Admirals swept in weekend series with Penguins

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by Norfolk Admirals

WVEC.com

Posted on March 30, 2014 at 12:18 AM

NORFOLK-Devante Smith-Pelly scored the only goal for the Norfolk Admirals (34-24-2-7) in another 2-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (38-22-3-5) on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.

 
Penguins’ goaltender Peter Mannino (8-3-1) stopped 24 of 25 shots for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while Norfolk’s John Gibson (20-17-4) denied 11 of 13 shots. After a physical and scoreless first period, the Penguins struck first on a one-timer at the top of the Admirals’ zone. Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson drove an Andrew Ebbett pass from the right point through traffic and into the Norfolk net at 11:50 of the second period. Ebbett’s cross-ice feed extends his assist streak to 11 games, which is the second-longest string of assists in the AHL this season.
 
The Penguins held their one-goal lead into the third period and widened the gap early in the final frame. A Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalty carried over, giving Norfolk a man advantage to begin the third.

The Pens', Scott Harrington cleared a puck through the neutral zone between Admirals’ Max Friberg and Jesse Blacker. A miscommunication opened the door for Dominik Uher, who raced to the loose puck for a one-on-one opportunity with Gibson. Uher flipped a shot over Gibson’s outstretched right leg and the Penguins went up 2-0 on a shorthanded opportunity 56 seconds into the third.

Norfolk stayed alive four minutes later when Smith-Pelly corralled a puck on the power play that leaked into the slot through bodies near the Penguins’ crease. Smith-Pelly turned and slung a wrister back from whence it came over Mannino’s shoulder to pull the Admirals within one of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 4:57 of the third period.

The Admirals tested Mannino 11 times in the third but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder relinquished just one goal all night to escape with his eighth victory for the Penguins in a 2-1 win over Norfolk. The Admirals managed to convert on only one of their six power plays and shut down the Penguins’ attack on the man-advantage, holding Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to 0-for-3. Suffering the sweep leaves the Admirals just one point up on divisional opponent, Hershey, for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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