Saturday Night Hockey In Jacksonville
Wacey Rabbit scored twice, but it would not be enough as the Jacksonville Icemen dropped a 5-3 decision to the Norfolk Admirals at the Veterans Memorial Arena Saturday night.
Norfolk newcomer Stathis Soumelidis skated down the right wing in the Jacksonville end and feathered a pass on the front door to Matt McMorrow. McMorrow got enough of the puck to redirect around Icemen netminder Tanner Jaillet to give Norfolk a 1-0 edge at 5:17 into the first period. Nearly four minutes later, Luke Nogard potted his 15th tally of the season. Using a defender as a screen, Nogard collected the puck just above the left wing circle and snapped a shot past an unsuspecting Jaillet to extend the Norfolk lead to 2-0.
Jacksonville got on the board at 16:32 of the opening frame when the puck deflected off the back dasher directly to the stick of Wacey Rabbit on the backside of the crease. Rabbit immediately shoved the puck with ease into the open Norfolk net for the first Icemen marker.
However, the Admirals regained a two-goal edge on a tally from Darik Angeli just two minutes later. Dan Maggio helped set up his second goal of the night, when he delivered a cross-ice pass to a wide open Angeli on the backside of the Jacksonville net. Angeli tapped the puck into the open net to give the Admirals a 3-1 edge heading into the first intermission.
A busy first period gave way to a quieter second period as the Admirals garnered the only tally in the period on a shorthanded tally by Ben Duffy. Duffy scored his team best 16th goal of the season when he finished off a breakaway chance following a turnover by the Icemen in their own end. The Admirals entered the final stanza of regulation with a three-goal edge, but Jacksonville refused to go down without a fight, receiving two quick strikes just 44 seconds apart to pull within one. The first came on a power play strike by David Broll, while the second was put home once again by Rabbit who netted his second of the contest and team best 22nd goal of the season to cut the Norfolk lead to a 4-3 count. Despite outshooting the Admirals 9-3 in the final period, the Icemen could not find the tying marker as Norfolk goaltender Ty Reichenbach kept the puck out of the for the remainder of the period.
Domenic Alberga capped off his three-point night (1g, 2a) with an empty net goal to secure the 5-3 win for Norfolk.
Reichenbach earns his third win of the week making 18 saves on 21 shots, while Jaillet takes the loss allowing four goals on 21 shots faced.
The two teams will meet again on Sunday at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m.