NORFOLK, VA – Brandon Bochenski netted two goals to lead the Norfolk Admirals (17-21-2-5) past the Albany River Rats (19-22-3-2) 5-4 on Thursday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The River Rats built a 2-0 lead through the first half of the opening frame. Jonathan Paiement finished off a Nick Dodge cross-crease pass for a power play goal at 6:03. Joe Jensen backhanded the rebound of a Mike Angelidis shot past Norfolk netminder Mike McKenna at 9:51.
The Admirals responded with a pair of goals in the final half of the first period. Justin Keller put the Admirals on the board at 11:37 when he found the rebound of a Kevin Quick point shot in the slot and sent it past Albany goaltender Justin Peters low on Peters’ stick-side.
Brandon Bochenski knotted the score at 2-2 less than two minutes later. Keller attempted a wraparound shot that caromed off Peters into the low slot. Bochenski backhanded the rebound from the top of the crease past Peters at 13:06. The Admirals peppered Peters with 25 shots in the period.
Norfolk took a 3-2 lead with Jay Rosehill’s third goal of the season at 5:25 of the second stanza. Rosehill’s shot from the left faceoff circle squeezed between Peters’ glove and left leg pad and trickled across the goal line.
Albany’s Dwight Helminen tied the game at 3-3 at 18:49 of the second stanza. He stole the puck in his own zone and broke in one-on-one along the left wing before using a Norfolk defenseman as a screen and sending a wrist shot past McKenna.
The Admirals re-claimed the lead with a quick pair of markers in the seventh minute of the final frame. The first goal came on the power play at 6:06. Blair Jones sent a shot from the high slot that Peters stopped. The rebound came to Zenon Konopka in the right circle and Konopka netted his eleventh goal of the season with a quick shot past Peters’ left leg.
Forty-two seconds later, Bochenski netted his team-leading fifteenth goal of the season. Jones attempted a wraparound shot at the left post that ended up on Bochenski’s blade in the goalmouth. Bochenski sent a quick forehand shot through Peters’ legs a 6:48 for a 5-3 lead.
Ryan Weston brought the visitors to within a goal of tying the game less than five minutes later. He faked a forehand shot before sending a backhander from in tight through McKenna’s legs at 11:43.
However, none of Albany’s other 12 third-period shots found their mark as Norfolk held on for a 5-4 win.
Mike McKenna (33 shots, 29 saves) earned the win. Justin Peters (50 shots, 45 saves) got the loss.
Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play. Albany was 1-4.
The Admirals’ nine-game homestand will conclude tomorrow night with a rematch against the Albany River Rats. The puck drops 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. Brandon Bochenski – NOR
2. Justin Keller – NOR
3. Ryan Weston – ALB
Notes … Zenon Konopka’s third period goal snapped a 21-chance goalless drought for the Admirals on the power play dating back to a Steve Downie power play goal on January 10 versus Manchester … Norfolk’s 50 shots on goal were the most since March 17, 2007 versus Bridgeport (also 50 shots) and were just three shots off of the franchise record (53, January 7, 2006 versus the Lowell Lock Monsters) … Five Norfolk players registered at least five shots in the game (Blair Jones, Radek Smolenak, Justin Keller, Brandon Segal, Bochenski) … Grant Potulny’s three-game point/assist streak ended (1G, 3A) … Bochenski (4G, 4A) and Bracken Kearns (4G, 4A) each have points in six of their last eight games … Keller has points in three of his last four games (2G, 4A). All seven of Keller’s goals this season have come at home … Jones has points in four of his last six games (3G, 4A) … Scratches: F Juraj Simek, F Jason Ward, F/D Brent Henley, D Andy Rogers … Goaltender Karri Ramo served the first game of his six-game suspension … Attendance: 2,753.