HERSHEY, Penn. - Alex Berry and James Wright each scored in regulation and Johan Harju scored in the first round of the shootout as the Norfolk Admirals (34-19-8-5) defeated the Hershey Bears (41-22-1-5), 3-2, on Sunday evening at Giant Center. With the win, the Admirals moved past the idle Charlotte Checkers into third place in the AHL’s East Division. Norfolk returns to the ice on Friday and Saturday nights as the Albany Devils invade Norfolk Scope Arena.
Dustin Tokarski turned aside 23 of 25 shots through regulation and overtime before denying all five Hershey shooters in the shootout to record his 19th victory of the season. Stefano Giliati and Mark Barberio each recorded two assists as the Admirals improved to 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead at 12:07 of the opening period. Brian Fahey fed Patrick McNeill a pass between the faceoff circles. McNeill then fired a shot over the left shoulder of Tokarski for a power play goal.
The Admirals knotted the game at 1-1 with their first of two power play tallies in the game. Midway through the second stanza, Giliati fired a cross-ice pass from the right wing to Berry on the opposite side of Bears goaltender Nolan Schaefer. Berry snuck the shot behind Schaefer at 8:19 for his thirteenth goal of the season.
The Admirals went ahead 2-1 midway through the third period with Wright’s fifteenth goal of the season. For the second time in the contest, Giliati fired a cross-crease pass splitting the Bears penalty killers. This time, Giliaiti’s pass landed on the stick of Wright, who deflected the puck behind Schaefer at the 8:22 mark.
Hershey knotted the game at 2-2 just 1:07 later with a Kyle Greentree tally. The Bears won a faceoff deep in the Admirals end directly to Greentree, who snuck the shot underneath Tokarski at 9:29.
After a scoreless overtime, Harju converted the only shot of the shootout in the bottom of the first round and Tokarski turned aside all five Hershey shots as Norfolk claimed the extra point for the shootout win.
Dustin Tokarski (25 shots, 23 saves) improved to 19-15-4 with the shootout victory. Nolan Schaefer (24 shots, 22 saves) fell to 11-18-3 with the shootout setback.
Norfolk was 2 for 7 on the power play. Hershey was 1 for 6.
The Admirals host the Albany Devils on Friday and Saturday nights at Scope. Friday’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. while Saturday’s contest starts at 7:15 p.m.
Friday night is Team Poster Giveaway Night, presented by Supercuts. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive an Admirals team poster courtesy of Supercuts.
Friday night is also Cheesy Noisemaker Night to benefit Wave City Care. Fans are encouraged to bring boxes of non-perishable food, such as macaroni and cheese, to the game. During the game, use the food as a noisemaker. After the game, drop your food in the designated locations throughout the arena and it will be donated by Wave City Care to those in need in Hampton Roads. You can also purchase $10 fundraising tickets for Friday's game through norfolkadmirals.com before Thursday. Proceeds from those ticket sales will benefit Wave City Care.
Finally, students, teachers and staff of Virginia Beach Public Schools can purchase tickets to Friday's game for only $8 when purchased by Thursday evening at norfolkadmirals.com.
Saturday night marks the eleventh annual Admirals MDA Jersey Auction, Presented by PAPCO. The Admirals will don one-of-a-kind jerseys during the game. Immediately following the game, a live auction will take place on the ice with the jerseys being auctioned right off the players' backs. Proceeds benefit the Hampton Roads Muscular Dystrophy Association. Fans can also help the local MDA by purchasing $10 tickets for Saturday night's game through the Admirals' website at norfolkadmirals.com. Ticket purchases must be completed by Friday night.
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.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! Low monthly payments available for a limited time only. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Dustin Tokarski - NOR
2. Stefano Giliati - NOR
3. Patrick McNeill- HER
EAST DIVISION PLAYOFF CHASE ... With tonight’s win, Norfolk (81 points, 14 games remaining) moved one point ahead of the idle Charlotte Checkers (80 points, 13 games remaining) for third place. Norfolk trails the second-place Hershey Bears (88 points, 11 games remaining) by seven points. The Admirals moved six points ahead of the idle fifth-place Binghamton Senators (75 points, 14 games remaining) … The top four spots in the East Division are guaranteed to qualify for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The crossover rule is in effect where if the fifth place team in the East Division has more points than the fourth place team in the Atlantic Division, that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals. QUICK LINKS:Standings | 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs Qualification Rules
NOTES … The Admirals have won three straight games and six of their last eight games (6-2-0-0) … Norfolk won its first game in Hershey since February 14, 2009, ending a nine-game losing streak (0-9-0-0) at Giant Center … Norfolk has won four of five shootouts on the road this season and has leveled its overall shootout record at 5-5 … With two assists tonight, Mark Barberio established a new AHL Admirals record for points by a rookie defenseman … Barberio has nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 54 games, passing the former record of 25 points previously held by Duncan Keith (2003-04) and James Wisniewski (2004-05) … Barberio has points in three straight games (2G, 2A) and is tied for tenth in scoring among all AHL rookie blueliners … After breaking a 28-game goalless drought last night with a hat trick, James Wright netted his fifteenth goal of the season tonight to become the eighth different Norfolk player with 15 or more goals this season (tops in the AHL) … After going without a point in 14 consecutive games, Stefano Giliati now has multiple points in back-to-back games (0G, 4A) … Admirals Captain Chris Durno served the final game of his three-game suspension tonight … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Mitch Fritz.