NORFOLK, VA-Emerson Etem and Devante Smith-Pelly each finished with a goal and an assist to help lift the Norfolk Admirals to a 3-1 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Friday night at Scope.
Etem started the rush with a pass up ice to Smith-Pelly on the left wing side. Smith-Pelly entered the Bridgeport zone and flung an airborne pass to an oncoming Rakell in the lower slot. Rakell batted it towards net and past the Sound Tigers goaltender Anders Nilsson. The was Rakell’s team-leading tenth goal of the season and the Admirals moved in front at the 17:47 mark of the first.
With the opening period winding down, Bridgeport turned the puck over while attempting to clear the zone. The puck bounced from the right side boards into the slot to an awaiting Etem. Etem patiently crossed the goal front before finally flipping the puck over Nilsson’s left shoulder for the second Norfolk goal with 4.5 seconds remaining in the period to give Norfolk a 2-0 edge at the end of the first.
It wasn’t until late in the second period that Bridgeport scored when a Zack Stortini boarding penalty led to Sound Tiger power play. After rotating the puck around, it finally ended up near the point on the stick of Aaron Ness. Ness, who recently returned from a brief NHL stint with the Islanders, slapped it on net and beat Norfolk’s Igor Bobkov. Ness’ blast cut the deficit in half at 14:25 of the second period.
The Sound Tigers stayed within arm’s reach until midway through the third. On a power play chance, Norfolk’s Steven Whitney dished to Kevin Gagne who one-timed a pass to Smith-Pelly on the far side of the crease. It was virtually a tap-in for Smith-Pelly who put the game away and secured the Norfolk victory at 10:35.
Bobkov turned in another strong performance making 23 saves on 24 shots, earning his fourth win of the season. Anders Nilsson hauled in 17 saves out of 20 shots faced but takes the loss, his thirteenth of the year.