Hard Fought Effort Lifts Norfolk to 2-1 Win Over Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, MA – Devante Smith-Pelly and Jesse Blacker each recorded goals to help lift the Norfolk Admirals to a tight 2-1 victory over the top-seeded Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center Sunday afternoon. Norfolk (20-13-1-4, 45pts) concludes the road trip gabbing four of six standings points, and have now won seven of its last nine contests.
The Admirals set the tone early with impressive play, and grabbed the game’s first goal. A crisp passing play by Rickard Rakell and Emerson Etem, was finished off by Devante Smith-Pelly who wristed a shot from the slot past Springfield goaltender Jeremy Smith. Smith-Pelly’s goal at 3:36 of the opening frame extended his goal scoring streak to five games, and gave Norfolk the early 1-0 lead.
The Falcons responded halfway through the opening period, when Dalton Smith tipped and redirected the puck past Norfolk netminder Frederik Andersen on a Blake Parlett shot from the point. The goal knotted the game at one.
Norfolk reclaimed the lead at 3:51 of the second, taking advantage of a power play opportunity. Jesse Blacker hurled a shot toward the net which was slowed off the arm of Smith. However, the puck bounced to Smith’s left and slid across the goaline to give the Admirals the 2-1 edge.
Playing their third game in as many days, the Admirals buckled down, and put forth a gritty and hard-fought effort for the remainder of the game. Norfolk continued to block shots and kill off penalties, while Andersen turned aside everything the Falcons threw his way, to hang on for the 2-1 victory.
Andersen stopped 25 of 26 shots faced, while Smith was impressive in the loss, allowing two goals on 26 shots faced.
The Admirals will now return home to open a two-game weekend set with the Worcester Sharks on Friday and Saturday. Saturday’s game (Jan. 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. Please note Saturday’s game is a ticket blackout game, meaning that no coupons may be used or redeemed for this 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
GAME NOTES: Devante Smith-Pelly has now recorded a goal in five straight contests which ties him for a team best this season with Emerson Etem. The five-game goal scoring streak also ties an AHL best this season as well.