SPRINGFIELD, MA – Six different goal scorers, a franchise-record five power play goals, and a four-goal second period would not be enough as the Norfolk Admirals (5-9-1-3) fell to the Springfield Falcons (8-4-2-1) by a 7-6 score on Friday night at the MassMutual Center.
The fireworks started at the opening faceoff, as Admirals captain Zenon Konopka and winger Guillaume Lefebvre fought one second into the contest.
Springfield then took a 3-0 lead in the first period as they capitalized on three Norfolk penalties. While skating with a five-on-three advantage, Gilbert Brule attempted a pass from the left faceoff circle toward the opposite post that deflected off a player in the slot and bounded past Norfolk netminder Mike McKenna at 8:54.
Former Admiral Carl Corazzini doubled Springfield’s lead off the ensuing faceoff. He broke in along the left wing and netted a power play goal with a snap shot from the left circle at 8:59.
Springfield took a three-goal lead just over four minutes later as a Norfolk penalty expired. Theo Peckham deflected a Rob Schremp feed into the net at 13:07.
The Admirals drew to within one goal of Springfield late in the first period with their first power play goal. Paul Szczechura sent a pass from the right corner to Brandon Segal in the slot, and Segal sent a wrist shot past Falcons netminder Devan Dubnyk at 18:00.
A see-saw second period started when Brandon Bochenski make it 3-2 early in the stanza. Zenon Konopka sent a shot from the right circle that was deflected by Bochenski past Dubnyk’s left leg at 1:32.
Derek Bekar then converted a cross-crease pass at 3:35 to restore the Springfield two-goal lead at 4-2.
Back-to-back Falcons penalties gave the Admirals a five-on-three power play, and they capitalized at 6:44. Jamie Heward sent a slap shot from the right point through a screen that eluded Dubnyk and briefly cut Norfolk’s deficit back to one goal.
A defensive miscue in the neutral zone led to Springfield’s fifth goal. Bryan Lerg broke in alone on McKenna and lifted a backhand shot top-shelf at 8:38.
Norfolk charged back with a pair of power play goals to tie the game at 5-5 after two periods. Zenon Konopka found the puck out of a goalmouth scramble at the bottom of the right circle and sent a shot that ricocheted off a Falcons defender into the net at 12:11.
Just over two minutes later, the Admirals’ franchise record-tying fifth power play goal off the stick of Bracken Kearns knotted the game at five goals apiece. Daryl Boyle sent a shot from the point that went wide and caromed off the end boards to Blair Jones at the bottom of the right circle. Jones got the puck to Kearns who stuffed it home at 14:23.
Norfolk missed setting a new franchise mark for power play goals in a game by two seconds early in the third period, but didn’t mind as they took a 6-5 lead. Paul Szczechura netted his team-leading tenth goal on the season when his slap shot from the left hashmarks eluded Dubnyk 5:39 into the final frame just as a Springfield penalty expired.
However, it would be Springfield’s power play that would strike next. Peckham fired a wrist shot through a screen from the right point that went over McKenna’s right leg at 8:38.
Just over four minutes later, Tyler Spurgeon gave Springfield the winning margin when his wrist shot from the right half-wall snuck past McKenna at 12:50.
Mike McKenna (33 shots, 26 saves) got the loss. Devan Dubnyk (37 shots, 31 saves) picked up the win.
Norfolk was 5-9 on the power play. Springfield was 3-8.
The Admirals’ seven-game road trip will conclude tomorrow afternoon in Lowell with a 1:30 p.m. faceoff against the Devils. Fans may watch the game at Lendy’s Café on General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach. For more information, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
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 next week centered around Thanksgiving: Wednesday, November 26 versus the Springfield Falcons, and Friday and Saturday, 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. Tyler Spurgeon – SPR
2. Theo Peckham – SPR
3. Jamie Heward – NOR
Notes … Tonight marked the third time Norfolk netted a franchise-high five power play goals in a game. The last time also came against Springfield on October 14, 2006 at Norfolk Scope … Norfolk’s power play, which entered the contest at a 16.5% efficiency and ranked 17th in the AHL, vaulted to a 20.2% efficiency and a 4th place ranking in the league (as of 10:30 p.m. with four games still in progress) …Tonight’s game marked the first time Norfolk suffered a regulation loss when scoring six or more goals, dropping the Admirals to 39-1-0-1-1 in such games … The teams accumulated a combined 13 goals – just one goal shy of Norfolk’s franchise high of 14 goals in an 8-6 win at Binghamton on December 21, 2005 … With a goal and two assists, Jamie Heward extended his point streak to seven games (4G, 6A) … Former Admiral Carl Corazzini’s first-period goal happened just five seconds after Gilbert Brule’s first goal of the game, a new Norfolk record for the fastest two goals allowed … Corazzini, who played 143 games for Norfolk from 2005-07 and ranks among the franchise’s top ten players in goals, assists, points, power play goals and game-winning goals, played in his 500th career game tonight … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, D Scott Jackson and F Jason Ward ... F Steve Downie served the first game of a three-game suspension levied by the American Hockey League earlier in the day … Attendance: 5,361.