Season-High Crowd Witnesses Admirals History in Spirited Contest
Bochenski Ties Goal-Scoring Record in Loss to Hershey
NORFOLK, Va. – A season-high crowd of 5,017 at Norfolk Scope Arena saw Brandon Bochenski tie the all-time AHL Admirals goal-scoring record and the home team fight tooth-and-nail with the East Division leaders. However, the Norfolk Admirals (15-18-1-0) fell to the Hershey Bears (24-8-0-2) 5-3 on Tuesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals now head out on the road for a three-game trip before returning to Scope to host the Syracuse Crunch on Friday and Saturday, January 8-9.
The Admirals out-shot the Bears 8-1 in the first 8:09 of the game. However, Hershey took control from there, out-shooting Norfolk 10-1 in the final 11:51 and taking a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals midway through the period.
An Alexandre Giroux goal at 8:29 opened scoring off a neutral zone turnover. Keith Aucoin skated the puck into the Norfolk zone and sent a pass to Andrew Gordon in the right circle. Gordon attempted a pass across the slot that was stopped by the leg of an Admirals defenseman. However, the puck stayed at the top of the crease where Giroux punched it in past a prone Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski.
The visitors doubled their lead just 36 seconds later. An Admirals attempted shot was blocked and began a Hershey rush. Steve Pinizzotto carried the puck into the Admirals zone along the left wing and sent a wrist shot past the blocker of a screened Tokarski at 9:05.
A spirited second stanza saw the teams exchange 30 shots – 14 for Norfolk and 16 for Hershey. The Admirals got on the board just 2:56 into the period with Matt Syroczynski’s sixth goal of the season. Syroczynski won a race for the puck in the left corner behind Hershey goaltender Jason Bacashihua and got it to Mitch Fritz at the left faceoff circle. Fritz stood stationary as he fended off a Hershey defender before dropping a pass to Syroczynski at the dot. Syroczynski skated into the slot and fired a wrist shot past the blocker of Bacashihua.
However, Hershey re-established their two-goal lead with a Chris Bourque breakaway goal late in the period. Francois Bouchard sent a long pass from the left point of the Hershey zone to Bourque at the middle of the Norfolk blueline. Bourque eluded Tokarski’s poke check and sent a forehand shot past the prone netminder at 18:21.
The third period was full of drama, as the Admirals again closed the gap to a single goal just 2:28 into the period with Brandon Bochenski’s record-tying goal. Syroczynski sent a pass from the left corner to Bochenski in the slot. Bochenski’s quick wrist shot beat Bacashihua for a power play goal. The goal was Bochenski’s 76th career Admirals goal, tying Casey Hankinson’s AHL Admirals record for career goals.
Hershey once again answered to re-establish a two-goal lead. Bryan Helmer scored the first shorthanded goal surrendered by the Admirals this season at 5:02.
However, the Admirals wasted little time in closing the gap once again, as they made the score 4-3 on the very next shift with a power play goal. Juraj Simek accepted an Adam Hall feed in the left faceoff circle. Simek waited for a screen to develop before rifling a wrist shot from the left dot past Bacashihua for his seventh goal of the season at 5:26.
Norfolk kept the pressure on the Bears and Bacashihua throughout the final frame and lifted Tokarski in favor of the extra attacker in the game’s final minutes. However, Bourque cemented the Bears victory with an empty-net goal with 57 seconds remaining for a 5-3 final score.
Dustin Tokarski (35 shots, 31 saves) suffered the loss. Jason Bacashihua (33 shots, 30 saves) got the win.
Norfolk was 2-4 on the power play. Hershey was 0-3.
The Admirals now embark on a three-game road trip beginning on Thursday evening with a New Year’s Eve tilt against the Binghamton Senators. The puck drops at 6:05 p.m.
The next home action for the Admirals will be a pair of games against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday and Saturday, January 8-9. Friday
For a complete schedule and details of the promotions, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212.
1. Chris Bourque – HER
2. Matt Syroczynski – NOR
3. Mitch Fritz – NOR
NOTES … Brandon Bochenski’s third period tally tied the AHL Admirals career goal-scoring record. Bochenski’s 76th career goal came in his 138th game with Norfolk. He tied Casey Hankinson, who had 76 goals in 219 career games from 2000 – 2003 … The goal was also Bochenski’s 33rd career power play goal, extending his AHL Admirals record … Bochenski is now tied for the league lead with 16 goals this season … After going the first 28 games of the season without multiple power play goals in a game, the Admirals have scored multiple power play goals in three of their last five games … Norfolk is 6/19 (31.6%) on the power play in the last five games … Mark Parrish’s six-game point (5G, 4A) streak ended tonight. The streak is tied for the longest of the season for the Admirals … Scratches: D Ethan Graham, F Mitch Fadden ... Attendance: 5,017 (season high).