LEWISTON, ME – Max Friberg scored twice, while the Norfolk Admirals overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Portland Pirates 5-4 in the overtime shootout at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee’ Friday night.
The Pirates seized an early advantage as their leading goal scorer Andy Miele lit the lamp just 66 seconds into the contest. Miele’s shot beat Norfolk netminder Igor Bobkov to give Portland the early 1-0 lead.
Portland added to its lead halfway through the opening period, as Chris Summers fired a rocket shot from the blue line that ripped past Bobkov to make it a 2-0 Pirates edge after 20 minutes of play.
The Pirates continued their assault in the second, netting their third goal just two minutes into the period. Ethan Werek flipped a soft shot just below the left wing circle that found a hole and trickled into the net extending the Portland lead to 3-0.
Four minutes later, the Admirals got on the board with a fortuitous bounce in front. Forward Devante Smith-Pelly flipped a shot from the right wing boards toward the Portland net. The shot appeared to hit the skate of Pirates defender James Melindy and redirect into the net past Pirates goaltender Mark Visentin for the goal.
The goal apparently was the spark the Admirals needed, as Norfolk netted the game’s next tally. Norfolk received a power play late in the middle frame and took advantage. Max Friberg rifled a rising shot that brushed off the shoulder of Summers, and into the net to pull Norfolk within two, with just 15 seconds remaining in the period.
The Admirals grabbed the first goal of the third period on the power play to tie the game at three. Halfway through the third, Friberg set up Emerson Etem with a pass that Etem one-timed into the net for marker. The goal extended Etem’s goal scoring streak to five games.
The Pirates temporarily quelled the Admirals momentum, scoring a go-ahead goal with 2:46 remaining in regulation. Tobias Reider crashed the net during a scramble in front. Reider picked up a loose puck in the crease, and tapped the puck past Bobkov to give Portland the late lead.
It appeared the Pirates were going to pull out the victory, but a costly high-sticking penalty by Summers, gave the Admirals another chance to tie the game on the power play. Norfolk did just that, as Friberg wristed a shot from the left wing circle that cleanly beat Visentin for the third Admirals power play goal of the night. Friberg’s second strike of the game knotted the game at four, sending the contest to overtime.
Neither team could light the lamp in the extra session, which brought the game to the shootout. Norfolk received shootout tallies from Rickard Rakell and Jesse Blacker, while Igor Bobkov stopped all four shooters faced to seal the 5-4 victory over the Pirates,
Bobkov earns the win stopping 27 of 31 shots, while Visentin takes the loss allowing four goals on 26 shots faced. Norfolk finished the 3-fo-4 on the power play.
GAME NOTES: Max Friberg (2g, 1a) and Jesse Blacker (3a) each finished with three-point nights...Emerson Etem’s current five-game goal scoring streak ties a league high this season. Etem also extends his point scoring streak to eight games, while Rickard Rakell extends his point streak to nine games with an assist in Friday’s game…Teigan Zahn, who was recalled from ECHL Utah earlier in the day, recorded an assist in his Admirals debut…The game marked the 11th shootout game played by Norfolk this season…Friday marked the first game played by the Admirals in Lewiston, and was the first time they faced the Pirates in the state of Maine since January 25, 2011.
The Admirals continue their road trip on Saturday, as they travel to Worcester for a 7:00 p.m. affair with the Sharks. Fans can tune-in to the game on 1490 AM The Game, or on 1650 AM. Fans may also listen to the game online at http://1490amthegame.com/home/listen-live/
The Admirals return home on January 17 & 18 to battle the Worcester Sharks. Saturday, January 18 is Pink in the Rink. Come out and show your support in the fight against breast cancer. The Admirals will be skating on pink ice for that game.
Game tickets are now on sale, and 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