GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Pete Zingoni and Juraj Simek netted their first goals of the season to help the Admirals erase a two-goal deficit on Sunday afternoon in Grand Rapids. However, Justin Abdelkader netted a hat trick for the Griffins (4-0-1-0), who defeated Norfolk (1-4-0-2) 6-3 at the Van Andel Arena as the Admirals closed out their five-game Western Conference road trip.
The Griffins jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first four minutes of the game. Just fifty seconds after the opening faceoff, Ville Leino centered the puck from behind the net into the slot where Abdelkader one-timed it past Admirals goaltender Karri Ramo. Grand Rapids made it 2-0 when Darren Haydar redirected a Darren Helm shot into the net for a power play goal at 3:14.
Zingoni put Norfolk on the board just under eight minutes later. While behind the goal line in the left corner, Blair Jones sent a pass toward the goalmouth. Zingoni poked the puck past Griffins netminder Daniel Larsson at 10:57 of the first period.
Abdelkader restored Grand Rapids’ two-goal lead with a man advantage marker at 16:39 of the opening period.
The Admirals stormed out of the gates early in the second period to knot the score at 3-3. Simek was the benefactor of a turnover, as he got the puck in the left circle and snapped a quick shot past Larsson just 45 seconds into the second stanza.
Just over a minute later, Brandon Segal knotted the score at 3-3 on the power play. Paul Szczechura took the puck from right circle and faked a shot before circling behind net and centering puck to the slot. Segal collected the pass and sent a shot past Larsson stick-side along the ice for his fourth goal of the season at 2:02.
However, Grand Rapids reclaimed the lead at 4-3 at 18:15 of the second period, as Ryan Oulahen scored on a quick wrist shot from the left circle.
Francis Pare deked past an Admirals defender and beat Ramo stick-side for a 5-3 Griffins lead at 15:54 of the final frame. Abdelkader finished the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 13 seconds remaining.
Karri Ramo (32 shots, 27 saves) was saddled with the loss. Daniel Larsson (30 shots, 27 saves) picked up the victory.
Norfolk was 1-3 on the power play. Grand Rapids was 2-6.
The Admirals now return to Scope for a five-game home stand over the next two weeks. Next week, they take on the Philadelphia Phantoms on Wednesday and the Portland Pirates on Friday and Saturday at Scope.
Wednesday’s game will mark the first Student Rush Night and Family Fun Pack Night of the season. Students in high school and college may purchase $8 white level tickets on each Wednesday and Thursday night home game this season by presenting their school IDs at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
Also on each Wednesday and Thursday night home game this season, the Admirals will have Family Fun Pack Nights. With Family Fun Packs, you receive four red level tickets, four hot dogs, four popcorns and four sodas for only $48 – that’s a saving of $37! Family Fun Packs are available only at the Scope Box Office. For more details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 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!
You may listen to all Admirals games live on ESPN Radio 1310 and sportsjuice.com. You may also view the contests on a pay-per-view basis through AHL Live. For more information, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
1. Justin Abdelkader – GRA
2. Ville Leino – GRA
3. Darren Haydar – GRA
Notes … In addition to being their first goals of the season, Zingoni and Simek's tallies were the first for both as an Admiral ... Brandon Segal has points in six of seven games this season and is tied with Paul Szczechura for the team lead in scoring with eight points (4G, 4A) … The Admirals have been out-shot in six of seven games this season so far … Goaltender Karri Ramo has faced the most shots (220) in the AHL this season … Norfolk has surrendered the first goal in six of their seven games this season so far … Healthy scratches: F Brent Henley, D Daryl Boyle … D Vladimir Mihalik missed the game with an injury and is day-to-day ... Attendance: 3,270.