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January 15, 2013

Penguins Slide by Admirals


NORFOLK – Goaltender Viktor Fasth made 25 saves in his North American professional debut, but the Norfolk Admirals (14-19-2-1) dropped a 4-2 decision the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (18-17-2-1) on Tuesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Nick Schaus and Josh Brittain scored for the Admirals, who were out-shot in the contest, 29-13 – including 21-6 in the final two periods.

The Admirals host the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday and Saturday nights at Scope. Saturday's game is the sixth annual Pink in the Rink to benefit the Tidewater Affiliate of Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

Norfolk took a 1-0 lead 6:56 into the first period. After John Kurtz forced a turnover in the Norfolk zone, John Mitchell spotted Troy Bodie for a breakout pass. Bodie entered the attacking zone along the right wing and dropped a pass back to Schaus. The Norfolk defenseman sent a slap shot from the right point that eluded the glove of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Brad Thiessen for Schaus’ first goal as an Admiral.

The Penguins tied the score at 1-1 with a five-on-three power play goal early in the second stanza. Alex Grant sent a slap shot from the left point. Riley Holzapfel, who was stationed on top of the goalmouth to Fasth’s left, deflected the shot past the netminder at 3:07.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took a 2-1 lead early in the third period off a pinball play. Holzapfel carried the puck into the Norfolk zone along the left wing and passed the puck toward the slot. The puck bounced in the air after a deflection by Grant, and a Norfolk defender attempted to bat the puck away from danger in the low slot. However, it deflected down to his feet, and Paul Thompson quickly shot it under the defender and Fasth to give the visitors the lead 4:49 into the third period.

The Admirals tied the game at 2-2 midway through the third period with a power play goal. Rod Pelley sent a backhand pass from the slot to Brittain in the left circle. Brittain corralled the puck and sent a wrist shot past Thiessen, stick-side, at 14:46 for his second goal of the season.

However, the Penguins responded with a power play goal of their own less than three minutes later. Grant sent a slap shot from the high slot through traffic and past Fasth at 17:10, giving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 3-2 lead.

Brian Gibbons added an empty-net goal with 28 seconds left for the Penguins.

Brad Thiessen (7-7-1) stopped 11 of 13 shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Norfolk was 1-for-5 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 2-for-4.

The Admirals return to Scope on Friday and Saturday nights for a weekend series against the St. John’s Ice Caps. Saturday night is the sixth annual Pink in the Rink to benefit the Tidewater affiliate of Susan G. Komen For the Cure. Special discounted fundraising tickets are available for a limited time, with $15 Red Level Tickets for sale through komentidewater.org, norfolkadmirals.com/groups and by calling the Komen Tidewater office. For more details, visit norfolkadmirals.com.

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.

Three Stars:
1. Alex Grant – WBS
2. Riley Holzapfel – WBS
3. Viktor Fasth – NOR

NOTES … Viktor Fasth was loaned to the Admirals by Norfolk's NHL parent club, the Anaheim Ducks, earlier today. Fasth made his North American professional debut after earning back-to-back Swedish Elite League goaltender of the year awards in 2010-11 and 2011-12 … Norfolk's 13 shots on goal were the fewest in a single game in AHL Admirals history, eclipsing the previous mark of 15 from April 11, 2009, at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton … Also earlier today, the Admirals signed forwards Brandon Marino and Jean-Michel Rizk to Professional Tryout Contracts. Both made their AHL debuts after starting the season with the Admirals' ECHL affiliate, the Fort Wayne Komets … During the game, the Anaheim Ducks announced that they have signed forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond to a one-year, two-way contract. Letourneau-Leblond has appeared in 242 career AHL games between the Albany River Rats, Lowell Devils, Albany Devils and Abbotsford Heat, posting 18 goals and 39 points with 1,013 penalty minutes … Did not play: Ryan Hegarty, Sami Vatanen, Garrett Klotz, Brandon McMillan, Chris Wagner, Dan Sexton, Frederik Andersen, Jay Rosehill.


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