NORFOLK – The Eastern Conference-leading Springfield Falcons (10-2-0-2) defeated the Norfolk Admirals (7-7-0-0), 5-2, on Saturday night to claim both games of the weekend set at Norfolk Scope Arena. Next up for the Admirals is a contest against the Charlotte Checkers at Scope on Wednesday night.
Norfolk, which out-shot Springfield 35-30 (including 26-15 in the final two periods), received goals from Chris Wagner and Peter Holland in the setback. Admirals goaltender Igor Bobkov (3-4-0) stopped 25 of 29 shots, but was out-dueled by Falcons netminder Paul Dainton (1-0-1), who turned aside 33 of 35 Norfolk shots. The Falcons received four goals from defensemen in the contest.
Springfield took a 1-0 lead 4:51 into the match on a goal by forward Dalton Smith. Smith emerged from the left circle and cut across the slot. He then sent a backhand shot over Bobkov’s glove.
Norfolk tied the game at 1-1 just 47 seconds later on Wagner’s second goal of the season. After winning the faceoff, Wagner sent the puck back to the left point where Mat Clark sent a shot on net. Wagner found the rebound and stashed it past the right leg Dainton for a four-on-four goal at 5:38.
Springfield reclaimed the lead on a power play goal with 21 seconds remaining in the first period. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault sent a pass from the left circle across the slot to defenseman John Moore, who sent a shot that deflected off the stick of an Admirals defenseman in the slot and went into the net.
The visitors extended their lead to two goals 5:29 in the second stanza on an odd-man rush. Tomas Kubalik sent a pass to Audy-Marchessault in slot. Audy-Marchessault then dropped the puck back in the slot, where Tim Erixon picked it up with speed. He skated between the hashmarks before sending a shot into the net between Bobkov’s blocker and right legs to give the Falcons a 3-1 lead.
Holland’s team-leading seventh goal of the season just over three minutes later cut Springfield’s lead to 3-2. Holland accepted a pass from Kyle Palmieri in the left circle and had a quick breakaway on Dainton. He sent a wrist shot over Dainton’s glove at 8:49.
Norfolk successfully killed a two-minute five-on-three power play late in the second period and gained the momentum heading into the final frame. However, Nick Holden extended Springfield's lead to 4-2 at 14:08 of the final frame, and David Savard scored an empty-net, shorthanded goal at 16:59 to cement the 5-2 decision for the visitors.
Norfolk was 0-for-5 on the power play and killed eight of nine Springfield power plays.
The Admirals and Charlotte Checkers square off in the first game of the GEICO Challenge Cup on Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. at Scope. The game is also the first Admirals Value Night of the season, with Family Fun Packs and Student Rush Night tickets available.
Family Fun Packs include four discounted Red Level Tickets plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $54 – that’s a savings of $37!
Student Rush Nights provide $9 White Level Tickets (normally $17 on game nights) for students with a valid current high school or college ID. In addition, when you buy a Student Rush Night Ticket, you get a buy-one, get-one free offer for the next Student Rush Night.
Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. 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. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault – SPR
2. Paul Dainton – SPR
3. Peter Holland – SPR