NORFOLK, Va. – Goaltender Gustaf Wesslau made 41 saves – including 17 in the third period alone – as the Springfield Falcons (22-22-1-3) defeated the Norfolk Admirals (24-14-7-3), 4-2, in front of 7,780 fans on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The crowd is the fifth-best since the Admirals joined the American Hockey League in 2000.
The Admirals return to action following the AHL All-Star Break with a game on Thursday night on the road against the Charlotte Checkers. They then drop the puck on a season-long eight-game homestand on Friday and Saturday nights against the Binghamton Senators.
Mike Angelidis and Mark Barberio scored for Norfolk while Dustin Tokarski stopped 22 of 25 shots.
After a scoreless opening period, the teams exchanged three goals in the final three minutes of the second stanza. Maksim Mayorov started the scoring spree with 2:55 remaining in the second period. Tomas Kubalik deflected an attempted Admirals breakout pass in the left circle and teammate Chris D’Alvise picked off the puck in the high slot. He attempted a shot from the slot that Tokarski stopped. Mayorov stashed home the second rebound over Tokarski’s right leg for a 1-0 Springfield lead.
Norfolk answered back just 58 seconds later, as Angelidis tied the game at 1-1 with his fifteenth goal of the season. Blair Jones carried the puck into the attacking zone along the left wing and cut behind the net before centering a pass into the slot. The puck caromed off Matt Fornataro’s skate and was loose in the crease before Angelidis lifted a shot over Springfield goaltender Gustaf Wesslau with 1:57 remaining in the second stanza.
However, Springfield reclaimed the lead just 50 seconds later. Dane Byers picked off an Admirals pass in the Norfolk zone and sent the puck to Nick Tarnasky through the neutral zone on an odd-man rush. Tarnasky sent a shot from the right circle that was deflected by Jonathan Sigalet past the outstretched right leg of Tokarski for a 2-1 Falcons lead.
Norfolk out-shot Springfield 10-0 through the first ten minutes of the third period. However, the Falcons doubled their lead 12:09 into the final frame as Tarnasky scored his fifth of the season.
The Admirals clawed back to within a goal of tying the game 1:50 later on Barberio's fourth goal of the season. Pierre-Cedric Labrie fed Barberio in the left circle for a shot past Wesslau's right leg and into the net. The goal came at 13:59 and made the score 3-2 Springfield.
Norfolk kept up the pressure the remainder of the frame, but was unable to solve Wesslau again. Ben Guite sealed the victory for Springfield with an empty-net goal with exactly one minute remaining.
Dustin Tokarski (25 shots, 22 saves) took the loss. Gustaf Wesslau (43 shots, 41 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-3 on the power play. Springfield was 0-2.
The Admirals return to action following the All-Star Break with a game on Thursday night on the road against the Charlotte Checkers. They then drop the puck on a season-long eight-game homestand on Friday and Saturday nights against the Binghamton Senators at Scope.
The Admirals will hold their second Military Appreciation Night of the 2010-11 season on Friday. Red Level Tickets (normally $14) will be available for just $9 at the Norfolk Scope Box Office for all active or retired military, their dependents and reservists with valid military identification. Groups of 25 or more can purchase their Red Level Tickets for just $8 by contacting the Admirals Group Sales Office at (757) 640-1212. More details are available at norfolkadmirals.com.
In addition, the first 2,500 fans through the gates on Friday will receive an Admirals cowbell, courtesy of SUPERCUTS.
On Saturday, join the Admirals at Scope for an encore performance of the national anthem by Elizabeth Hughes as the Admirals play the Binghamton Senators at 7:15 p.m. Tickets for the game start at $12, including a $1 charitable donation to Elizabeth's school, the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Eight-year-old Elizabeth and Admirals fans inspired people across the country with a display of unity and composure on January 7 at Scope. Halfway through a beautiful rendition of the national anthem, Elizabeth's microphone malfunctioned and her voice was no longer carried through the Scope sound system. Without hesitation, Elizabeth maintained her poise and continued to sing as nearly 5,000 Admirals fans at Scope joined her in rousing fashion.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Take advantage of great savings on Admirals tickets with our 10-Packs and group tickets. 10-Packs are available for as little as $110 and allow you to pick the games you want. Group tickets start at $10 for groups of 25 or more people. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Gustaf Wesslau – SPR
2. Nick Tarnasky – SPR
3. Mark Barberio – NOR
NOTES … Tonight’s attendance was 7,780 – the fifth-highest crowd in AHL Admirals history. The last two weeks have seen three new additions to the top ten crowds in AHL Admirals history: #4 = 8,103 (1/15/11 – Pink in the Rink), #5 = 7,780 (1/29/11), #10 = 6,650 (1/28/11) … Norfolk is winless in five straight games (0-4-0-1), tying a season high … Springfield tripled its all-time win total at Norfolk Scope Arena this weekend. Norfolk is now 14-2-0-0-1 against Springfield all-time at Norfolk Scope Arena ... Mike Angelidis tied his personal AHL career high with his fifteenth goal of the season. Angelidis ranks second on goals with Norfolk this season … Blair Jones has points in six of his last nine games (4G, 5A) ... Johan Harju will represent Norfolk in the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, to take place Sunday and Monday, Jan. 30 and 31, in Hershey, Pennsylvania … Norfolk enters the All-Star Break in third place in the AHL's East Division … After visiting Charlotte on Thursday night, the Admirals will begin a season-long eight-game homestand on Friday and Saturday nights against the Binghamton Senators … The eight-game homestand stretches from February 4 – 25 and is comprised entirely of intra-division competition … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Levi Nelson, Radko Gudas, Tim Marks, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins and Mike Smith.