WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Norfolk Admirals (10-12-1-0) closed out their season-long eight game road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (10-6-1-1) on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza. The Admirals will return to Scope to battle their East Division rivals, the Albany River Rats, on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead 11:22 into the first period. Tim Wallace took a shot from near the top of the right circle that deflected off the stick of an Admirals defenseman and trickled through the leg pads of Norfolk netminder Riku Helenius.
Wallace then doubled the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead at 13:09. This time Wallace entered the attacking zone down the left wing and sent a shot through the legs of an Admirals defenseman and past a screened Helenius.
The Admirals closed their gap to one goal with a power play tally late in the opening frame. Radek Smolenak attempted to cut across the slot from the left circle but the puck bounced off his stick. However, Juraj Simek picked up the loose puck from the right edge of the slot and chipped a shot over the right shoulder of Penguins goaltender John Curry for his fourth goal of the season at 19:44.
After a scoreless second stanza, former Admiral Wyatt Smith restored the Penguins’ two-goal lead just 33 seconds into the final frame. Smith found a rebound at the top of the crease and backhanded it through the legs of Helenius to close out scoring in the 3-1 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton victory.
Riku Helenius (31 shots, 28 saves) shouldered the loss. John Curry (21 shots, 20 saves) got the win.
Norfolk was 1-2 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-3.
The Admirals return to Scope on Friday and Saturday to square off against the Albany River Rats. The puck drops both nights at 7:15 p.m. The first 2,500 fans through the gates on Friday will receive a free Admirals mousepad courtesy of Your Community PhoneBook. For details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
1. Tim Wallace – WBS
2. Wyatt Smith – WBS
3. Luca Caputi – WBS
NOTES … Norfolk went 2-5-1-0 on its eight-game road trip … Blair Jones led Norfolk in scoring on the road trip with seven points (2G, 5A) and was tied for the team lead with two goals along with five other players … The Norfolk penalty kill was a perfect 23/23 during the road trip … Twenty-two of Norfolk’s 23 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals … The Admirals have been limited no more than two goals per game in each of their last seven games … Blair Jones has points in eight of his last 11 games (4G, 9A) … Forward Mark Parrish returned to the lineup tonight after missing six games with an upper-body injury … Scratches: C Mitch Fadden, C Dana Tyrell ... Attendance: 6,082.