WORCESTER, Mass. – Blair Jones brought the Norfolk Admirals (10-11-1-0) to within a goal of tying the Worcester Sharks (10-10-0-1) late in the third period. However, the Admirals were unable to score the equalizer as they fell to the Sharks 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center.
The Admirals dropped to 2-4-1-0 through seven games of their eight-game road trip, which concludes on Wednesday night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead with 1:52 left in the first period after stealing the puck from the Admirals in the Norfolk zone. John McCarthy accepted a tipped pass in the slot and fired a shot past goaltender Dustin Tokarski.
The Admirals tied the game with 3:49 left in the second stanza. Worcester turned over the puck in the neutral zone and Matt Syroczynski crossed the blue line into the high slot and sent a wrist shot on net. The puck glanced off the arm of Sharks netminder Alex Stalock on its way into the back of the net for Syroczynski’s third goal of the season.
Worcester reclaimed their lead just 1:10 into the third period off a faceoff in the Norfolk zone. Defenseman Joe Callahan sent a shot from the left point that was deflected in the low slot by center Cory Quirk into the net.
The Sharks doubled their lead shortly thereafter with a goal by former Admiral Mathieu Curadeau. Curadeau, who skated in 18 games for Norfolk last season, skated into the attacking zone along the left wing on a two-on-one break. Curadeau crossed the hashmarks and attempted a pass across the slot that deflected off an Admirals defenseman in the slot and got past Tokarski at 4:12.
The Admirals closed back to within a goal of the Sharks with 3:59 left in the period. Ethan Graham’s blueline shot was blocked and the puck ended up on the blade of Radek Smolenak at the top of the crease. Smolenak fed the puck to Blair Jones at the edge of the circle to his left. Jones quickly shot the puck past Stalock for his fifth goal of the season.
Jones’ goal was one of 12 shots in the final frame for the Admirals. The visitors pulled goaltender Dustin Tokarski in favor of the extra attacker late in the period in an attempt to knot the score at 3-3. However, they could not get the game-tying goal past Stalock as they fell 3-2.
Dustin Tokarski (27 shots, 24 saves) took the loss. Alex Stalock (30 shots, 28 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-4 on the power play. Worcester was 0-3.
The Admirals will conclude their season-long eight-game road trip on Wednesday night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:05 p.m. All Admirals games can be heard on STAR 1310-AM and star1310.com. They can also be seen on a pay-per-view basis on ahllive.com.
The Admirals will return to Scope Friday and Saturday to square off against the Albany River Rats. The puck drops both nights at 7:15 p.m. The first 2,500 fans through the gates on Friday will receive a free Admirals mousepad courtesy of Your Community PhoneBook. For details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
1. Cory Quirk – WOR
2. John McCarthy – WOR
3. Blair Jones – NOR
NOTES … The Admirals finished a stretch of five games in six days with two wins and three losses … The Norfolk penalty kill is 20/20 through seven games of the eight-game road trip … Twenty of Norfolk’s 21 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals … Blair Jones has points in seven of his last ten games (4G, 8A) … Jones leads Norfolk in scoring on the road trip with six points (2G, 4A) … Scratches: LW Mark Parrish, C Mitch Fadden ... Attendance: 2,444.