BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Norfolk Admirals netted three goals in the first two minutes of the third period to surge past the Binghamton Senators 5-2 on Saturday night at the Broome County Veteran’s Memorial Arena.
The Admirals (27-33-3-5) netted the first goal of the contest with just seven seconds remaining in the opening period. Captain Zenon Konopka won a puck battle in the left corner and emerged through the faceoff circle before sending a backhand shot towards the net. The puck bounced off a Binghamton defenseman in the low slot to the blade of Brandon Bochenski, who sent a shot past goaltender Jeff Glass for his team-leading 26th goal of the season.
Norfolk netminder Craig Kowalski stopped all 24 shots he faced through two periods as neither team dented the twine in the second stanza.
The Senators (36-24-5-3) got on the scoreboard just 16 seconds into the final frame. Peter Regin spotted Greg Mauldin in the low slot for a one-timer that beat Kowalski glove-side.
However, the Admirals reclaimed their lead 37 seconds later and then added two additional insurance goals in less than a minute’s span. Radek Smolenak accepted a Chris Lawrence pass in the right faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot that eluded Glass stick-side. Smolenak’s 19th goal of the season came at 0:53.
Exactly 30 seconds later, Norfolk claimed a 3-1 lead with Juraj Simek’s sixth goal of the season. Blair Jones spotted Simek with a pass in the right circle and Simek cut across the slot before firing a shot over the right leg of Glass at 1:23.
It took just 29 seconds for the Admirals to strike again with Pete Zingoni’s fourth goal of the season. Zingoni stole the puck from a Binghamton player along the left half-wall. He emerged from the left corner and sent a backhand shot from near the bottom of the left circle that hopped over the right leg of Glass at 1:52.
Norfolk took a 5-1 lead at 9:20 of the period. Simek won a puck battle in the right corner and cut behind the net before emerging near the bottom of the left circle. He sent a centering feed toward the crease where Blair Jones tipped the puck over the left shoulder of new Binghamton backstop Mitch O’Keefe and into the net for his 17th goal of the season.
Mauldin closed out scoring at 11:08 as he netted his second goal of the game.
Craig Kowalski (34 shots, 32 saves) earned his second victory of the season with Norfolk. Jeff Glass (26 shots, 22 saves) took the loss through 41:52. Mitch O’Keefe (6 shots, 5 saves) did not receive a decision through 18:08.
Norfolk was 0-8 on the power play. Binghamton was 0-2.
The Admirals will close out their five-game road trip tomorrow evening in Philadelphia. The puck drops against the Phantoms at 5:05 p.m.
The next home action takes place on Wednesday, March 18 when the Admirals take on the Binghamton Senators. That night is both Family Fun Pack Night and Student Rush Night. For more details on these discounted ticket offers, 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 2009-10 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $42 per month! 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. Craig Kowalski – NOR
2. Radek Smolenak – NOR
3. Greg Mauldin – BNG
Notes … Norfolk’s three goals 0:59 apart to start the third period were the fastest three goals scored this season … Eleven different Admirals registered points in the game, including multiple-point efforts from Blair Jones (1G, 1A), Juraj Simek (1G, 1A) and Zenon Konopka (0G, 2A) … Konopka now has a team-leading 50 points this season – the second time in his AHL career that he has reached the 50-point plateau. He is just five points off his career high of 55 points (set twice – Syracuse last season and combined between Syracuse and Portland in 2006-07) … Konopka has points and assists in six straight games (1G, 7A) and has points in 10 of his last 12 games (2G, 12A). His assist streak is now tied for the third longest such streak in AHL Admirals history and is five games off the franchise record 11-game assist-streak (Martin St. Pierre, 2006-07) … Jones has points in five of his last seven games (6G, 3A) … Defenseman Matt Lashoff made his Admirals debut. Lashoff was acquired by the Admirals’ NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, from the Boston Bruins at the March 4 trade deadline and had been recuperating a lower body injury … Scratches: D Ty Wishart, F Bracken Kearns, F Jason Ward, F Grant Potulny and D Scott Jackson … F Steve Downie missed the game due to suspension … Attendance: 4,496.