NORFOLK, VA. - Led by three first period goals the Norfolk Admirals (21-30-4-0) were able to defeat the Elmira Jackals (11-38-7-1) on Friday by a score of 5-2.
Despite having just one shot through the first nine minutes the Admirals exploded for a scoring frenzy in the latter half of the period, starting with Paul Rodrigues' fourth in as many games. With Joey Benik in the box for hooking, #11 picked up a loose puck in his own end, skated the length of the ice and snapped one past Greg Dodds. Dodds, who was making his professional debut, would allow three in his first period of action.
Speaking of pro debuts, the Admirals second tally of the first game from Jack Lewis, who was playing in his first ECHL game as well. Donning #21, the Lake Forest College captain was able to wrap one around the glove side of Dodds, extending the Admirals lead to 2-0. Tanner Hildebrandt earned an assist on the mark, his first pro point in his first pro game, too.
To conclude the scoring hysteria, T.J. Foster capitalized on a breakaway for his 17th of the year. Gabriel Verpaelst made a phenomenal stretch pass from his own end to hook up with the Slave Lake, Alberta born forward and give Norfolk the lead by a trio at the end of one.
Elmira would control all the scoring in the second period though, pulling back within one thanks to Sam Povorozniouk and Kenton Miller. First, Povorozniouk stepped into the blocker-side circle of Desrosiers and unleashed a wrist shot that beat traffic and went up above the glove.
Then, less than two minutes later Kenton Miller scored his team leading 21st of the year on his own second chance. After his first chance bounced off the pads of the Norfolk goalie, the puck was left for Miller to swat home and bring his team back within one.
Norfolk would find their offensive touch in the third once again though, tallying twice thanks to John Dunbar and Ben Betker.
Dunbar's marker came on the power play with 13:30 left in the third and Ben Betker put the cap on the evening's performance with his fourth point in just three games since joining the team from AHL Bakersfield.
Philippe Desrosiers earned the victory for Norfolk, stopping 22 of 24 along the way.
Tomorrow night the two sides go at it was again tomorrow at Norfolk Scope Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:15 and tickets are on sale now on Ticketmaster.com and at the Scope Box Office.