Norfolk Improves to 3-0-0-0 with 7-2 Victory Over Worcester
NORFOLK, Va. – Chris Durno, Johan Harju and Paul Szczechura each scored twice in part of a franchise-record 56-shot attack as the Norfolk Admirals (3-0-0-0) upended the Worcester Sharks (1-2-0-1), 7-2, on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. Norfolk has begun a season with wins in each of its first three games for just the second time in their AHL history.
The Admirals attack began just 27 seconds into the game. Matt Fornataro intercepted a clearing pass at the right point and chipped the puck up the wall to Paul Szczechura. Szczechura skated toward the net and sent a pass into the slot to Fornataro, who quickly sent it back toward the goalmouth for a Szczechura deflection past the left leg of Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock.
Norfolk’s lead doubled just over three minutes later as a power play expired. Blair Jones entered the attacking zone at the right point and sent the puck to Johan Harju, who broke in on net alone. Harju sent a sharp backhand shot over the glove of Stalock at 3:47 for a 2-0 Admirals lead.
As that goal was being announced, Norfolk increased its lead to 3-0 on a Chris Durno goal. Ty Wishart intercepted a clearing attempt at the blueline and sent a high shot from the right point toward the goal. Durno deflected the shot down from between the hashmarks past Stalock at 4:11. After the goal, Stalock was replaced in the Sharks net by Carter Hutton.
The goaltender change seemed to ignite the Worcester attack as the Sharks got on the board midway through the first period. James Marcou intercepted the puck behind the net and sent it toward the goalmouth. Benn Ferriero chipped it past the blocker of Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski at 10:58.
Just over three minutes later while on a power play, Marcou cut Worcester's deficit to 3-2 with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that eluded the glove of Dustin Tokarski at 13:59.
However, that was all the offense the Sharks' attack would muster for the remainder of the game. Szczechura netted his second goal of the game just 2:39 into the second period after backhanding a Mathieu Roy feed past the blocker of Hutton. Just over a minute later, Marc-Antoine Pouliot scored his first goal as an Admiral after one-timing a Blair Jones pass into the net for a power play goal at 3:46.
The Admirals iced the game in the third period with goals by Johan Harju on the power play at 7:11 and Chris Durno at even strength at 12:44.
Dustin Tokarski (36 shots, 34 saves) earned his second win of the season. Alex Stalock (5 shots, 2 saves) took the loss through the first 4:11 of the game. Carter Hutton (51 shots, 47 saves) did not receive a decision in 55:49 of relief play.
Norfolk was 2-3 on the power play. Worcester was 1-3.
The Admirals will embark on a four-game road trip next week beginning on Wednesday night in Hartford against the Wolf Pack. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2010-11 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $350 while 10-Packs are available for as little as $110. 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. Johan Harju – NOR
2. Paul Szczechura – NOR
3. Blair Jones – NOR
NOTES … Norfolk has begun a season with wins in each of its first three wins for just the second time in its AHL history (2004-05) … The Admirals' 56 shots on goal eclipsed the former AHL Admirals franchise record of 53 shots, which had previously occurred twice (February 20, 2010 vs. Springfield Falcons and January 7, 2006, vs. Lowell Lock Monsters) … Norfolk is averaging six goals per game – the highest average in the American Hockey League … Johan Harju and Marc-Antoine Pouliot each scored their first goals as Admirals … Mark Barberio assisted on Chris Durno's third period goal for his first professional point … Sixteen of Norfolk's 20 skaters who have appeared in at least one game this season have points. Nine of those players are averaging at least one point per game … Scratches: Stefano Giliati, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Alex Hutchings, Radko Gudas, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins … Attendance: 3,330.