Dov Grumet-Morris stopped 21 shots and the Hartford Wolf Pack used two second period goals to top the Norfolk Admirals 3-1 Saturday night at Scope.
Late in the first period, Hartford found their way past John Gibson for the first time this weekend. The Wolf Pack’s Oscar Lindberg collected a puck along the boards in the Admirals’ zone and heaved it toward Gibson. Micheal Haley stood in front for Hartford and deflected the puck off his left skate, beating Gibson to his left side for the goal.
Haley’s marker came with a minute and 33 seconds left on the clock in the opening frame. Hartford took the one-goal lead into the first intermission.
The Wolf Pack lead grew just 56 seconds into the second period. Marek Hrivik took a two-line pass from Aaron Johnson towards Gibson and flicked it into the top corner for a two-goal Wolf Pack advantage.
Midway through the second, Hartford raced into the Norfolk zone on an odd-man rush. Captain Aaron Johnson dished into the center for Brendon Nash. Nash drove toward Gibson and curled a pass behind his back to T.J. Hensick on the left side. Nash’s perfect backhanded feed found Hensick who zipped a wrister by Gibson’s left shoulder to put the Wolf Pack up by three. Hensick’s fourth of the year lit the lamp at 10:36 of the second period and ended Gibson’s night. Brad Thiessen took his spot in the crease and turned away every shot he faced.
The Admirals got on the board in the third when defenseman Kevin Gagne one-timed a loose puck inside the circle past Hartford netminder Dov Grumet-Morris. Gagne tallied his second goal of the campaign at 6:01 of the final period.
Hartford and Grumet-Morris allowed only one goal, and secured the comfortable 3-1 win to split the weekend series in Norfolk.
Grumet-Morris picked up his seventh win making 21 saves as Hartford earned their eighteenth of the season. Gibson takes the loss allowing three goals on 16 shots faced, while Thiessen turned aside all ten shots face in a relief effort.
Norfolk is now 25-15-1-7 in a tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference as Hartford improves to 18-24-0-5 and remains in last place of the conference.
The Admirals continue their homestand next Friday (Feb. 14) and Saturday (Feb. 15). Former Admirals greats Chad Ackerman and Dominic Maltais will be inducted into the Admirals Hall of Fame prior to Friday’s game. On Saturday there will be a postgame skate with the Admirals players.
Game tickets are now on sale, and are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.