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March 29, 2014

Admirals On Wrong End of 2-1 Score for Second Straight Night

NORFOLK, Va. – Devante Smith-Pelly scored the only goal for the Norfolk Admirals (34-24-2-7) in another 2-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (38-22-3-5) on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.

Penguins’ goaltender Peter Mannino (8-3-1) stopped 24 of 25 shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while Norfolk’s John Gibson (20-17-4) denied 11 of 13 shots.

After a physical and scoreless first period, the Penguins struck first on a one-timer at the top of the Admirals’ zone. Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson drove an Andrew Ebbett pass from the right point through traffic and into the Norfolk net at 11:50 of the second period. Ebbett’s cross-ice feed extends his assist streak to 11 games, which is the second-longest string of assists in the AHL this season.

The Penguins held their one-goal lead into the third period and widened the gap early in the final frame. A Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalty carried over, giving Norfolk a man advantage to begin the third.

The Penguins’ Scott Harrington cleared a puck through the neutral zone between Admirals’ Max Friberg and Jesse Blacker. A miscommunication opened the door for Dominik Uher, who raced to the loose puck for a one-on-one opportunity with Gibson. Uher flipped a shot over Gibson’s outstretched right leg and the Penguins went up 2-0 on a shorthanded opportunity 56 seconds into the third.

Norfolk stayed alive four minutes later when Smith-Pelly corralled a puck on the power play that leaked into the slot through bodies near the Penguins’ crease. Smith-Pelly turned and slung a wrister back from whence it came over Mannino’s shoulder to pull the Admirals within one of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 4:57 of the third period.

The Admirals tested Mannino 11 times in the third but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder relinquished just one goal all night to escape with his eighth victory for the Penguins in a 2-1 win over Norfolk.

Norfolk managed to convert on only one of their six power plays and shut down the Penguins’ attack on the man-advantage, holding Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to 0-for-3.

Suffering the sweep leaves the Admirals just one point up on divisional opponent, Hershey, for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Norfolk begins a six-game road trip next Friday at Adirondack.

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 anytime.

Three Stars:
1. Dominik Uher - WBS
2. Devante Smith-Pelly - NOR
3. Brendan Mikkelson - WBS

NOTES ... Radoslav Illo made his Norfolk Admirals and professional hockey debut ... The Admirals went 1-for-6 on the power play, scoring their first power play goal since March 19 versus Charlotte... Did not play: Mat Clark, Norm Ezekiel, Antoine Laganiere, Josh Manson, Joseph Cramarossa, Ryan Parent and Stefan Noesen

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