Norfolk, VA.- The Admirals got a pair of power play goals in the opening period and never trailed as they topped the Orlando Solar Bears 4-2 on Friday night. With the victory Norfolk moves to 8-16-1-0, seven points back from Orlando for fifth in the South Division.
Brodie Dupont scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season for the Admirals, helping snap a three-game skid. Thomas Frazee added a pair of assists in the win. Defenseman TJ Melancon netted his fourth goal in the last six games with an empty netter late in regulation. Norfolk scored multiple power play goals in the same game at home for only the second time this season.
Norfolk’s power play kicked things off just over four minutes into regulation. Max Cook pulled up at the top of the right circle and sent a shot towards the front of the net. Heading towards the front of the net Patrick D’Amico redirected the puck perfectly into the top right corner, giving the Admirals an early 1-0 lead. Late in the period Darryl Bootland took a slashing penalty giving Norfolk another chance on the man-advantage late in the period. With less than a minute left in the period Frazee connected with Brodie Dupont who quickly placed a shot into the top corner, giving the Admirals a 2-0 lead after the first.
The second period featured a goaltending duel as Ty Reichenbach and Cal Heeter kept both teams off the score sheet combining for 19 saves in the middle frame.
It took until the 9:35 mark of the middle frame for the Solar Bears to break through. Joe Perry netted his first goal of the season cutting the lead by one. Orlando put the Admirals under siege in the third outshooting the home side 17-5. Down by one the Solar Bears pulled the goaltender with over two minutes remaining. Norfolk’s TJ Melancon cleared the puck from his own end and sent it the length of the ice, into the empty net, putting Norfolk up 3-1. Both teams would add one more goal in the final 0:10 of regulation, but Melancon’s fifth of the season proved to be the game-winner.
Ty Reichenbach, claiming his fourth professional victory, stopped 39 of 41 shots, while Hetter made 24 saves on 26 shots he faced.
Norfolk and Orlando face each other once more on Saturday night on Teddy Toss Night at the Scope. Fans are invited to bring stuffed animals to toss to the ice after the Admirals first goal.