WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Adam Hall and Martins Karsums each had four-point nights and Ryan Craig scored twice on his birthday as the Norfolk Admirals (16-19-2-0) snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (19-16-1-1) on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza. The Admirals now head home to host the Syracuse Crunch at Norfolk Scope on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Admirals took the lead on their first shot of the game. Ryan Craig sent a snap shot from the right faceoff circle that glanced off the crossbar on its way into the net just 46 seconds into the first period.
Mark Letestu tied the game at one goal apiece just over four minutes later. Nick Johnson sent a pass from the right faceoff circle to Letestu at the top of the left circle. Letestu sent a quick shot through traffic that deflected off the glove of Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski and into the net at 5:05.
However, the game was not tied long, as Adam Hall’s seventh goal of the season at 7:06 gave the Admirals back the lead. Martins Karsums attempted a shot from the left circle that went high and caromed off the end boards and landed near the post at the right leg of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender John Curry. Hall found the loose puck and batted it into the net for a 2-1 Norfolk lead.
The visitors doubled their lead 12:57 into the first period and chased Curry from the net. Karsums centered a pass from behind the net to Craig in the low slot. Craig sent a quick shot over the glove of Curry for his second goal of the game. Adam Berkhoel relieved Curry in net after that goal.
Norfolk went up 4-1 just 2:19 into the second stanza. Matt Lashoff attempted a shot from the right faceoff circle that was partially blocked by a Penguins defenseman in the slot. The puck found its way to the low slot, where Radek Smolenak went down to one knee and sent a backhand shot that eluded the glove of Berkhoel and just trickled over the goal line.
The Penguins closed their gap to one goal with a pair of tally four minutes later. Tim Wallace finished off a two-on-one play after accepting a cross-slot pass from Chris Conner and sending a wrist shot past the left leg of Tokarski at 5:00. Just over a minute later, Joe Vitale stole the puck from a Norfolk defensemen in the slot and sent a quick pass to Eric Tangradi at the top of the crease. Tangradi’s shot found its way through the legs of Tokarski at 6:04.
The Admirals restored their two-goal lead just over four minutes later. Lashoff sent a shot from the left point that was deflected into the net from the top of the crease by Hall. The veteran forward’s second goal of the game at 10:22 gave the Admirals a 5-3 lead.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton drew within a goal of the Admirals once again just 1:52 into the final frame. Dustin Jeffrey sent a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that got past the glove of Tokarski to cut Norfolk’s lead to 5-4.
However, that would be all the scoring allowed in the third period, as Tokarski turned aside 16 of 17 shots in the stanza to preserve the Norfolk victory.
Dustin Tokarski (40 shots, 36 saves) earned the win. John Curry (6 shots, 3 saves) did not receive a decision after playing the first 12:57 of the game. Adam Berkhoel (15 shots, 13 saves) took the loss after relieving Curry and playing 45:41.
Both teams were 0-1 on the power play.
The Admirals will now return home for a pair of games against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday and Saturday nights. Both games begin at 7:15 p.m. Friday is All Faith Night with special discounted group tickets available for organizations of all faiths.
Saturday is Special Olympics Night and 2010 Pro Sports Calendar Giveaway Night. Discounted fundraising tickets are available through the Admirals website with proceeds going to Special Olympics of Virginia. Plus, a limited amount of 2010 Pro Sports Calendars featuring the Admirals and Norfolk Tides will be given away at the gates.
For a complete schedule and details of the promotions, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212.
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 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 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. Adam Hall – NOR
2. Ryan Craig – NOR
3. Mark Letestu – WBS
NOTES … The forward line of Adam Hall (2G, 2A), Martins Karsums (0G, 4A) and Ryan Craig (2G, 0A) along with defenseman Matt Lashoff (0G, 2A) combined to score all but one of Norfolk’s nine points in the game … Craig (12G, 8A) and Hall (8G, 11A) moved into second and third place on the team in scoring with 20 and 19 points respectively … Karsums tied an AHL Admirals record with four assists tonight … Karsums has 11 points (3G, 8A) in his last nine games. He had just five points (1G, 4A) in his first 25 games this season … The teams combined for four penalty minutes in the game, tying an AHL Admirals record for fewest combined PIMs in a single game … Both penalties were delay of game penalties after Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Nate Guenin and Norfolk’s Kevin Quick shot the puck out of play … Norfolk was out-shot 17-2 in the third period. The 17 Penguins shots tied an Admirals season high for most opponent shots allowed in a single period while two shots on the goal were the fewest shots taken by the Admirals in a single period this season … Defenseman Kenny Macaulay made his Admirals debut and forward Connor Shields made his AHL and Admirals debut tonight. Both Macaulay and Shields were signed to Professional Tryout Contracts earlier in the day … Scratches: F Mark Parrish, F Dana Tyrell, D Scott Jackson, G Riku Helenius ... Attendance: 5,228.