Admirals Edge Penguins 2-1 to Open Divisional Road Set
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, PA – John Gibson stopped 25 of 26 shots to help lead the Norfolk Admirals to a 2-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza Friday night.
Newcomer Steve Eminger was called for a four-minute double minor for high-sticking, which put the Penguins in a position to jump out on top. However, it was the Admirals that took advantage instead.
After a faceoff win by the Penguins in the offensive zone, Norfolk’s Max Sauve poked the puck away from a player at the point, and took off on a shorthanded breakaway the other direction. Sauve glided to the left side of the slot and ripped a wrist shot past netminder Eric Hartzell to give the Admirals the 1-0 lead at 6:24 of the first period.
Norfolk eventually killed off the Eminger double-minor and was able to add to its lead. Devante Smith-Pelly broke into the zone on the right wing, and steered a pass to the bottom of the slot to Charlie Sarault. Sarault immediately directed the puck off the body of Hartzell and into the net for the goal. Sarault’s sixth goal of the season lifted Norfolk to a 2-0 lead after one period of play.
The Penguins got on the board at 3:52 of the second period, just moments after Norfolk goaltender John Gibson lost his stick following a save. Wilkes-Barre moved the puck up high to Reid McNeil who blasted a shot from the blue line that was slowed by Gibson who was still without a stick. The puck found a hole between Gibson’s pads and wobbled into the net for the goal. McNeil’s first AHL goal pulled the Penguins within one after 40 minutes played.
In the third, the Penguins were relentless in their quest to find the tying goal. However, Gibson was able to turn aside all ten shots faced in the final period to preserve the tight 2-1 victory.
Gibson earns the win making 25 saves, while Hartzell takes the loss despite a good effort allowing two goals on 18 shots.
The Admirals continue their three-game divisional road trip on Saturday afternoon at Syracuse. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m. Fans can catch the game on 1490 AM The Game and1650 AM, or online at http://1490amthegame.com/home/listen-live/
Next Home Game & Promotions: The Admirals will return home to Scope for a pair of games next Friday (Feb. 7) and Saturday (Feb. 8) against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Friday's game is Military Appreciation Night presented by USAA. All military personnel can purchase tickets for just $11 when they present their valid military I.D. to the Scope Box Office. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Game tickets are now on sale, and are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
For 10-packs, or discounted group tickets stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com
GAME NOTES: With the win, Norfolk has now won 12 consecutive games over the Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza dating back to the 2011-12 season. In addition, Norfolk improves to 4-0-0-1 against the Penguins this season…Devante Smith-Pelly played in his 100th AHL game on Friday…Max Sauve’s shorthanded tally was the seventh shorthanded marker scored by the Admirals this season.
1. John Gibson (NOR)
2. Max Sauve (NOR)
3. Reid McNeil (WBS)