Admirals fail to complete comeback; Ice Caps hand Norfolk their first loss on the season while ending record steak.
Written By: Brad Johnson
Saturday night, the Norfolk Admirals saw their franchise and league-record winning streak halted at 32 consecutive games as they faced defeat for the first time this season. The St. John's Ice Caps defeated the Admirals by a 3-2 score on the Rock in Newfoundland. While the faces are different this season the franchise had not suffered a regular season loss since last February when they were defeated on the road in Springfield on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Ice Caps dominated the opening period of play as they outshot the visiting Admirals by a 16-5 margin. Despite the advantage in shots neither team found the scoreboard in the first twenty minutes of play. St. John's would be the first to get on the scoreboard at the 11:33 mark of the middle frame. Jason Jaffray sent a pass through the neutral zone to Zach Redmond who skated in the slot and past an Admirals defender firing a wrist shot past Andersen blocker-side for a 1-0 lead.
Norfolk would quickly find themselves on the PK and less than two-minutes later the Admirals would trail by two goals. Jaffray snapped a shot from the right corner that Andersen initially denied, with Norfolk defenseman Jordan Hendry on his knees in the crease, Jaffray would make a nice spin-o-rama picking up his own rebound on the backhand and made no mistake on his second chance as he scored via the five hole at 13:14 for a 2-0 Ice Caps advantage.
The Admirals would finally get on the scoreboard with under a minute remaining in the second stanza. Mark Dekanich turned aside a Hampus Lindholm shot from the left circle, Patrick Maroon swiped at the rebound opportunity and the puck as the puck caromed onto the stick of Devante Smith-Pelley; who wasted no time swiping the puck into a wide open net to cut the deficit in half. The goal was credited at 19:24 and the score after 40:00 was 2-1 St. John's.
The Admirals had a beautiful chance to tie the game just 7:00 minutes into the third. Sami Vatanen deked past a defender skating between the circles and sniped a wrist shot that Dekanich quickly stopped and covered up any chance of a rebound opportunity. It was just over a minute the Ice Caps would capitalize on a nice bounce to regain their two-goal advantage. O'Dell fed the puck to Hunter Tremblay who put a quick shot on goal from the right circle, the puck deflected off a skate in front and to the far side of the net. O'dell was circling behind the net and pounced on the loose puck firing it home past a sprawling Andersen for a 3-1 Ice Caps edge. The Admirals found themselves on a PP with under five-minutes remaining in regulation. Norfolk won the faceoff to the right of goal, Devante Smith-Pelley sent a cross-ice feed to Vatanen who blasted a slap shot through traffic and into the goal top-shelf past Dekanich to the the deficit to 3-2 at 15:10. Norfolk was unable to even the score in the final minutes as the Ice Caps handed the Admirals their first loss of the 2012-2013 campaign.