Admirals' Comeback Falls One Goal Short vs. Penguins
NORFOLK – Kyle Bonis scored his first professional goal to spark a third period comeback attempt, but the Norfolk Admirals (33-30-4-1) were unable to erase their three-goal deficit as they fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (37-28-2-2), 3-2, on Tuesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
With the loss, the Admirals remain two points back of the Hershey Bears for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race with eight games remaining in the regular season. Hershey holds the first tiebreaker (wins and regulation and overtime).
Devante Smith-Pelly also scored for Norfolk, while goaltender Frederik Andersen (20-15-1) stopped 21 of 24 shots in the setback.
The Admirals will conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule with contests against the Binghamton Senators on Friday and Saturday nights at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took a 1-0 lead 4:02 into the first period. Former Admiral Trevor Smith carried the puck through the slot and approached the goalmouth. As he was about to shoot, Andersen attempted a poke check that popped the puck in the air. The puck appeared to carom off Smith’s skate and into the net. The goal stood after the referees looked at it on video review.
The Penguins' lead grew to 3-0 late in the second stanza with a pair of goals. First, Riley Holzapfel made it 2-0 at 15:09 after taking a feed from Chad Kolarik and sending a shot from the left circle past Andersen's right shoulder. Then, Chris Collins finished a pass from Brian Dumoulin with a shot from the right circle at 18:39 after the Penguins had a four-on-one breakout.
Norfolk began its comeback attempt early in the final frame on Bonis' first goal as a pro. Josh Brittain lofted a long pass into the attacking zone to give Bonis a partial breakaway. As the puck landed in the slot and bounced on the ice, Bonis smacked it past the outstretched glove of Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff at 2:22, cutting the visitors' lead to 3-1.
The Norfolk deficit shrank to one goal on the power play just over 12 minutes later. Hampus Lindholm sent a wrist shot from the left point that Smith-Pelly deflected past Zatkoff at 14:24 for his 12th goal of the season.
However, the Admirals could not find the equalizer and fell, 3-2.
Zatkoff (23-19-0) stopped 17 of 19 shots for the win.
Norfolk was 1-for-4 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-7.
The Admirals will conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule with contests against the Binghamton Senators on Friday and Saturday nights at Norfolk Scope Arena. The puck drops on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday night at 7:15 p.m.
The Admirals have two ticket specials coming up this weekend. Friday’s game is Operation Smile Night and Saturday’s game is March of Dimes-Renaissance Pediatrics Night. Through both promotions, discounted fundraising tickets are available exclusively through norfolkadmirals.com/groups for a limited time only. Red Level tickets are available for just $11 when they are normally available for $19 at the gate. Hurry – these tickets are only available through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday night (for Operation Smile Night) and through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday night (for March of Dimes-Renaissance Pediatrics Night).
The Admirals will conclude the home portion of the regular season on Saturday night by thanking the most important members of the team – the fans – with Fan Appreciation Night. Come out for an exciting night of hockey and you may leave with exciting prizes!
Also on Saturday, the Admirals will hold their final post-game skate of the season where fans can skate at Scope with their favorite Admirals following the game. A limited number of skates will be available or fans may bring their own skates.
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. Riley Holzapfel – WBS
2. Chad Kolarik – WBS
3. Kyle Bonis – NOR