SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Norfolk Admirals (38-25-9-6) surrendered four power play goals as they fell to the Syracuse Crunch (33-38-3-4), 5-3, on Thursday night at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter. With two games remaining in the regular season, Norfolk remains one point ahead of the Binghamton Senators for fourth place and two points behind the third-place Charlotte Checkers.
The Admirals and Crunch meet again on Saturday night in Syracuse at 7:30 p.m.
Paul Szczechura, Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Marc-Antoine Pouliot scored for Norfolk. Goaltender Jaroslav Janus stopped 22 of 26 shots.
Kyle Palmieri opened scoring at 6:36 when his shot from the left circle eluded the blocker of Janus for a power play goal.
Norfolk tied the game at 1-1 with Szczechura’s twentieth goal of the season. Troy Milam sent a one-timer from the high slot through traffic. Szczechura tipped the shot and the puck barely crossed the goal line for a power play goal at 9:13.
However, the Crunch reclaimed the lead just over three minutes with another man advantage marker. Nick Bonino sent a pass from the right circle to Patrick Maroon on the goalmouth, and Maroon shoveled a shot past the left leg of Janus at 12:21.
Syracuse went ahead 3-1 with their third power play goal of the game 6:42 into the second stanza. Nicolas Deschamps sent a shot from the high slot that Janus stopped. However, Maroon found the rebound and put it into the net for his second goal of the game.
Norfolk began their comeback 9:05 into the third period. Vladimir Mihalik centered the puck from behind the goal line in the left corner to Labrie in the low slot. Labrie snapped a shot over the glove of Bobkov for his seventh goal of the season.
The Admirals tied the game at 3-3 with their second power play goal of the contest just over a minute later. Pouliot skated through the right wing and executed a toe drag maneuver to elude a Syracuse defender while skating into the slot. Pouliot then sent a shot past the blocker of Bobrov at 10:36 for his team-leading 24th goal of the season.
However, Syracuse’s fourth power play goal of the game was the difference at 14:49. In his first professional game, Peter Holland registered his third point and first goal with a wrist shot from the right circle that glanced off the crossbar on its way into the net for a 4-3 Crunch lead.
Deschamps added an empty net goal with 25 seconds remaining to give Syracuse a 5-3 win.
Jaroslav Janus (26 shots, 22 saves) took the loss. Igor Bobkov (46 shots, 43 saves) earned the win in his professional debut.
Norfolk was 2-5 on the power play. Syracuse was 4-6.
The same two teams meet on Saturday night in Syracuse at 7:30 p.m. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021TheGame.com and ahllive.com.
Playoff ticket packages are available for all Admirals season ticket holders now through the Admirals Administrative Offices, over the phone at (757) 640-1212 or online at norfolkadmirals.com. Individual playoff tickets will go on sale on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. at the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! 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. Peter Holland – SYR
2. Nick Bonino – SYR
3. Igor Bobkov – SYR
EAST DIVISION PLAYOFF RACE … The Norfolk Admirals have clinched a berth in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs … With two games remaining in the regular season, Norfolk has 91 points and is in fourth place in the AHL's East Division. The fifth-place Binghamton Senators (90 points, 2 games remaining) are one point back of Norfolk … The third-place Charlotte Checkers (93 points, 2 games remaining) lead Norfolk by two points … The top four spots in the East Division will qualify for the East Division Semifinals in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" will come into effect for the fifth place team in the East Division, as that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals.
NOTES … Mattias Ritola’s franchise record-tying six-game goal streak ended … After an assist tonight, Ritola still has points in eight straight games (8G, 10A) … Blair Jones’s nine game point streak ended (7G, 5A) … The Norfolk franchise record for power play goals allowed is five (April 9, 2006, at Philadelphia) … Did not play: Kevin Quick, Levi Nelson, Tim Marks, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins, Pat Nagle, Matt Fornataro.