NORFOLK, VA-Emerson Etem netted his seventeenth goal of the season, but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (34-22-3-5) denied all five power play opportunities for the Norfolk Admirals (34-23-2-7) – including two late in the third period – as they edged the Admirals, 2-1, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead 14:05 into the first period. Dominik Uher carried the puck into the Norfolk zone along the left wing. As he approached the faceoff dot, he centered the puck into the slot to Josh Archibald. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward sent a shot past the outstretched blocker of Gibson and into the net.
The visitors doubled their lead just 43 seconds into the middle frame after a fortuitous bounce. An Admirals defenseman attempted to clear the puck out of the defensive zone. However, the puck struck a linesman in the neutral zone near the Penguins' bench, and was intercepted by Andrew Ebbett, who carried it back into the Norfolk zone along the left wing. Ebbett centered the puck into the low slot, where Chuck Kobasew redirected it past the glove of Gibson for a 2-0 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead.
The Admirals cut their deficit to one goal midway through the second stanza with a neutral zone turnover that went in their favor. Dave Steckel picked off a Penguins pass and moved it up to Etem, who entered the attacking zone through the left circle. Etem cut across the circle towards the goalmouth on his forehand before sweeping the puck into the net on his backhand past the outstretched glove and left leg of Mannino. Etem's seventeenth goal of the season at 12:34 made the score 2-1 in favor of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Norfolk's power play had two opportunities to tie the game past the midway mark of the final frame. However, the Penguins kept the Admirals' power play at bay and held on for the 2-1 decision. Mannino (21-15-3) stopped 19 of 21 shots for the win. Norfolk was 0-for-5 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-3.