NORFOLK, Va. – Emerson Etem netted his seventeenth goal of the season, but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (34-22-3-5) denied all five power play opportunities for the Norfolk Admirals (34-23-2-7) – including two late in the third period – as they edged the Admirals, 2-1, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The same teams meet tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m. with a post-game skate to follow.
Norfolk netminder John Gibson (20-16-4) stopped 19 of 21 shots in defeat.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's penalty kill first came up large midway through the first period, as the Admirals were unable to take advantage of a five-on-three man advantage that lasted 1:31.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead 14:05 into the first period. Dominik Uher carried the puck into the Norfolk zone along the left wing. As he approached the faceoff dot, he centered the puck into the slot to Josh Archibald. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward sent a shot past the outstretched blocker of Gibson and into the net.
The visitors doubled their lead just 43 seconds into the middle frame after a fortuitous bounce. An Admirals defenseman attempted to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. However, the puck struck a linesman in the neutral zone near the Penguins' bench, and was intercepted by Andrew Ebbett, who carried it back into the Norfolk zone along the left wing. Ebbett centered the puck into the low slot, where Chuck Kobasew redirected it past the glove of Gibson for a 2-0 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead.
The Admirals cut their deficit to one goal midway through the second stanza with a neutral zone turnover that went in their favor. Dave Steckel picked off a Penguins pass and moved it up to Etem, who entered the attacking zone through the left circle. Etem cut across the circle towards the goalmouth on his forehand before sweeping the puck into the net on his backhand past the outstretched glove and left leg of Mannino. Etem's seventeenth goal of the season at 12:34 made the score 2-1 in favor of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Norfolk's power play had two opportunities to tie the game past the midway mark of the final frame. However, the Penguins kept the Admirals' power play at bay and held on for the 2-1 decision.
Mannino (21-15-3) stopped 19 of 21 shots for the win.
Norfolk was 0-for-5 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-3.
The Admirals and Penguins square off again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m. Following the game, fans can skate with their favorite Admirals in another post-game skate. A limited number of skates will be available free of charge while supplies last.
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.
NOTES: Matt Bailey made his professional debut tonight for the Admirals. Bailey signed with the Admirals' NHL parent club, the Anaheim Ducks, on Wednesday following the conclusion of his collegiate career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage … Did not play: Mat Clark, Max Sauve, Stefan Noesen, Radoslav Illo, Joseph Cramarossa, Tiegan Zahn, Josh Manson.