NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals fired 48 shots on Grand Rapids goaltender Jimmy Howard but were only able to get one shot past him as they fell to the Griffins 2-1 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Admirals (29-36-3-5) struck first with a Juraj Simek goal 10:28 into the first period. Pete Zingoni stopped a Grand Rapids clearing attempt along the left wing and backhanded a pass to the bottom of the right circle. Simek collected the puck and lifted a shot over the left leg of Howard and into the net for his eighth goal of the season.
The Griffins (42-19-6-6) knotted the score at 1-1 less than 30 seconds later. Garrett Stafford sent a shot from the left point that was deflected in the low slot by Mike Walsh and past Norfolk netminder Riku Helenius at 10:54.
The Griffins took the lead for good 5:01 into the second period. Justin Abdelkader emerged with the puck from a scrum near the left half wall and cut across the circle before centering a pass through a defender’s legs to Cory Emmerton. Emmerton sent a shot from the edge of the right circle that got past Helenius along the ice.
Despite sending 26 combined shots on Howard during the second and third periods, the Admirals were unable to score the equalizer as they fell 2-1.
Riku Helenius (34 shots, 32 saves) was saddled with the loss. Jimmy Howard (48 shots, 47 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-4 on the power play. Grand Rapids was 0-3.
The Admirals next take to the ice on Wednesday night for their final matchup of the season against the Hershey Bears. The puck drops at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday’s game will be Student Rush Night and Family Fun Pack Night. With Student Rush Nights, students in high school and college may purchase $8 white level tickets by presenting their school IDs at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game. With Family Fun Packs, you receive four red level tickets, four hot dogs, four popcorns and four sodas for only $48 – that’s a saving of $37! Family Fun Packs are available now at the Scope Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com. For more details on these discounted ticket offers, please visit norfolkadmirals.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. Jimmy Howard – GR
2. Cory Emmerton – GR
3. Juraj Simek – NOR
Notes … With 5:34 remaining in the first period, referee Chris Cozzan was injured by an accidental skate cut. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital for treatment. Further updates on his status may be found at theahl.com … Juraj Simek has points in four of his last seven games (3G, 2A) and goals in three of his last six games (3G) … Pete Zingoni has points in five of his last eight games (2G, 3A) … Brent Henley has five points (0G, 5A) in 13 games during the month of March. He entered the month with one point (0G, 1A) in 31 games … Justin Keller’s three-game point streak (1G, 2A) 13-game home point streak (10G, 7A) ended … Scratches: D Ty Wishart, F Bracken Kearns, F Jason Ward, F Grant Potulny and D Scott Jackson … F Steve Downie missed the game due to suspension … Attendance: 5,337.