WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, Penn. – John Gibson made 26 saves as the Norfolk Admirals (15-11-1-4) topped the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (17-9-1-2), 3-1, on Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in their first game back from the holiday break. The Admirals visit the Syracuse Crunch tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. in the second game of a three-game road trip.
Nolan Yonkman scored a goal in his second consecutive game, while Max Friberg and Steven Whitney each scored their team-leading eighth goals of the season. Gibson improved to 10-8-3 on the season with the victory.
Norfolk took a 1-0 lead 14:00 into the first period. Rickard Rackell one-timed a shot from the right point that was blocked by Penguins goaltender Jeff Deslauriers. Friberg found the rebound in the low slot and chipped a shot over the goaltender’s left leg.
Yonkman doubled the lead for the visitors just 1:59 into the second stanza. He sent a slap shot through traffic from the top of the right circle. The shot was tipped by a Penguins defender in the right circle and eluded Deslauriers for Yonkman’s second goal of the season.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton began a comeback bid midway through the second period. Tom Kostopoulos intercepted the puck in the left circle and skated into the slot. He then sent a low wrist shot through traffic and past Gibson at 7:28 to cut Norfolk’s lead to 2-1.
The Penguins out-shot the Admirals, 21-12, through the game’s final two periods. However, Gibson and the Admirals withstood the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton surge. Whitney added an insurance marker at 17:10 of the final frame. He accepted a centering feed from Dave Steckel and sending a shot from between the circles past Deslauriers for the 3-1 final score.
Deslauriers finished the evening with 19 saves. Norfolk was 0-for-2 on the power play while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-3.
The Admirals return home next Friday and Saturday, January 3rd and 4th, against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. On Friday, the first 2,025 fans will receive the second series of the Admirals trading card set!
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. 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: The Admirals have now won 11 consecutive regular season games over the Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza dating back to the 2011-12 season … Max Friberg is on a six-game point streak with five goals and eight points since Dec. 14 vs. Springfield … After going 115 regular season games between AHL goals, Nolan Yonkman now has goals in back-to-back games with the Admirals. His last AHL goal prior to scoring with the Admirals was on Feb. 29, 2012, with San Antonio at Chicago ... Emerson Etem recorded two assists tonight, giving him five goals and 15 points in 10 games with the Admirals this season. He has points in nine of ten games with Norfolk in 2013-14 … Forward Maxime Sauve returned to the lineup after missing nine games …
1. John Gibson – NOR
2. Nolan Yonkman – NOR
3. Tom Kostopoulos – WBS