Lorito’s First Goal Gives Devils 4-3 Win

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ALBANY, NY — In his first professional game, Matt Lorito netted the game-winning goal with 5:21 remaining to give the Albany Devils a 4-3 win against the Norfolk Admirals Saturday. Lorito, who signed an amateur tryout agreement on Mar. 13, ended Albany’s six-game power-play drought to the delight of the Times Union Center crowd on “Devils Fight Cancer Night.”

“It was pretty exciting, first pro game,” Lorito said. “I was definitely a little nervous, but I settled in after my first couple of shifts and I just tried to play my game after that.”

Albany (28-25-5-6) and Norfolk (23-34-5-3) went back and forth for most of the game. Brandon Burlon, who finished with three points, opened the scoring at 2:37 of the first. Norfolk responded right back thanks to Chris Wagner’s power-play goal at 9:42 and Jaycob Megna’s 4-on-4 tally at 17:11.

In the second, the Devils regained the lead. First, Raman Hrabarenka scored on a rush at 10:20 and Chris McKelvie made it a 3-2 game at 13:24. Both players finished with two points.

“I thought we crashed the net much better than we had and created second opportunities,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “I thought some guys had real strong games. And we were maybe a little loose in the first period more than I would have liked, but I thought we corrected it.”

Before the end of the second period, Norfolk’s John Kurtz scored on a breakaway to pull even at 19:33.

Albany, which went 1-4 on the power play, ended their three-game winless streak and their 0-26 power-play run when Lorito found the back of the net.

“I took a shot and I was just trying to get it through,” Lorito said. “It got blocked and went in the air. It seemed no one knew where it was and I tracked it. It was in Raman’s feet. I just pulled it out and I saw Black back door. I tried to pass it to him, I’m not sure if it hit their D’s skate or stick or what. Next thing I saw the puck went over the goalie and went in.”

Netminder Scott Wedgewood posted his 10th win of the season. He made 24 saves, including 13 in the first period. At the other end, Jason LaBarbera made 29 stops.

NOTABLES

Albany owned a 33-27 shot advantage … New Jersey recalled Reid Boucher and Stefan Matteau earlier in the day … Scott Wedgewood improved to 3-1-1 with a 1.51 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage during March … Joe Whitney returned to the lineup after serving his two-game suspension.

NEXT UP

The Devils host the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday at Times Union Center. The first 5,000 patrons to arrive for the game will receive the official 2014-15 Albany Devils Team Poster, courtesy of Recovery Sports Grill. Fans are encouraged to stay afterwards for a postgame autograph session and public skate.

Highlights: Devils 4, Admirals 3

Postgame: Rick Kowalsky

Postgame Matt Lorito

Postgame: Chris McKelvie

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