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Admirals Grab Two Points Despite Losses to Phantoms

January 3, 2015 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Norfolk Admirals News Release

NORFOLK, Va. - Although an overtime period earned the Admirals another point on Saturday night, they were not able to solve Lehigh Valley's Rob Zepp in the shootout and lost, 3-2, at Scope Arena.

Tonight's game began in a similar fashion as Friday's, as the Admirals opened the scoring for the second time in a row. Two penalties by the Phantoms at the end of the first period gave the Admirals a two-man advantage, and the home team didn't waste it. Just 45 seconds into the middle frame, Max Friberg sent a quick pass to newly-reassigned Emerson Etem. Etem whipped a one-timer to beat Lehigh Valley goaltender Rob Zepp. Brendan Bell provided the secondary assist at 8:40 to put the Admirals up 1-0.

Unfortunately, Norfolk's lead did not last. While on a power play of their own late in the second period, former Admiral Blair Jones gave a strong shot from the point that was saved by netminder Jason LaBarbera. Zack Stortini, also a former Admiral, grabbed the rebound to put it over LaBarbera and knot the game up at one. Brandon Manning registered an extra helper at 19:30.

The final period started just as quickly, with Norfolk regaining the advantage 46 seconds in. Etem skated into the zone and lobbed a pass to William Karlsson, who snapped a wrister over Zepp's blocker side. Etem and Mat Clark assisted on Karlsson's fourth of the season to make the score 2-1, Admirals.

Lehigh Valley, however, had no intention to give up. A mere 1:04 later, Petr Straka took advantage of a turnover and nailed the puck on net, beating LaBarbera to tie up the game again, 2-2. Straka's unassisted tally came at 1:50 and would last through regulation.

Unlike last night's contest, a seven-minute overtime session was not enough to decide the match. Zepp was perfect in the shootout as he blanked each of Bell, Dany Heatley and Etem. LaBarbera saved Lehigh Valley's first attempt by Straka, but couldn't turn aside a wrister by Akeson.

Despite Norfolk's strong start to the game, they surrendered a second straight game to Lehigh Valley in extra time, 3-2.

Zepp stopped 34 of 36 shots, while LaBarbera made 39 saves on 41 shots.

Both the Admirals and Phantoms went 1-for-5 on the man-advantage.

Norfolk heads out on another road trip, traveling to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey before returning to Scope on January 16.

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