Admirals Blast Checkers 7-3, Win Third Straight Game
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Norfolk Admirals (10-4-3-1) scored five unanswered goals to defeat the Charlotte Checkers (10-8-1-2), 7-3, on Monday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena. Chris Durno and Johan Harju each had two goals while Mike Vernace, James Wright and Stefano Giliati had single goals.
Norfolk’s third straight win moves them ahead of Charlotte by one point for second place in the AHL's East Division. The Admirals and Checkers will now travel to Scope for a Wednesday night rematch at 7:15 p.m.
The Admirals jumped in front on Durno’s first goal just 1:05 into the contest. Kevin Quick sent a shot from the left point that Durno deflected through the legs of Checkers goaltender Justin Pogge.
A few minutes later, penalties to Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Durno gave Charlotte a five-on-three power play, and the Checkers capitalized to take the lead. Zac Dalpe scored on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle for a five-on-three power play goal at 3:30. Jacob Micflikier tipped a Zach Boychuk shot past Norfolk netminder Cedrick Desjardins for a five-on-four power play goal at 4:37.
Durno tied the game at 2-2 with his second goal of the evening. He emerged from the left corner and protected the puck from Charlotte defenders with his back to the net. He spun around at the left faceoff dot and sent a wrist shot past a screened Pogge at 8:31 for his seventh goal of the season.
Charlotte re-claimed the lead at 14:07, as Jerome Samson was the first to spot a loose rebound in the left circle and fired it past Desjardins.
However, the lead lasted less than three minutes as Harju netted his first goal of the night to tie the game at 3-3. Alex Berry sent a shot from the top of the right circle that bounced off Pogge and caromed into the left circle. Harju quickly fired the rebound off Pogge’s right shoulder and into the net at 16:48.
The visitors took the lead for good midway through the second period on Mike Vernace’s third goal of the season. He sent a shot from the right half-wall through the leg pads of a screened Pogge at 11:09 for a 4-3 Norfolk lead. Following the goal, Pogge was replaced in net by Mike Murphy.
The Admirals doubled their lead with Harju’s second goal of the game with just over three minutes remaining in the second period. Mike Angelidis intercepted a Checkers feed in the low slot and backhanded the puck to Harju at the top of the crease to Murphy’s right. Harju rifled the puck past Murphy's right leg at 16:40 for his team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Norfolk went up 6-3 with a shorthanded goal exactly one minute into the third period. While penalty killing, James Wright blocked a shot at the left point of the Norfolk zone and the puck squirted out into the neutral zone. Wright beat a Charlotte defender to the puck and broke in with a partial breakaway, deking around the right leg of Murphy before sending the puck into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Stefano Giliati closed out scoring at 5:16 of the final period. He broke in alone and sent a shot from the left circle that beat Murphy for his second goal of the season.
Cedrick Desjardins (27 shots, 24 saves) earned his sixth win of the season. Justin Pogge (23 shots, 19 saves) took the loss through 31:09. Mike Murphy (17 shots, 14 saves) did not receive a decision in 28:41 of relief.
Norfolk was 0-3 on the power play. Charlotte was 2-5.
The Admirals and Checkers will now head to Scope for a Wednesday night rematch at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday's game marks the return of Admirals Family Fun Packs and Student Rush Nights.
Family Fun Packs, presented by SunTrust, include four discounted Red Level Tickets for just $48 plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $48 – that’s a savings of $37!
Student Rush Nights provide $8 White Level Tickets (normally $12) for students with a valid current high school or college ID. In addition, when you buy a Student Rush Night Ticket, you get a buy-one, get-one free offer for the next Student Rush Night.
Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
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. Chris Durno – NOR
2. Johan Harju – NOR
3. Mike Vernace – NOR
NOTES … Norfolk tied a season high for goals in a single game, netting seven goals for the third time in 2010-11 … The Admirals have scored six or more goals five times in their 18 games this season. They did so only three times in 80 games in 2009-10 … Chris Durno and Johan Harju turned in the tenth and eleventh two-goal performances by the Admirals this season, but Norfolk has had no hat tricks in 2010-11 … Mike Vernace scored his third goal of the season, tying his AHL career high for a single season … Both Harju and Vernace were returned to the Admirals by their NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, yesterday … Former Admiral Dana Tyrell scored his second career NHL goal in the Lightning’s 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins tonight in Tampa Bay … Scratches: Tim Marks, Vladimir Mihalik, Marc-Antoine Pouliot.