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February 24, 2010

Mihalik’s Slap Shot Pushes Norfolk Past Binghamton


NORFOLK, Va. – Vladimir Mihalik scored with 2:32 left in regulation to push the Norfolk Admirals (31-25-3-1) past the Binghamton Senators (22-28-3-2) 4-3 on Wednesday night at the Broome County Veteran’s Memorial Arena. The Admirals tied the idle Albany River Rats for second place in the AHL’s East Division and will continue a five-game road trip with game two on Friday night against the Adirondack Phantoms.

The Admirals jumped out to a 1-0 lead 7:51 into the game on a quick passing play. Paul Szczechura sent a feed from the right point to Blair Jones in the right circle. Jones then fired a pass to Mitch Fadden in the slot for a shot past the stick-side of Binghamton goaltender Chris Holt. The goal was Fadden’s fourth of the season.

Norfolk doubled its lead late in the first period with Brandon Bochenski’s team-leading 20th goal of the season. Mark Parrish streaked into the attacking zone along the left wing and dropped a pass from just shy of the goal line to a trailing Bochenski in the left circle. Bochenski chipped a shot past Holt at 19:11.

The Senators got on the board late in the second period. Zack Smith found a rebound in the slot and fired a wrist shot into the net up and over a prone Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski and through a maze of bodies in the crease at 16:32.

Norfolk re-claimed a two-goal lead 7:28 into the third period with captain Ryan Craig’s 19th goal of the season. Craig took the puck through the left circle, behind the net, and emerged into the right circle before sending a wraparound shot under the right arm of Holt for a 3-1 Norfolk lead.

However, the Senators used a pair of quick goals in the next three minutes to tie the game at 3-3. Former Admiral Martin St. Pierre started Binghamton’s second scoring play of the game after his stick snapped on a shot attempt from the right circle. However, the puck had enough momentum to cruise into the left circle where Jim O’Brien re-directed it past Tokarski at 8:54 for a power play goal.

Just under a minute later, Erik Condra found a loose puck behind the net guarded by Tokarski and sent a pass into the high slot. Zack Smith one-timed the puck into the net for his second goal of the game to tie the contest at 3-3 at 9:46 of the third period.

All this set the stage for Mihalik’s dramatic game-winner. After Adam Hall sent a shot off Holt from the right circle, the puck rebounded toward the top of the left circle. Mihalik sent a one-timer into the net for his second goal of the season with 2:32 remaining.

Dustin Tokarski (37 shots, 34 saves) won his 20th game of the season. Chris Holt (43 shots, 39 saves) took the loss.

Norfolk was 0-5 on the power play. Binghamton was 1-4.

The Admirals will continue a five-game road trip with game two on Friday night against the Adirondack Phantoms.

The Admirals will return to Scope on Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, for a pair of pivotal East Division matchups against the Albany River Rats. On March 5, the Admirals and the Norfolk Department of Public Health will team up to offer free H1N1 flu vaccinations to all fans in attendance. Then join us on March 6 for American Cancer Society Relay For Life Night. Special discounted fundraising tickets are available with proceeds going back to the American Cancer Society. For more information or to purchase your vouchers, contact your Relay For Life team leader or the American Cancer Society at (757) 493-7940. The top two selling teams will compete in an intermission broomball game.

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!

Three Stars:
1. Vladimir Mihalik – NOR
2. Zack Smith – BNG
3. Ryan Craig – NOR

NOTES … The Admirals (31-25-3-1, 66 points in 60 games) tied the idle second-place Albany River Rats (30-23-3-3, 66 points in 59 games) … Norfolk stretched its lead over the idle fourth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (29-27-1-1, 60 points in 58 games) to six points … With Jim Johnson being promoted to an assistant coach’s position with the parent Tampa Bay Lightning, Norfolk assistant coach Leigh Mendelson acted as Admirals head coach tonight and picked up his first career AHL head coaching win … With an assist, Mark Parrish extended his point streak to seven games (3G, 6A), setting a Norfolk season high … Parrish has points in 15 of his last 20 games for the Admirals (6G, 12A) … With a goal, Brandon Bochenski has points in all four games (4G, 2A) since returning from Tampa Bay last week … Jaroslav Janus was recalled by the parent Lightning earlier today to participate in Lightning practices as Tampa Bay goaltender Antero Niittymaki is still participating in the Olympics for Team Finland … Goaltender Matt Lundin, brother of former Admirals defenseman Mike Lundin, was signed to a Professional Tryout Contract earlier in the day and served as Dustin Tokarski’s backup … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Justin Keller … Attendance: 2,875.

# THE HEARTBEAT OF HAMPTON ROADS #

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