Former Admirals and current Albany Head Coach Rick Kowalsky came to town with the Devils hoping to pick up a couple of wins this weekend. Igor Bobkov and the Admirals were not going to let that happen. With Frederik Anderson sitting out with an upper body injury, the goaltending duties were all Bobkovs. Needless to say Igor Bobkov was up for the challenge. He stood on his head as the Admirals took Friday’s game 2-1 and followed up with a strong performance on Saturday as the Admirals came from behind for the 2-1 win in overtime. The Admirals have put together a solid December and will need to keep the momentum going after they return from the Christmas break.
From the Norfolk Admirals:
Special Teams and Goaltending Key in Admirals Victory
NORFOLK – Igor Bobkov made 35 saves and the Norfolk Admirals (12-13-1-0) scored twice on the power play while denying all 10 power play opportunities by the Albany Devils (9-10-0-6), as they claimed a 2-1 win on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The same teams face off again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
Bobkov improved his season record to 5-7-0 with the win. Devante Smith-Pelly and Patrick Maroon scored power play goals in the first period as Norfolk carried a 2-0 lead into the final minute of regulation.
The Admirals took the lead exactly four minutes into the contest on Smith-Pelly’s fifth goal of the season. Gabe Guentzel sent a shot from the high slot that Albany goaltender Jeff Frazee stopped. However, Smith-Pelly fount the rebound in the goalmouth and stuffed it under Frazee for a 1-0 Norfolk lead.
The home team doubled their lead at 16:31 of the first period with another power play tally. Sami Vatanen fired a slap shot from the blue line that hit Frazee. Maroon found the rebound in the goalmouth and slid a backhand shot around the goaltender’s left leg for his eighth goal of the season.
Neither team scored more than 43 minutes thereafter, although Norfolk’s penalty kill was put to the test. Penalties four seconds apart late in the second period gave the Devils a five-on-three power play for 1:56. However, the Admirals withstood the challenge, with Bobkov making several saves and the defense coming up with big shot blocks and clears. The story was repeated in midway through the third period, with Albany failing to score on a five-on-three advantage that lasted for 1:35.
The Devils out-shot the Admirals, 14-3, in the final frame, and one of their last shots finally solved Bobkov to spoil his shutout bid. Matt Anderson scored with 26 seconds left in the final frame with an assist to Mike Sislo, but it was the only goal Albany would muster in the game.
Jeff Frazee (3-4-3) stopped 28 of 30 shots in the setback.
Norfolk was 2-for-9 on the power play. Albany was 0-for-10.
1. Igor Bobkov – NOR
2. Devante Smith-Pelly – NOR
3. Patrick Maroon – NOR
NOTES … Norfolk improved to 5-2-1-0 in its eight December games … The Admirals have allowed only 16 goals in seven games in December (2.29 goals against per game) … Norfolk has killed 46 of 50 opponent power plays in December (92.0%) … The Admirals scored multiple power play goals in a game for the first time since November 12th at Albany, ending a stretch of 13 games without multiple power play goals scored … Tonight was just the third of Norfolk’s 26 games in 2012-13 where the team recorded multiple power play goals … Did not play: Mat Clark, John Mitchell, Matt Smaby, Frederik Andersen.
Albany Devils 1 at Norfolk Admirals 2 – Status: Final
Friday, December 21, 2012 – Norfolk Scope
Albany 0 0 1 – 1
Norfolk 2 0 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Smith-Pelly 5 (Guentzel, Guenin), 4:00 (PP). 2, Norfolk, Maroon 8 (Vatanen, Holland), 16:31 (PP). Penalties-Wohlberg Alb (holding the stick), 2:24; Gelinas Alb (double minor – high-sticking), 4:15; Maroon Nor (goaltender interference), 4:22; Elkins Nor (delay of game), 11:15; Leach Alb (tripping), 15:30; McMillan Nor (slashing), 16:47.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-McKelvie Alb (interference), 2:43; Palmieri Nor (hooking), 7:05; Schaus Nor (hooking), 9:05; Zalewski Alb (high-sticking), 9:27; Wohlberg Alb (slashing), 12:29; McMillan Nor (high-sticking), 15:10; Guenin Nor (delay of game), 15:14; Sislo Alb (slashing), 17:50.
3rd Period-3, Albany, Anderson 5 (Sislo), 19:34. Penalties-Wohlberg Alb (cross-checking), 1:21; McKelvie Alb (fighting), 7:06; Rosehill Nor (elbowing, fighting), 7:06; Parent Nor (high-sticking), 7:31; Etem Nor (hooking), 12:37; Hendry Nor (roughing), 16:32; Butler Alb (cross-checking), 16:45.
Shots on Goal-Albany 10-12-14-36. Norfolk 14-13-3-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 10; Norfolk 2 / 10.
Goalies-Albany, Frazee 3-4-3 (30 shots-28 saves). Norfolk, Bobkov 6-7-0 (36 shots-35 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42), Jason Rollins (37).
