MANCHESTER, NH – Radek Smolenak had two goals and an assist to help stake the Admirals to a two-goal lead after two periods. However, the Manchester Monarchs (3-5-0-3) scored twice in the third period and twice in the shootout to defeat Norfolk (4-6-1-3) 5-4 on Friday evening at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Norfolk took a 1-0 lead just 3:49 into the contest. Blair Jones sent a pass from the right half wall toward the slot at the hashmarks. Juraj Simek streaked across the slot to the left circle and redirected the pass into the net behind Manchester netminder Jonathan Bernier.
The Monarchs tied the game with under two minutes remaining in the opening frame. Marty Murray sent a shot from the right circle that went off the skate of Matt Moulson at the top of the crease. Moulson’s initial shot was denied by Admirals goaltender Karri Ramo, but his rebound found its mark at 18:39.
Norfolk reclaimed the lead just 35 seconds into the second stanza. Andrew Hutchinson made a steal and got the puck to Paul Szczechura in the slot. Szczechura sent a shot high, blocker-side on Bernier for his seventh goal of the campaign.
Manchester briefly tied the game at two-goals apiece under five minutes later. Teddy Purcell picked up a loose puck along the goal line to the left of Ramo and fed a pass to Gabe Gauthier at the hashmarks along the right circle. Gauthier fired a shot past Ramo at 4:59.
However, Radek Smolenak netted a pair of goals to give Norfolk a two-goal lead after two periods. Smolenak’s first goal came at 6:47 when his shot from along the goal line beat Bernier five-hole along the ice.
The Admirals’ lead grew to 4-2 with 49 seconds remaining in the second period. Jamie Heward sent a shot from the left point that went wide and bounced off the end boards directly to a waiting Smolenak between the crease and bottom of the right circle. Smolenak tapped home his seventh goal of the season at 19:11.
The Monarchs closed their gap to one goal with a Trevor Lewis marker 3:24 into the third period. Lewis sent a shot from the right circle that glanced off Ramo’s right leg pad and trickled over the goal line.
Purcell tied the game at 4-4 late in the third period. He emerged from a puck battle along the right half wall and sent a backhand shot from the slot high past Ramo blocker-side at 16:29.
In the shootout, Vladimir Dravecky and Purcell converted on their attempts while the Admirals could not solve Bernier as Manchester claimed the shootout 2-0 and the game 5-4.
Karri Ramo (32 shots, 28 saves) suffered the shootout loss. Jonathan Bernier (21 shots, 17 saves) picked up the win.
Norfolk was 1-6 on the power play. Manchester was 0-6.
The Admirals’ seven-game road trip will continue tomorrow night with a 7:00 p.m. rematch against the Monarchs in Manchester.
You may listen to all Admirals games live on ESPN Radio 1310 and sportsjuice.com. You may also view the contests online on a pay-per-view basis through AHL Live. For more information, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
The Admirals will return to Scope with three games during the week of Thanksgiving: November 26 versus the Springfield Falcons, and November 28 and 29 versus the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. There are plenty of exciting promotions planned for the week. Visit norfolkadmirals.com for more details.
To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!
1. Radek Smolenak – NOR
2. Matt Moulson – MCH
3. Brandon Segal – NOR
Notes … Paul Szczechura, Radek Smolenak and Brandon Segal now each have seven goals this season to lead Norfolk … Szczechura is on a five-game point streak (2G, 4A) … Jamie Heward (2G, 3A) is on a four-game point streak … Segal is on a three-game point streak (1G, 3A) … Juraj Simek’s first period tally gave the Admirals the first goal of a game for just the second time in 14 games this season … Simek’s goal marked the first time since October 26 at Grand Rapids that the Admirals scored in the first period (six consecutive games without a first period goal) … The Admirals have yet to skate to the first intermission with the lead this season (nine times trailing and five times tied after one period) … With two goals by Smolenak and one by Szczechura in the second period, the Admirals have now tied a season high with three goals in a single period in four straight games … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, D Scott Jackson, F Brandon Bochenski, D Vladimir Mihalik ... Attendance: 4,284.