NORFOLK, VA – Steve Downie scored a hat trick against his former team as the Norfolk Admirals (13-16-1-4) picked up their fourth straight victory with a 7-2 win over the Philadelphia Phantoms (19-13-0-1) on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Admirals stormed out of the gates with two goals in the first half of the opening stanza. Brandon Segal opened scoring with a great individual play 2:37 into the game. Segal started by hitting Phantoms forward Jared Ross at the left point near the Norfolk blueline, stealing the puck from Ross, cutting across the neutral zone and entering the Philadelphia zone along the left wing. He then sent a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe blocker-side.
Norfolk’s lead doubled just under three minutes later. Jason Ward sent a shot from the right faceoff dot that Munroe stopped. However, the rebound fell about a foot in front of the goaltender and Justin Keller swatted it through Munroe’s legs for his fourth goal of the season at 5:11.
The Admirals never looked back after a four-goal, 23-shot second period. With his back to the goaltender, Grant Potulny found the rebound of a Zenon Konopka shot in the low slot. He corralled the puck on his backhand and beat Munroe with a spinaround shot for a power play goal at 1:25.
Downie picked up his first goal of the evening under two minutes later on a power play. Mike Lundin sent a shot from the right point that went wide right. The puck caromed off the end boards behind Munroe to Downie near the opposite post for an easy tap-in goal at 3:10.
Jay Rosehill picked up his second goal of the season at 15:36. After fishing out a dump-in near the left corner, Rosehill attempted a centering feed to a teammate in the opposite faceoff circle. The feed deflected off the stick of a Phantom in front of the net and went behind Munroe.
The Phantoms got on the board just over two minutes later on a power play. Jonathan Matsumoto’s shot from the high slot appeared to deflect off the skate of an Admiral and eluded the right leg of Norfolk netminder Mike McKenna at 17:38.
Downie responded with 24 seconds remaining in the second period. Radek Smolenak attempted a wraparound shot at the right post that was denied. The rebound came to Downie and he stashed it home for his fifth goal of the season.
Downie completed his first professional hat trick mid-way through the final frame. After accepting a Vladimir Mihalik feed, Downie broke in two-on-one and fired a shot from the right circle that beat Munroe at 10:16.
Matsumoto’s second goal of the game closed out scoring at 14:08.
Mike McKenna (36 shots, 34 saves) earned the win. Scott Munroe (48 shots, 41 saves) got the loss.
Norfolk was 2-4 on the power play. Philadelphia was 1-4.
The Admirals will head back on the road for a three-game jaunt beginning on Wednesday in Portland, Maine, against the Pirates. The puck drops at 5:30 p.m.
The Admirals return to Scope to kick off a nine-game homestand with solid home games from January 7-30. The homestand begins for Norfolk against their East Division Rivals, the Hershey Bears, on January 7 at 7:15 p.m.
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. Steve Downie – NOR
2. Grant Potulny – NOR
3. Mike Lundin – NOR
Notes … Norfolk has allowed two or fewer goals in five of its last six games … Matsumoto’s second period goal was the first power play goal allowed by Norfolk since December 10, ending the stretch of opponent power plays killed at 27 … The Admirals have killed 32 of the last 34 opponent power plays overall … With his hat trick, Steve Downie stretched his point streak to a Norfolk season-high eight games (5G, 10A). In six games with Norfolk since being reassigned by the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 12, Downie has five goals and eight assists ... The hat trick was the first for the Admirals since Brandon Bochenski netted hat tricks against the Hershey Bears in back-to-back games on December 30, 2006 at Hershey and January 3, 2007 at Scope … Norfolk’s seven goals scored were the most since last November 21 when they also put up seven goals against the Phantoms at Scope in a 7-3 win … Norfolk’s 23 shots in the second period are a season high and their 48 shots in the game tie a season high … Scratches: F Bracken Kearns, F Pete Zingoni, F Juraj Simek, D Andy Rogers … Attendance: 5,610 (season high).