NORFOLK, Va. – John Gibson made 23 saves and the Norfolk Admirals struck three times in the middle period, turning an early deficit into a 3-1 victory over the Hershey Bears on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope.
The first period played out in a similar way as Friday night’s, except that the Bears ended up scoring the game’s first goal. Michael Latta did the honors while the Bears worked their first power play of the night, grabbing a deflected pass from Nicolas Deschamps and firing a shot past Gibson’s glove at 9:48.
Norfolk’s Andre Petersson scored his first goal since being acquired from Binghamton at 9:46 of the second period, tying the game. A lively bouncing puck landed at the right side of David Leggio’s crease after Charles Sarault kicked a pass across the crease, and Petersson pounced on it to tap it home before Leggio could react.
Shortly after a play in front of the Norfolk net ended up with defenseman Nate Schmidt leaving the game with an injury, the Admirals raced back on a two-on-one rush. Steven Whitney chipped a pass across the stick of an outstretched Bears defenseman and onto the tape of a charging Chris Wagner, who in turn batted the puck past Leggio at 14:18 for a 2-1 Norfolk lead.
The Bears then found themselves in more penalty trouble, going on the kill for what amounted to six consecutive times. On the Admirals’ fifth chance, Max Fridberg got his stick blade on a point shot from Kevin Gagne and tipped the puck just inside the right post at 18:14.
With no further scoring in the third, the Admirals claimed the victory, salvaging a split with the Bears in the two-game set.
Hershey’s record drops to 30-22-3-4 with the loss while Leggio falls to 16-16-3 on the season, making 18 saves on 21 shots. Gibson improves to 18-13-4 with the victory.
The Bears will head north to take on the Syracuse Crunch next Friday, March 14. Faceoff from the War Memorial Arena is slated for 7:00 PM. The game will be simulcast on the Bears Radio Network and on ABC-27’s RTV channel 27.2, Comcast 246, Verizon Fios 461, Blue Ridge 152 and Kuhn 67 in central Pennsylvania.
The club returns home on Saturday, March 15 for a 7:00 PM faceoff against the Adirondack Phantoms. Tickets for this and all remaining home games are available by calling (717) 508-BEAR, by stopping into the GIANT Center box office or by visiting TicketMaster.com.
NOTES: The Bears injury scratches were RW Dustin Gazley, RW Garrett Mitchell and D Tomas Kundratek…The healthy scratches were D Chay Genoway, D David Kolomatis, RW Joel Rechlicz and LW Derek Whitmore…RW Casey Wellman was recalled to Washington earlier in the day…LW Josh Brittain was summoned from the ECHL’s Reading Royals earlier in the day…Hershey finished the night 1-for-2 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.