NORFOLK, VA – Steve Downie and Radek Smolenak scored and Karri Ramo made 26 saves as the Norfolk Admirals (10-16-1-4) defeated the Albany River Rats (10-13-3-2) 2-1 on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
After a scoreless opening period, Steve Downie put the home team on top with his first goal as an Admiral at 5:57 of the second period. Justin Keller sent a shot from the left circle that bounced off Albany goaltender Justin Peters. Downie found the rebound at the top of the crease, dragged it to his left and sent a shot into a nearly empty net.
Norfolk’s lead doubled on a power play less than six minutes later. Blair Jones sent a shot from the left point that Peters stopped. However, Radek Smolenak found the rebound and sent it top shelf from between the goal line and the bottom of the left faceoff circle at 11:18.
The River Rats got on the board just under six minutes later. Jakub Petruzalek sent a pass from the left faceoff dot to Michael Ryan in the slot, and Ryan fired a shot past Admirals goaltender Karri Ramo at 17:14.
However, Ramo shut the door the rest of the way, stopping all eight Albany shots in the third period to preserve a 2-1 win.
Karri Ramo (27 shots, 26 saves) earned the win. Justin Peters (26 shots, 24 saves) took the loss.
Norfolk was 1-3 on the power play. Albany was 0-4.
The Admirals and River Rats will face off again on Friday night at Scope. The first 5,000 fans eighteen years of age and older through the gates will receive a shot at Hockey Heaven, courtesy of Southwest Airlines. One lucky fan will receive two tickets to an Admirals game, two tickets to a Tampa Bay Lightning game, two round-trip Southwest Airlines tickets to Tampa Bay, one night of hotel accommodations in Tampa Bay, an Admirals jersey and a Lightning jersey. For more details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
Also on Friday night, the Admirals wives and girlfriends will hold a silent auction on the Scope concourse near Gate 14 for customized holiday ornaments. Each ornament has been customized for the unique personality and interests of an Admirals or Lightning player. All proceeds will go toward The Joy Fund. 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!
1. Radek Smolenak – NOR
2. Bracken Kearns – NOR
3. Karri Ramo – NOR
Notes … Norfolk has stopped 19 consecutive and 23 of the last 24 opponent power plays … Chris Gratton made his Admirals debut tonight and assisted on Smolenak’s game-winning goal … With a goal tonight, Steve Downie has points in five consecutive games for the Admirals (1G, 8A) … Jay Rosehill’s three-game point/assist streak ended (3A) … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, F Juraj Simek, F Brent Henley, F Grant Potulny, D Scott Jackson, D Daryl Boyle … Attendance: 2,393.