PROVIDENCE, RI – Peter Holland posted three first period points, while John Gibson made 46 saves to lead the Norfolk Admirals to a 4-3 victory over the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin Donuts Center Friday night. The win snaps a three-game slide for Norfolk.
After putting up only three shots on goal in the first period on Wednesday, the Admirals exploded for 20 first period shots on Friday. The barrage of shots paid off as Norfolk took a sizeable early lead.
Norfolk’s Steven Whitney broke in on goal and flipped a backhanded shot that was tapped off the stick of Peter Holland and into the Providence net for the goal. Holland’s fifth of the season gave Norfolk the 1-0 advantage at 7:53.
The Bruins countered nearly three minutes later, on a hard wrist shot by Mike Moore from the slot that beat Admirals goaltender John Gibson to knot the game at one.
The Admirals reclaimed the lead on a perfectly set up play by Sami Vatanen, who was just reassigned to Norfolk by Anaheim on Thursday. Vatanen feathered a pass from the circle across the ice to Whitney who directed a shot that beat Providence netminder Niklas Svedberg on the stick side.
Just 16 seconds later, the Admirals added to their lead on a goal by Max Friberg. Friberg cruised into the zone and steered a shot that clipped off the body of a defender in front and redirected into the net for the goal. Friberg’s second of the season extended the Norfolk lead to 3-1.
The Admirals continued to ride the momentum in the final minutes of the opening frame. After winning a faceoff in the offensive zone, Holland curled the puck back to Nolan Yonkman at the point. Yonkman slid a pass to Vatanen who rifled a shot from just inside the blue-line that zipped past Svedberg for the goal to give Norfolk a 4-1 lead at the first intermission.
Providence did everything it could to try to get back into the contest, outshooting Norfolk 41-14 in the final two periods of play. The Bruins used a 5-on-3 power play to cut the Norfolk lead in half, as Ryan Spooner received a cross-crease pass and buried the puck behind Gibson for the marker. Spooner’s third tally of the year pulled Providence within two heading into the third period.
In the third, Gibson turned aside 22 shots to help Norfolk’s cause. Providence did add another marker on the board off the stick of Nick Johnson with four seconds remaining in regulation, but it would not be enough as the Admirals claimed the 4-3 victory.
Gibson earns his sixth win of the season making 46 saves, while Svedberg takes the loss allowing four goals on 34 shots faced.
Norfolk closes out the three-game road swing on Saturday in Manchester beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tune-in to 1490AM The Game, or listen online at www.1490amthegame.com
The Admirals return home for a pair of games against the Portland Pirates on Nov. 22 & 23. The Nov. 22 game is Military Appreciation Night; all military personnel may purchase tickets for $11 when they present their valid Military I.D. to the Scope Box Office. The first of three Admirals trading card sets will be given away on this night as well
Admirals’ game tickets are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
For 10-packs, or discounted group tickets stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com
Game Notes: Providence’s 49 shots were the most allowed by the Admirals this season. In addition, both teams combined for 83 shots on net, which is highest this season in a game involving Norfolk. Norfolk’s 20 first period shots and Providence’s 23 third period shots against were season highs for the Admirals this season.
1. Peter Holland (NOR)
2. John Gibson (NOR)
3. Carter Camper (PRO)