PORTLAND, Maine – Johan Harju drew the Norfolk Admirals (24-12-7-2) to within a goal of tying the game in the third period. But Jhonas Enroth stopped the Admirals’ other 27 shots, as the Portland Pirates (28-13-4-1) took the game over Norfolk, 2-1, on Tuesday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The Admirals will conclude a four-game road trip tomorrow night against the Manchester Monarchs at 7:00 p.m.
The Admirals mounted a third period comeback, out-shooting the Pirates 13-5 in the frame but coming up one goal short of sending the game to overtime. Mike Smith stopped 19 of 21 shots in the game for Norfolk.
Portland took a 1-0 lead 16:28 into the first period while the teams skated four-on-four. T.J. Brennan sent a feed from the right point across the slot to Derek Whitmore in the left circle. Whitmore redirected the puck past the right leg of Smith to open scoring.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead midway through the second period off a turnover. After the Admirals won a faceoff, Mark Mancari intercepted a pass from a Norfolk defender in the high slot and broke in alone on Smith. He deked a backhand shot before sending a forehand shot past the left leg of Smith at 12:53 for his league-leading 27th goal of the season.
Norfolk’s comeback attempt began in the third period as Harju brought Norfolk within a goal of Portland 12:24 into the period. Marc-Antoine Pouliot sent a feed from the bottom of the right circle to Harju in the low slot. Harju redirected the puck past the left leg of Enroth for his team-leading 16th goal of the season. The goal cut Portland’s lead to 2-1.
The Admirals kept the pressure on Enroth in search of the game-tying goal, pulling Smith in favor of the extra attacker with 1:38 remaining in regulation and hitting the post with a Marc-Andre Bergeron shot soon thereafter. But Norfolk was unable to find the equalizer as they fell 2-1.
Mike Smith (21 shots, 19 saves) took the loss. Jhonas Enroth (28 shots, 27 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-3 on the power play. Portland was 0-4.
The Admirals will conclude a four-game road trip tomorrow night against the Manchester Monarchs at 7:00 p.m. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021FMTheGame.com and ahllive.com.
The Admirals return to Scope on Friday and Saturday to face off against the Springfield Falcons. The first 750 children aged 14 and younger through the gates on January 28 will receive an Admirals Zamboni bank courtesy of JPM Financial Services, John's Tax Service, WAVY-TV 10 & Fox43. Also on January 28, students, teachers and staff of Norfolk Public Schools can get tickets for just $5 when purchased in advance through the Admirals website at norfolkadmirals.com.
Saturday marks the return of Guns and Hoses Night to benefit Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. You get two games for the price of one, as "The Finest" battle "The Bravest" in the Norfolk Police Department vs. the Norfolk Fire Department game at 4:30 p.m. Then, your Norfolk Admirals battle the Springfield Falcons at 7:15 p.m. For a limited time, Red Level Tickets for the event are available for only $12 - you save $2 per ticket and get in to "The Finest" vs. "The Bravest" for free! Best of all, a portion of your purchase goes back to CHKD. Tickets are available at norfolkadmirals.com.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Take advantage of great savings on Admirals tickets with our 10-Packs and group tickets. 10-Packs are available for as little as $110 and allow you to pick the games you want. Group tickets start at $10 for groups of 25 or more people. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Jhonas Enroth – POR
2. T.J. Brennan – POR
3. Mark Mancari – POR
NOTES … The Admirals lost back-to-back games in regulation for just the second time this season … Defenseman Mathieu Roy returned to the lineup after missing 20 games due to a hand injury sustained on December 4 at Portland … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Mark Barberio, Blair Jones, Levi Nelson, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins and Jaroslav Janus.