NORFOLK, Va. – Blair Jones scored twice, Riku Helenius made 31 saves and the penalty kill stopped all eight chances it faced as the Norfolk Admirals topped the Lowell Devils 4-1 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Blair Jones gave the Admirals (25-30-3-5) the lead 7:16 into the first period. He entered the attacking zone along the left wing and sent a wrist shot between two defenders and past the glove of Lowell goaltender Jeff Frazee.
The Devils (28-25-2-6) tied the game at 1-1 at 17:42 of the opening period. Alexander Vasyunov sent a backhand shot from the bottom of the left circle that went between the legs of Admirals backstop Riku Helenius as he attempted to seal the post with his skates.
The Admirals reclaimed the lead midway through the second frame. Brent Henley sent a shot from the left point that Frazee mishandled. A goalmouth scramble ensued, with Justin Keller poking the rebound under the outstretched left arm of Frazee at 7:27.
Norfolk’s lead doubled at 15:56. Radek Smolenak stole the puck from a Lowell defender behind the goal line and centered to Brock Hooton on the doorstep. Hooton’s shot went off the right leg of Frazee to a waiting Jones, and Jones lifted the puck over the right leg of the goaltender at 15:56 for his fourth goal in two games.
The Admirals killed off four Lowell power plays in the second period and Helenius made 20 saves in the stanza to preserve a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Mike Lundin closed out scoring 2:15 into the third period. Juraj Simek sent a backhand pass from the left circle to the high slot. Lundin one-timed the pass through a screen and past Frazee for his fourth goal of the season.
Riku Helenius (32 shots, 31 saves) earned the win. Jeff Frazee (30 shots, 26 saves) took the loss.
Norfolk was 0-3 on the power play. Lowell was 0-8.
The Admirals and Devils will square off once again tomorrow night at Scope. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m.
Tomorrow night is AAA Member Night. AAA members can receive $3 off Red Level Tickets at the Scope Box Office only. For more details, visit AAA online at AAATidewaterVA.com.
To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $42 per month! Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!
1. Blair Jones – NOR
2. Riku Helenius – NOR
3. Mike Lundin – NOR
Notes … Norfolk’s penalty kill has allowed just four power play goals over its last seven games (34 kills on 38 chances, 89.5%) … Justin Keller has points in his past nine home games (8G, 5A) and goals in his last five home games (6G) … Blair Jones has points in six of his last eight games (5G, 5A) … Zenon Konopka (1G, 6A) has points in five of his last seven games … Mike Lundin has points in five of his last nine games (1G, 5A) … Radek Smolenak has points in seven of his last 12 games (3G, 7A). With a +2 rating tonight, Smolenak has taken over the team lead in plus/minus with a +9 rating … Forward Brock Hooton registered an assist on Jones’ second goal for his first Norfolk point and his first career AHL assist … Scratches: F Bracken Kearns, F Jason Ward, D Scott Jackson and RW Brandon Bochenski … F Steve Downie missed the game due to suspension … Attendance: 4,125.