ELMIRA, NY. - Using deflections and rebounds, the Elmira Jackals (7-16-5-0) scored seven times, including three in the first and three in the second, to work over the Norfolk Admirals (6-19-4-0) by a score of 7-4 on Friday.
The evening's first period contained five total goals, including a pair by one defensemen from each team. Jackals alternate captain Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel was the representative for Elmira, as he made the Admirals pay just 2:47 in after Norfolk struggled to clear their own zone. Teammates Justin Kea and Kyle Rankin blasted shots of their own on net following the turnover and the home team was able to corral both rebounds. To complete the sequence Rankin connected with Dieude-Fauvel, who was staked out at the center point, awaiting his blast that would beat Brandon Anderson.
Kea, a third round draft selection by the Buffalo Sabres, would earn a goal of his own just minutes later for Elmira. Upon entry of the Admirals offensive zone in transition, the Jackals cycled the puck back out to the point for the first goal scorer of the evening, Dieude-Fauvel. From his location the French-born defender placed a shot on that Anderson thought he had covered up for the Admirals. Instead, it was still free in front and just as the goalie went to place his glove on top, Kea was there to jam it home for his fourth of the season to give the Jackals a 2-0 lead.
2-0 turned to 3-0 just 36 seconds later when Dieude-Fauvel, who hadn't had a goal all season prior to Friday night, earned his second of the year and game. Jackals forward Mark Bennett raced behind the Admirals net, working from Brandon Anderson's right to left before dropping it off for linemate Matt Lane. Lane, a rookie from Boston University, attempted to stuff home a wraparound attempt, however the Admirals netminder shut down the try. Thinking the whistle had blown because the puck was covered, Anderson stood up from his butterfly position. Unfortunately, the whistle had not blown and Dieude-Favel was there to poke it past an irate Admirals backstop.
Still in the first and down by three, Admirals defenseman Frankie Simonelli decided to take matters into his own hands. A loose puck in the neutral zone was picked up by the Admirals #77, who turned his head up ice and weaved between numerous Jackals defenders before taking on Elmira netminder Andy Iles on a breakaway that he would bury from his backhand. The unassisted tally was just the second of the season for Simonelli, who had just earned his first last week.
58 seconds following, Simonelli joined Dieude-Fauvel as another defender to score twice in the opening 20 minutes. Paul Rodrigues won an offensive zone draw for the Admirals to the left of Iles, shuffling the puck back out to the point for the Bensonville, IL native. With a quick snap of his wrists, the rubber was in the home team's net, narrowing the deficit down to just one for Norfolk.
Despite allowing the Admirals to come back within a single mark at the end of the first, the second was a completely different story for the Jackals. Elmira would score three times in five minutes during the frame, beginning with the Kea-Rankin connection once again. A successful faceoff win for Rankin set up Kea for a clean shot from the circle. The rebound ricochetted off of Anderson's pads and right through the Admirals defense to Sebastien Sylvestre, who too was able to get a clean shot off. Anderson was equivalent to that test as well, however, a third allowed attempt coming from the tape of Rankin was too much for the netminder.
Rankin's third point in just over 20 minutes extended the Elmira lead to 4-2 and an Admirals turnover in their own end allowed the home team to make it 5-2. Anderson had turned aside two attempts and Norfolk forward Jaedon Descheneau swooped in to clean up the scraps. The Oilers prospect peeled towards the corner, where he attempted to saucer a pass towards center yet out of the zone in the direction of Brodie Dupont and Nick MacNeil. Instead, the pass was intercepted by Charlie Mosey of Elmira. Mosey quickly fired on net and forward Mark Bennett was there to deposit the rebound for his third of the season.
The final tally of the second period came from non-other than Justin Kea, his fourth point through two periods. Set up on the power play, Sebastien Sylvestre got a clean look off from between the hashmarks that caught the shoulder of Brandon Anderson and went straight up in the air. When the puck came back down, Rankin was there inside the mad scramble and was credited with Elmira's sixth of the night.
Admirals head coach Robbie Ftorek was able to muster some fight in his team during the second intermission though, coercing his team to strike twice within the first five minutes of the third. While four-on-four, Paul Rodrigues and John Dunbar began racing up the ice from their own end. Rodrigues was able to feather a feed over to Dunbar, who would lift it over the glove-side sholulder of the Jackals netminder to make it 6-3.
Less than three minutes later, T.J. Foster recorded his fifth goal in nine games in his return to the lineup. After missing last week due to bereavement leave, Foster found a feed from Dante Salituro, who was posted behind the Jackals cage. In the midst of falling down in the left circle, the Admirals #19 was able to get enough behind it to get his team's fourth goal of the evening.
With 15 minutes of play left, it looked like the Admirals had a shot at a full comeback. Albeit they controlled a large amount of play in the third, Mark Bennett cut all the momentum with his second of the night for Elmira. Foster and Simonelli were playing pitch-and-catch in their own zone, attempting to exit and transition play up ice. Mike Krieg came back to lend support of the play, but mistimed the pass sent his direction and the Jackals took over. Casey Thrush's shot on goal was kicked back out to the left point where Ian Young resided and Bennett caught a piece of it on the way past Anderson. That was the seventh and final goal of the evening for the home team, completing their 7-4 victory.
The team now heads to Manchester to take on the Monarchs for their final contest of 2016. All the action can be heard on 102.1 FM The Tide, as well as on ECHL.TV.
Following the matchup the Admirals return home for eight home games in the month of January. Including opponents such as these very same Jackals, the Adirondack Thunder and the Wheeling Nailers, tickets for all games are on sale now on Ticketmaster.com and at the Norfolk Scope Arena box office. For more information on the team, be sure to visit norfolkadmirals.com and follow/like the team on all major social media platforms.