Norfolk, VA.- A third period comeback fell short as the Admirals dropped Sunday’s contest 5-3 at the hands of the Wheeling Nailers.
Darik Angeli continued his strong start to his Admirals tenure scoring for the third consecutive game. Brady Vail extended his career-high point streak to seven games. Trevor Mingoia recorded a goal and assist for his third multi-point game of the season.
After killing off an early penalty the Nailers struck first. Cam Brown won a faceoff on the left side of the cage back to Garrett Meurs who snapped a quick shot past Jamie Murray for the early Wheeling lead.
The Nailers got a pair of goals in quick succession early in the second extending the lead to three goals. Cam Brown was the beneficiary of a pinballing puck as the Nailer forward was able to get the puck past Murray, pushing the lead to 2-0. Just about two minutes later Garrett Meurs added his second of the night making it 3-0.
Norfolk got on the board just shy of midway through regulation. Brodie Dupont caused a turnover, the walked down the wall with the puck. A centering pass found Trevor Mingoia who one-timed the puck past Will King to cut the lead to 3-1. Late in the period Norfolk got an opportunity on the power play. TJ Melancon slipped a puck over to Darik Angeli and the forward blasted a buzzer beater from the top of the left circle that found it’s way to the back of the net with 3.2 seconds left in the period. Norfolk outshot the Nailers 20-7 in the second period.
Halfway through the third period that Nailers retook a two-goal lead. Kevin Schulze sent a long stretch pass ahead to Cody Wydo, springing him on a break-away. Wydo beat Murray with a quick shot from the hash marks, giving Wheeling a 4-2 lead. Later in the period the Wheeling power play added another goal to the lead getting a power play tally from Hunter Fejes. Trailing by three the Admirals weren’t going away. On the power play late in the third Grant Besse brought the Admirals back within two. Trevor Mingoia fed the puck to Besse in the slot before the rookie wristed home his seventh goal of the season. With the netminder pulled Norfolk was unable to capitalize in the final minute as the Nailers skated out with a 5-3 victory.
Jamie Murray made 27 saves on 32 shots. Wheeling’s Will King made 39 saves on 42 shots in the victory.
Norfolk will host all three parts of a three-in-three this coming weekend as Adirondack comes to Scope on Thursday before the Nailers travel to Norfolk for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday.