Admirals Close Weekend with 3-2 Win at Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, MA – Rickard Rakell’s goal at 12:34 of the third period lifted the Admirals to a 3-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center on Sunday afternoon. The Admirals (28-17-1-7, 64) snap a two-game slide with the win, and jump to the eighth spot in a very tight Eastern Conference.
The Admirals got on the board at 3:37 of the opening frame. Ryan Parent who returned to the lineup Sunday from an injury, fired a shot from the point that was stopped by Falcons goaltender Jeremy Smith. However, the rebound jumped to the top of the crease, and Zack Stortini fought off a check and swung the puck around Smith for the goal. Stortini’s fourth of the season gave the Admirals a 1-0 lead.
Norfolk added to its lead at 16:38 of the first period. Chris Wagner lost the puck on a wrap-around attempt, but the puck hit off the skate of a Springfield defender and bounced right back to Wagner. The second-year pro wristed the puck past a sliding Smith to extend the Admirals lead to 2-0.
The Falcons got on the board at 11:03 of the second period following an offensive zone faceoff win. Jean-Francois Jacques delivered a pass to Darryl Boyce from the boards to the slot. Boyce snapped a shot over the shoulder of Norfolk netminder Brad Thiessen for the goal to pull his team within one.
Springfield tied the game at two, with just under seven minutes into third, when Sean Collins tipped and redirected an Andrew Joudrey shot from the high slot into the net.
Despite the early onslaught by the Falcons in the third, Norfolk held on and grabbed the lead right back at 12:34 of the final stanza. Max Friberg spun away from a check at the left wing circle and dropped a pass to a charging Rickard Rakell in the slot. Rakell snapped a shot that clipped off the glove of Smith and bounced into the net for go-ahead marker.
The AHL’s top defensive team, Norfolk, buckled down for the remaining seven minutes of play to preserve a 3-2 victory, and secure a split in the two-game weekend road set.
Thiessen earns the win stopping 28 of 30 shots faced, while Smith takes the loss allowing two goals on 25 shots.
The Admirals will now return home to take on the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday(Feb. 26) beginning at 7:15 p.m. College Students can purchase tickets for just $9 when they present their college I.D. to the Scope Box Office anytime after 2:00 p.m. the day of the game. The game is also a Family Fun Pack night! Fans can purchase 4 red-level tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas, and 4 popcorns for just $56! Family Fun Packs may be purchased at the box office as well. The Admirals are also home on Friday and Saturday as they play host to Eastern Conference leading Manchester.
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.
GAME NOTES: Sunday’s win marked the 18th one-goal victory by the Admirals this season…Defenseman Ryan Parent returned to the lineup after missing some time due to an injury. Parent finished the game with an assist and a +2 rating.
1. Rickard Rakell (NOR)
2. Sean Collins (SPR)
3. Zack Stortini (NOR)