The Norfolk Admirals hosted the Providence Bruins Friday night at Scope in downtown Norfolk. The two teams will rematch Saturday night at 7:15. Admirals rookie netminder Igor Bobkov received the starting nod from Norfolk’s head coach Trent Yawney. Providence’s head bench boss Bruce Cassidy gave Niklas Svedberg the go ahead in net.
Providence’s Graham Mink struck pay dirt for the Bruins late in the first period as he redirected a Matt Bartkowski blue line bomb on the power play beating Bobkov. When the buzzer sounded to end the opening stanza, the shot count favored Providence 12 to Norfolk’s 6.
Graham Mink’s second tally of the night doubled the Bruins lead. Mink shoveled home a Colby Cohen rebound shot at the 46 second mark of the second period. Then, Bruins captain Trent Whitfield found the back of the net while his club was shorthanded. Whitfield’s tally gave the Bruins a commanding three goal lead in the second. After Whitfield’s goal, Yawney elected to pull Bobkov and put in Frederik Andersen who stopped all the shots he faced in relief. When the second period ended, the visiting team still had the advantage in shots 22 to 14.
The Admirals offense couldn’t figure out Niklas Svedberg resulting in a shutout win for the Swedish-born goaltender. The final shot count was 32 Providence and 21 Norfolk. The Admirals hatched goose eggs on the power play while the Bruins cashed in on 2 out of 5 power play chances.
Norfolk’s head coach Trent Yawney shared his thoughts on the game saying, “They turned it over. They lost a lot of loose puck battles. It was uncharacteristic of the way we have been playing.” Yawney went on to say, “It’s how you respond that’s going to be the most important thing. They were the much hungrier team. They won all the faceoffs, all the loose puck battles. Everything from the dots to the boards they won and if they didn’t win it, we helped them by turning it over.”
The Admirals now look to right ship tonight when the two clubs rematch at Norfolk Scope.
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