Admirals Complete Weekend Sweep of Syracuse with 2-1 Win
NORFOLK, VA -- Norfolk goaltender John Gibson made 28 saves, while Chris Wagner netted a shorthanded to lead the Norfolk Admirals to a 2-1 win over the Syracuse Crunch Friday night at Scope.
The Admirals started fast and got on the board early using an unlikely opportunity on the penalty kill. Captain Garnet Exelby fielded a puck deep in his own end before advancing it high off the glass to Chris Wagner in the neutral zone.
Wagner gloved down the pass and raced into the Syracuse zone before wristing a puck into the top shelf for an early 1-0 lead. The goal at 3:08 was Wagner’s seventh of the year and the eighth shorthanded goal of the season for Norfolk.
Later in the first on the power play, Devante Smith-Pelly crashed the net and shoveled a loose puck along the crease to Emerson Etem. The 21-year old lifted it over the leg of an outstretched leg for the second Norfolk goal at 12:56 of the opening period.
The score stayed put throughout the second and the Admirals took the two-goal advantage to the final frame.
The Crunch finally broke into the scoring column with 8:27 left to play in regulation. On the man-advantage, defenseman Dmitry Korobov held the puck along the blue line high in the slot. Korobov surveyed the Norfolk penalty kill before unwinding a rocket into traffic at the goal front.
Gibson couldn’t spot the puck as it found its way through several bodies, including his, and tallied the first marker for the Crunch. The Syracuse goal ended a shutout sequence of nearly 111 minutes (111:33) by Gibson this weekend. Gibson earned a 17-save shutout win on Friday.
A Steve Eminger penalty made things interesting late in the contest, but the Admirals stood tall on the penalty kill to end the game and secured the 2-1 win over the Crunch.
The win Saturday night closed out Norfolk’s weekend sweep of Syracuse and marked their seventh win in the last ten games. Gibson stopped 28 of 29 shots faced and his counterpart Desjardins turned away 25 pucks. Gibson allowed just one goal in six periods of play this weekend, stopping a total of 45 of 46 shots in the two games.
Gibson picked up his 17th win of the season as the Admirals improved to 27-15-1-7 (62pts). Cedric Desjardins lost his thirteenth of the year in regulation while Syracuse lost their ninth in the last ten games.
Norfolk moves up into fifth in the Eastern Conference with the win and the Crunch now sit in fourteenth out of 15 teams in the conference.
Norfolk's next game is on Tuesday at Charlotte for another GEICO Cup Challenge matchup at 7:00 p.m. The Admirals will return home to take on the Checkers on Wednesday, February 26 beginning at 7:15 p.m. College Students can purchase tickets for just $9 when they present their college I.D. to the Scope Box Office anytime after 2:00 p.m. the day of the game. The game is also a Family Fun Pack night! Fans can purchase 4 red-level tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas, and 4 popcorns for just $56! Family Fun Packs may be purchased at the box office as well.
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.
GAME NOTES: Saturday's game marked the 600th professional game for Zack Stortini.
1. John Gibson (NOR)
2. Chris Wagner (NOR)
3. Cedrick Desjardins (SYR)