ALBANY, NY – On Wednesday night at the Times Union Center, Brandon Bochenski extended his point streak to five games and Vladimir Mihalik netted his first goal of the season. However, the Norfolk Admirals (7-12-1-4) fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Albany River Rats (7-9-3-2).
The River Rats took a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period with a Nicolas Blanchard power play goal. Bryan Rodney centered a pass from the right circle to Blanchard in the slot, and Blanchard chipped the puck past a sliding Admirals goaltender Karri Ramo at 11:42.
Vladimir Mihalik’s first goal of the season knotted the score at 1-1 near the game’s halfway point. Norfolk captain Zenon Konopka cut across the goalmouth and fell into River Rats goaltender Daniel Manzato after being impeded by an Albany defenseman. Mihalik picked up the puck in the left circle and fired it top-shelf past a helpless Manzato at 9:42.
The River Rats struck back just over two minutes later to reclaim the lead. Jakub Petruzalek centered the puck from behind the goal line to Stefan Chaput in the slot. Chaput backhanded a shot past Ramo at 11:51.
Norfolk leveled the game at 2-2 early in the third period. Brandon Bochenski went behind the net and checked an Albany defender off the puck. The puck slid to Blair Jones in the left corner. Jones skated along the goal line to the top of the crease and sent a forehand wrister past Manzato’s left leg at 5:47.
After a scoreless overtime, the teams required a shootout in order to find a winner. Brandon Bochenski, Zenon Konopka and Jamie Heward converted for Norfolk while Michael Ryan, Stefan Chaput and Bryan Rodney also scored to force the shootout beyond the scheduled five rounds. After a scoreless sixth and seventh round, Rodney scored again in the top eighth round and Manzato denied Jones to give the River Rats the decision.
Karri Ramo (37 shots, 35 saves) shouldered the shootout loss. Daniel Manzato (33 shots, 31 saves) picked up the win.
Norfolk was 0-4 on the power play. Albany was 1-7.
The Admirals and River Rats will square off again at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. Fans are invited to watch the game at Lendy’s Café on General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach. For more information, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
The Admirals will return to Scope next week with contests against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on December 10 and against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on December 12 and 13.
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. Stefan Chaput – ALB
2. Blair Jones – NOR
3. Nicolas Blanchard – ALB
Notes … Brandon Bochenski has points in his last five games (4G, 5A) and has points in eight of the last ten games (7G, 8A) … Vladimir Mihalik’s goal was his second career pro goal. He went 80 games between goals with Norfolk since scoring in the 2007-08 home opener on October 19, 2007 versus Binghamton … Norfolk fell to 0-4 in shootouts this season … Forwards Paul Szczechura and Radek Smolenak made their NHL debuts last night for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Philadelphia. Smolenak assisted on Steve Downie’s game-tying goal in the third period for his first NHL point in his debut … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, G Mike McKenna … Attendance: 2,081.