NORFOLK, Va. – Marc-Antoine Pouliot scored twice in the third period to fuel a comeback, but his Norfolk Admirals (15-6-4-1) fell in overtime to the Syracuse Crunch (9-12-1-3), 4-3, on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals will attempt to close ground on first place as they host the division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at Scope at 7:30 p.m.
Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins saw his personal six-game winning streak snapped after stopping 26 of 30 shots. Matt Fornataro also scored in the third period for Norfolk as the Admirals erased a 3-0 deficit.
Syracuse jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the game’s opening 20 minutes. Dan Sexton opened scoring 5:47 into the game with a power play goal. David Laliberte then tripled the Crunch’s lead with a pair of first period even strength goals. The first came at 6:59 and Laliberte then made it 3-0 at 18:51 with his second goal of the frame.
Neither team scored in the second stanza, as Crunch netminder Jean-Philippe Levasseur turned aside all 20 Admirals shots and Desjardins denied all seven Syracuse offerings.
The Admirals cut their deficit to two goals early in the third period. Blair Jones won a faceoff back to Pouliot in the left circle, and Pouliot swung behind the net to the right corner. Pouliot then fended off a defender and swept the puck toward the goal with one hand on his stick. The sharp-angle shot caromed off the skate of a Syracuse defender and past Levasseur at 1:14.
Norfolk drew to within a goal of the Crunch just over six minutes later on Fornataro’s eighth goal of the season. Ty Wishart sent a one-timer from the high slot off Levasseur’s legs. The rebound caromed to Fornataro at the bottom of the right circle, and Fornataro sent the shot past the prone Levasseur at 7:34.
The Admirals tied the game at 3-3 only 23 seconds later on Pouliot’s second goal of the contest. He sent a shot from the left corner that deflected off the skate of a Syracuse defender and trickled over the goal line past the left toe of Levasseur at 7:54. The goal was Pouliot's eighth of the season.
The Crunch won the game nearly three minutes into overtime. Josh Green was the beneficiary of a turnover in the Syracuse zone and had a partial breakaway on Desjardins. An Admirals defenseman caught Green and attempted to sweep the puck off his stick. However, the puck deflected off the sweep check into the net 2:50 into the overtime session.
Cedrick Desjardins (30 shots, 26 saves) was saddled with the loss. Jean-Philippe Levasseur (47 shots, 44 saves) got the win.
Norfolk was 0-5 on the power play. Syracuse was 1-5.
The Admirals will attempt to close ground on first place as they host the East Division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night at Scope at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, the Admirals and local SPCAs will team together for Puck 'n' Paws Night. Fans can purchase Red Level Tickets (normally $14) for just $10 online before 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. Proceeds from advance online ticket purchases will benefit local SPCAs. Fans are welcome to bring their medium or small sized dogs (35 pounds or less) to the game. Patrons bringing their dogs to the game will be seated in Section 205. Fans can also support the local SPCAs by purchasing limited-edition tee shirts featuring Mitch Fritz and his four-legged friend Calhoun. For more details on the event or to purchase tickets, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
Also on Friday, 102.1 The Game, the Admirals and the Salvation Army will team up for Holiday Cheer and Gear. Fans are asked to bring new sports gear and equipment for less fortunate youth in the Hampton Roads area. The Salvation Army will distribute the "gear." If you donate footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, hockey equipment or other new sporting goods to the Admirals between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., you will receive two tickets to a future contest.
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. Josh Green – SYR
2. Marc-Antoine Pouliot – NOR
3. David Laliberte – SYR
NOTES … With a pair of assists tonight, Blair Jones has points in five straight games (4G, 5A) … Chris Durno's three-game point streak ended (1G, 3A) … Cedrick Desjardins saw his six-game winning streak end. He fell one game shy of the AHL Admirals franchise record overall winning streak, which is a seven-game streak by Michael Leighton from January 30 – February 18, 2004 ... Desjardins played in his first home game since October 29 vs. Portland after ten straight road games … With his eighth goal of the season tonight, Matt Fornataro is now only three goals away from tying his personal AHL single-season career high of 11, set last season with Norfolk … Fornataro is five points away from eclipsing his personal AHL single-season career high for points (25 in 51 games with Worcester in 2008-09), as he has 20 points in only 26 games this season … Earlier today, Pierre-Cedric Labrie was signed to a two-year American Hockey League Standard Player's Contract. Labrie had been on a Professional Tryout Contract since October 14 … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Juraj Simek, Mathieu Roy, Mitch Fritz.