NORFOLK, VA. - The Norfolk Admirals (8-20-4-0) picked up a 4-1 victory over the Elmira Jackals (7-18-5-0) on Friday to win two consecutive games for the first time this season.
There were a total of eight minor penalties in the opening 20 minutes and the Jackals cashed in one of their opportunities, while Admirals defenseman/forward Alex Pompeo was in the box for hooking. Following their flawless entrance into the Admirals zone, Jackals forward Greg Betzold snuck between two defenders and dished the puck back out to former Admiral Davis Vandane. Vandane sent a pass across the blue line to partner Steven Kaunisto and because Norfolk forward T.J. Foster had drifted too deep into his own zone chasing Betzold, Kaunisto was able to get a wrist shot off cleanly that beat Brandon Anderson. It wound up being the only goal the Admirals would allow all evening, paving the way for Anderson's third win in four starts.
In terms of the penalties, the only thing that changed in the second period was that there were only seven instead of eight. Norfolk was able to get one of their own with the man advantage in the second, coming on a blast from defenseman Frankie Simonelli. Simonelli, who had two goals against Elmira last Friday night, wrapped the puck into the Jackals defending zone where it would be gathered by Zach Pochiro along the wall to the right of Andy Iles. #14 then sent the puck out high and back to Simonelli, where the Bensonville, IL native would wind up and fire from. The puck squeezed through the Elmira netminder to even the score at 1-1. For Pochiro, it was an assist in his first game back in the lineup in nearly a month.
Simonelli's was the only mark of the middle frame but in the third, the Admirals exploded for three. For the second night in a row, the eventual game-winner belonged to Jaedon Descheneau, who registered his 10th point in 10 games because of it. After Elmira failed to clear the puck out of their own zone, Mike Krieg quickly brushed the puck to Brodie Dupont. Dupont, who now has five points in the past two games, made a brilliant saucer pass over to Descheneau, who then faked a shot to go around an aggressive Iles and tuck one in the near side in the form of banking it off of a defender's skate.
Elmira would not go down easy though, beating Admirals goaltender Brandon Anderson twice while trailing by a pair, only to hit the post both times. Unfortunately for Jackals netminder Andy Iles, who when all was said and done stopped 47 of 50, could not have the same luck. While on a power play, a Jackals forward whiffed on a shot attempt in the Admirals defending end of the ice. Dupont, who was in a timely location, picked up the puck and skated the entire duration of the ice before placing a shot on net. The rebound was kicked in the direction of a streaking Nick MacNeil, who slammed on the breaks and displayed patience before firing a wrist shot across Iles for just the Admirals second shorthanded goal of the season. MacNeil, now has both of those in the category for Norfolk this season.
Down by two, Jackals Head Coach Dave Leger elected to pull his goaltender in favor of the extra attacker with roughly three minutes to go. The ploy worked to no charm and Paul Rodrigues found the empty four-by-six for his fifth goal of the season. That would put the icing on the cake for the Admirals, earning their 4-1 win.
The two sides will meet again tomorrow night at Norfolk Scope Arena, with puck drop set for 7:15. The Admirals are aware of the current weather conditions and forecast and are intending to play the game as scheduled. Tickets for the game are on sale at the box office now and can also be purchased on Ticketmaster.com. For more information on the team and any potential announcements regarding tomorrow's game, be sure to stay tuned to norfolkadmirals.com and follow/like them on all major social media platforms.Box Score