The Norfolk Admirals stretched their season long six game losing streak to seven with a 4-2 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Tuesday night.
The first period was all about the Admirals. The team was hitting hard, getting shots to the net, and keeping the Baby Penguins off their game. Nick Schaus scored his first goal of the season 6:56 into the period with Troy Bodie and John Mitchell getting the assists. Schaus probably had one of his best games of the season in Norfolk.
There were two fights in the period including one in the first minute. Matt Kennedy laid a clean hit on Penguins giant Joey Mormina, who tried to draw a boarding penalty by laid on the ice like he was hurt. Kennedy was only booked for the ensuing fight with former Admiral Trevor Smith. Less than 30 seconds from the end of the frame, the hard hitting period finally climaxed with John Kurtz taking on Bobby Farnham. The dancing and tossing of gear lasted longer than the fight. Kurtz was the only one to really land punches in either bout. The period ended with Gabe Guentzel taking a double minor high sticking penalty.
The Penguins started the second with 3:57 of power play time left, which became a 5-on-3 due to a terrible tripping call on Bodie. Riley Hopzapfel scored his tenth goal of the season and tie the game up 1-1. At this point the Admirals pretty much threw in the towel, getting out shot in the period 10-3.
The third period was even worse for the Admirals. Paul Thompson scored an even strength goal to put the Penguins up 2-1. Through 12 minutes of play the Admirals only had one shot on net and seemed content just to pass the puck around when they got in the offensive zone instead of just shooting.
Josh Brittain eventually decided to shoot the puck on a power play and he scored to tie the game at two. It is really amazing how shooting makes goals happen sometimes. Three minutes later though, the Pens regained the lead and the game was essentially over.
The Admirals finished the game on the power play but gave up an empty net goal when Guentzel couldn't control a simple pass and Brian Gibbons scored the easiest short handed goal he will ever score on the empty net for a final score of 4-2. The Admirals were out shot once again, but 11-3 this time.
Viktor Fasth didn't look too bad in his first North American start, also his first start of any kind since injuring his hip early in the lockout. He likes to leave the net quite a bit and play the puck but that isn't necessarily a nice thing. Two of the three goals scored on him came on the power play and could have been more attributed to the players defending in front of him. Side note, Dave Art makes a lot of dope masks. If you haven't seen his design for Fasth, you're missing out.
Earlier today the Admirals announced that Jay Rosehill has been released from his professional tryout contract although he was at the game yesterday and even signed autographs during the second intermission. I think he and Dan Sexton will get two way deals and stick with the Admirals. They also released Brandon Marino, Jean Michel Rizk, Marc-Olivier Vallerand, and Kyle Bushee and they returned Ryan Hegarty to the Fort Wayne Komets, making room for the cuts from Anaheim training camp to return in time to play this weekend against St. John's.