WILKES - BARRE, PA. – The Norfolk Admirals (32-21-1-7) managed to get only 12 pucks to the Penguins’ net and were shut out for the second time all season in Saturday night’s loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (34-20-3-5), 4-0, at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Penguins’ Peter Mannino (5-1-1) stopped 12 shots in a quiet night for his fifth win of the season. Norfolk’s John Gibson (18-14-4) saved 22 of 26 shots in 40 minutes of action.
Former Admiral Harry Zolnierczyk gave the Penguins the lead on a wraparound goal that he pulled across Norfolk goaltender John Gibson and inside the far post. Nick Drazenovic and Tom Kostopoulos assisted on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goal that came at the 11:20 mark of the first.
Another ex-Admiral widened the gap for the Penguins when Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond jabbed a pass from across the crease under the left leg of a stretching Gibson. It was only Letourneau-Leblond’s second goal of the season and it extended the lead to two at 16:08 in the opening period.
Norfolk allowed two goals in the first for the second game in a row and surrendered the first goal in the last three contests.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton continued to roll in the middle frame with two more goals. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin blasted a shot past Gibson on a five-on-three power play at 12:38 after Norfolk captain Garnet Exelby was suspended from the game. Exelby received five minutes for interference, five more for fighting with the Penguins’ Reid McNeill, and a 10-minute game misconduct penalty for interference.
Chuck Kobasew batted a Bobby Farnham pass on the rush that flew by Gibson’s left side for the fourth Penguins’ goal at 16:55 of the second period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton led 4-0 going into the third period.
Norfolk head coach Trent Yawney yanked Gibson and inserted former Penguin Brad Thiessen into the game for the remainder of the game. Thiessen won the AHL’s Outstanding Goaltender Award in 2010-11 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Thiessen didn’t allow any more goals but Norfolk suffered their second shutout of the season and only road shutout thus far in the 4-0 defeat to the Penguins. Norfolk’s 12 shots are tied for the fewest shots in one game in franchise history.
Norfolk was 0-for-3 on the power play while the Penguins converted on only one of their 10 power play opportunities.
The Admirals lose their 21st of the season and are 32-21-1-7. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 34-20-3-5 and maintains their lead in the East Division. Norfolk loses their second in a row on the road for the second time this season. The Admirals fall back into eighth in the Eastern Conference.
Norfolk’s final stop on the three-game divisional road trip is Hershey tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The Admirals return to Scope on Wednesday, March 19, to square off against the Charlotte Checkers in another Admirals Value Night. With Family Fun Packs, receive 4-tickets, 4-hot dogs, 4-sodas, & 4-popcorns for just $54! This makes for a fun night out for the family! Also, Student Rush Night tickets are available for all college students can purchase $9 tickets when they present their College I.D. at the Scope Box Office any time after 2:00 p.m. 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. Harry Zolnierczyk – WBS
2. Bobby Farnham – WBS
3. Peter Mannino – WBS