Peter Holland had a hat trick and Brandon McMillan scored twice as the Norfolk Admirals (25-25-3-1) erased a 2-0 deficit to rout the Charlotte Checkers (32-18-2-3), 6-2, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Chris Wagner also scored for Norfolk, while Sami Vatanen, Luca Caputi, Dan Sexton and Devante Smith-Pelly each notched two assists. Frederik Andersen (13-10-1) stopped 21 of 23 shots for his sixth straight win. The Checkers' lead in the GEICO Challenge Cup shrank to 3-2-0-0 with three games remaining.
The Admirals visit the Hershey Bears at Giant Center tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. before returning to Norfolk Scope Arena for games on Wednesday vs. Charlotte and Friday and Saturday vs. Hershey.
Charlotte opened scoring 2:58 into the contest with a four-on-three power play goal. Marc-Andre Gragnani sent a pass from the slot to Chris Terry in the right faceoff circle. Terry one-timed the puck past Andersen's glove to give the Checkers a 1-0 lead.
The visitors' lead doubled to 2-0 less than five minutes later. Michal Jordan prevented a Norfolk clearing attempt from exiting the zone and chipped the puck up the left wing boards. Zac Dalpe collected the pass, cut through the left circle and sent a wrist shot over Andersen's right shoulder at 7:36.
Norfolk responded less than 30 seconds later. McMillan chipped the puck over the blue line to Sexton at the right point and then sped past the Charlotte defense. Sexton returned the puck to McMillan, who deked to his backhand before shooting a forehand shot past Checkers goaltender John Muse at 8:04.
McMillan tied the game at 2-2 early in the second stanza. Sexton forced a turnover in the right circle and fed the puck towards the slot. A Charlotte defender tried to intercept the pass, but McMillan performed a stick check, turned and fired a shot under Muse at 3:17 for his second goal of the game and seventh tally of the season.
Norfolk took the lead less than two minutes later. John Kurtz sent a backhand pass between his legs from behind the net to Jordan Hendry in the left corner. Hendry eluded a Checkers defender and centered the puck into the low slot, where Wagner was able to one-time the puck past Muse. Wagner's fourth goal of the season put the Admirals ahead, 3-2, at 5:08 of the second stanza.
The home team's lead doubled just over two minutes later on Holland's first goal of the game. Devante Smith-Pelly sent a feed from behind the net to Holland in the slot. Muse went down to block a potential low Holland shot, but the former first-round draft pick waited and lifted a shot over the prone goaltender at 7:21 for a 4-2 lead.
The home crowd rose to its feet again midway through the final frame as Holland's second goal of the game led to free wings at Big Woody's for everyone in attendance. Just moments after he exited the penalty box, Holland entered the Charlotte zone on a two-on-one with John Mitchell. Holland sent a wrist shot from the left wing into the net at 8:54 for a 5-2 lead.
Holland completed the hat trick with only nine seconds remaining in regulation. He collected a loose puck in the goalmouth and lifted a backhander into the top of the net for his team-leading 19 th goal of the season.
John Muse (3-1-0) stopped 32 of 38 shots for the loss.
Norfolk was 0-for-4 on the power play. Charlotte was 1-for-8.
Wet weather is expected to move into the area over the weekend, forcing some areas to cancel or change their holiday events.
Four vehicles were involved in a crash on Route 17 in Gloucester Friday morning.
Hampton Police want to prevent crime and have remixed a holiday classic to deter thieves from being Grinches.