hat Trick Leads Hartford Past Norfolk
|Alexander Giroux's third goal of the game late in the third period completed the Wolf Pack's comeback, as the Admirals fell 5-4 to Hartford on Saturday night at Scope.
The Admirals jumped out to an early lead off a Hartford turnover 5:58 into the first period. Eric Meloche got the puck from a Hartford defender at the Wolf Pack blue line and attempted a pass to Mike Brown in the slot. A defender poked the puck away from Brown, but right to a waiting Colin Fraser who buried a wrist shot past goaltender Al Montoya. Norfolk led 1-0 at the end of the first period.
The lead doubled early in the second period. Jason Morgan sent Carl Corazzini on a breakaway with a long pass from the defensive zone to the Hartford blue line. Corazzini sent a sharp wrister that deflected off the bottom of Montoya's glove and into the back of the net at 4:42. Two Wolf Pack goals tied the game at 2-2 late in the period. Alexandre Giroux scored a power play marker at 15:00. Chad Wiseman scored on a breakaway at 16:24. But the Admirals resumed the lead just over a minute later. Mike Brown picked up a rebound in the low slot and sent a shot into the top corner of the net at 17:37. Norfolk led 3-2 after forty minutes.
Giroux's second power play goal of the game at 3:37 tied the game at 4-4. Corazzini responded with his second goal as he beat new Wolf Pack netminder Robert Gherson on the man-advantage at 9:45. However, two late-period goals by Hartford sealed Norfolk's fate. Craig Wellar scored on a backhander at 15:30 to tie the game at 5-5. Giroux's third goal of the game 31 seconds later proved to be the game winner, as Hartford won 5-4.
Corey Crawford stopped 34 of 39 shots and was saddled with the loss. Al Montoya did not receive a decision after stopping 12 of 15 pucks through two periods. Robert Gherson made 7 saves on 8 shots in the final frame and picked up the victory.
Norfolk was 1-4 on the power play while Hartford was 2-6.