NORFOLK, Va. – Devante Smith-Pelly tallied two power play goals and goaltender John Gibson made 20 saves in leading the Norfolk Admirals to a 4-1 win over the Wilkes-Barr/Scranton Penguins at the Norfolk Scope.
The game remained in a scoreless deadlock until the Admirals went on their first power play late in the first. Smith-Pelly was left alone atop of the crease and redirected Alex Grant’s point shot inside the near post at 14:32.
With 1:56 remaining until the intermission, Norfolk doubled its lead after Garnet Exelby let loose another wrist shot from the left point. Penguins goaltender Jeff Deslauriers made the pad save, but the rebound banked off the skate of John Kurtz and into to net to make the score 2-0 for the Admirals.
At 6:09 of the second period, a goalie fight between Deslauriers and Gibson erupted during a timeout on the ice. The ensuing penalties would see the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder assessed a game misconduct and forced to exit the game. Deslauriers finished the night with six saves on eight shots over 26:09 of play.
In his first game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since November 23, it was Zach Sill cutting Norfolk’s lead in half 2:14 before the second intermission. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin waited at the center blue line for traffic to develop in front of Gibson and fired a pass to the right hash that was tipped into the net by Sill for his third goal of the season.
The Penguins would have plenty of opportunity to even the score with three man-advantages in the first eight minutes of the third, but the Admirals penalty kill was able to deny Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the game-tying goal.
Five minutes later, Norfolk struck on its own power play to regain the two-goal lead. Working a give-and-go with Emerson Etem, Smith-Pelly buried his second of the night at 13:23 of the third period. An empty net goal from David Steckel would ice the game for the Admirals giving them their third win in as many games against the Penguins this season.
Deslauriers suffered the loss to fall to 16-11-2 on the season, while Eric Hartzell stopped 8-of-9 in relief.
The Penguins and Admirals take the ice for their rematch on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7:15 p.m. Tune into the live game action on the Sports Hub 102 or AHL Live.
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