NORFOLK, VA – Goals by Brandon Bochenski and Justin Keller gave the Norfolk Admirals (14-19-1-4) a 2-1 lead in the third period. However, the Hershey Bears (27-9-0-1) scored twice in the game’s final ten minutes to hand Norfolk a 3-2 setback on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead 3:53 into the opening stanza on the power play. Alexandre Giroux sent a shot from between the hashmarks that went through the legs of Norfolk netminder Mike McKenna.
The Admirals tied the game at 18:24 of the middle period only three seconds after a Hershey power play expired. While penalty killing, Brandon Bochenski picked off a pass at the top of the left circle in his own zone. He raced down the ice two-on-one and sent a saucer pass from the right half wall to Chris Gratton at the edge of the left circle. Gratton’s shot was stopped by Hershey netminder Simeon Varlamov. However, the rebound caromed off the stick of a Hershey defender into the crease and Bochenski poked it home during the ensuing goalmouth scramble.
Norfolk took the lead 7:57 into the final frame. Varlamov stopped a Justin Keller shot from the slot and the rebound went to Mathieu Curadeau in the right circle. Curadeau sent a turnaround shot into the skates of Keller at the goalmouth, and Keller slipped a shot beneath the right leg pads of the fallen Bears backstop for his fifth goal of the season.
However, the lead would be short-lived as Hershey tied the game at two goals apiece with a power play goal less than three minutes later. Kyle Wilson’s shot from the right circle deflected off an Admirals defender in the slot and found its way into the net at 10:51.
Andrew Joudrey netted the game-winning tally at 14:51. Joudrey took a feed from Andrew Gordon and sent a shot that McKenna slowed but did not stop as it slipped underneath him and went into the cage.
Varlamov made Joudrey’s tally stand by stopping 16 of 17 shots in the final frame.
Mike McKenna (29 shots, 26 saves) took the loss. Simeon Varlamov (37 shots, 35 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-4 on the power play. Hershey was 2-6.
The Admirals’ nine-game homestand continues on Friday night when the Manchester Monarchs come to Scope for a 7:15 tilt.
Friday night is Literacy Night. Fans are encouraged to bring new books to donate to the Tidewater Literacy Council and the R.E.A.C.H. Organization. For more details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
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. Andrew Joudrey – HER
2. Simeon Varlamov – HER
3. Mike McKenna – NOR
Notes … Chris Gratton extended his scoring streak to four games (1G, 3A) with an assist and has points in six of the eight games he has appeared in for the Admirals this season (1G, 6A) … Mike McKenna denied Keith Aucoin on a third period penalty shot … Norfolk has now stopped 11 of 14 penalty shot attempts since joining the American Hockey League … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, F Juraj Simek, F/D Brent Henley, D Andy Rogers, F Brandon Segal … Attendance: 3,331.