Linesmen-Ryan Daisy (90), Scott Adams (20).
Etem Plays the Hero as Admirals Vanquish Devils
NORFOLK – Emerson Etem tied the game with 33 seconds remaining in regulation and won it six seconds into overtime as the Norfolk Admirals (13-13-1-0) defeated the Albany Devils (9-10-1-6), 2-1, on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The win moved the Admirals back to .500 on the season.
Norfolk’s Igor Bobkov (6-7-0) and Albany’s Keith Kinkaid (6-7-3) traded saves for over two periods before either team found the back of the net. Bobkov stopped 25 of 26 shots to earn the win and Kinkaid stopped the first 34 Norfolk shots before Etem’s last two shots found the twine behind the Albany netminder.
The Admirals now embark on a three-game road trip beginning next Friday night against the Syracuse Crunch. They return to Hampton Roads on January 4th and 5th to host the Crunch at Scope.
After a scoreless opening two periods, the Devils got on the board 4:42 into the third period. Steve Zalewski sent a pass from behind the goal line to Bobby Butler. After getting around a Norfolk defender in the low slot, Butler sent a backhand shot over Bobkov’s right shoulder for a 1-0 Albany lead.
The game remained 1-0 in favor of the Devils until the final minute of regulation. Admirals head coach Trent Yawney pulled Bobkov out of the net in favor of an extra attacker, giving Norfolk a six-on-five skater advantage. The game-tying play began after Rod Pelley won his fourth consecutive offensive zone faceoff. Sami Vatanen sent the puck behind the Albany net to Patrick Maroon. Maroon’s first centering attempt ricocheted back to him. However, his second pass found Etem in the low slot for a one-timer that tied the game at 19:27.
On the opening faceoff of overtime, Peter Holland pushed the puck forward toward the Albany blue line. Etem picked up the puck and sped past an Albany defender for a partial breakaway. He held the puck on his backhand until almost to the goalmouth, when he moved to his forehand and tucked a shot around a diving Kinkaid’s right side and into the net.
Norfolk was 0-for-2 on the power play. Albany was 0-for-4.
The Admirals and Syracuse Crunch face off at 7:30 p.m. next Friday night from the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter in Syracuse, New York. Tune in to 102.1-FM, 1490-AM, 1021TheGame.com or AHLLive.com.
After completing their three-game road trip, the Admirals return to Scope on Friday and Saturday, January 4th and 5th, to host the Syracuse Crunch. The first 2,012 fans through the gates on January 4th will receive an Admirals Calder Cup replica trophy, courtesy of John’s Tax Service, JPM Financial Services and WTKR NewsChannel3.
1. Emerson Etem – NOR
2. Igor Bobkov – NOR
3. Bobby Butler – ALB
NOTES … Etem’s goal six seconds into overtime was the fastest to start any period in AHL Admirals history, beating Casey Hankinson’s goal seven seconds into the second period on November 10, 2000, against the Saint John Flames at Scope … Igor Bobkov has gone 3-1-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in December … Bobkov has improved his season record from 3-6-0 with a 3.99 GAA and .886 SV% at the end of November to 6-7-0 record with a 3.29 GAA and .903 SV% now … Norfolk improved to 6-2-1-0 in its nine December games … The Admirals have allowed only 17 goals in nine games in December (1.89 goals against per game) … Norfolk has killed 50 of 54 opponent power plays in December (92.6%) … The Admirals did not allow a power play goal to Albany on 14 chances over the two-game set at Scope … Norfolk is now 3-0-0-0 through three of four games against the Devils in 2012-13. The final game of the regular season series will be played on April 20, 2013, at Albany – Norfolk’s second-to-last game of the regular season … Did not play: Gabe Guentzel, John Mitchell, Matt Smaby, Frederik Andersen.
Albany Devils 1 at Norfolk Admirals 2 (OT) – Status: Final OT
Saturday, December 22, 2012 – Norfolk Scope
Albany 0 0 1 0 – 1
Norfolk 0 0 1 1 – 2
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Leach Alb (delay of game), 7:53; Rosehill Nor (interference), 11:00; Clark Nor (tripping), 15:11; Sestito Alb (fighting), 17:11; Schaus Nor (fighting), 17:11.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Wagner Nor (interference), 7:33; Wagner Nor (goaltender interference), 9:49; Zajac Alb (tripping), 12:11.
3rd Period-1, Albany, Butler 11 (Zalewski), 4:42. 2, Norfolk, Etem 7 (Maroon, Vatanen), 19:27. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period-3, Norfolk, Etem 8 (Holland), 0:06. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Albany 11-10-5-0-26. Norfolk 13-8-14-1-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 4; Norfolk 0 / 2.
Goalies-Albany, Kinkaid 6-7-3 (36 shots-34 saves). Norfolk, Bobkov 6-7-0 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42).
Linesmen-Ryan Daisy (90), Scott Adams (20).