Penguins Even Series with Admirals at Two Games Apiece
NORFOLK, Va. – Marc-Antoine Pouliot had a goal and an assist, but the Norfolk Admirals fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-2, in Game Four of the East Division Semifinals on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The best-of-seven series is now tied at two games apiece with Game Five scheduled for Friday night at Scope at 7:30 p.m.
Johan Harju also scored for Norfolk while goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped 29 of 33 shots.
The Penguins opened scoring 4:48 into the game. Zach Sill sent a pass from the right point to Corey Potter at the top of the left circle. Potter’s shot deflected off an Admirals defender and eluded Tokarski’s blocker for a 1-0 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead.
The Admirals struck back just over 11 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Pouliot out-muscled a Penguins defender in the left corner by controlling the puck with his right hand on his stick and his left arm shielding off the defender. Pouliot threw the puck toward the net with a one-handed shot from the bottom of the left faceoff circle. The shot deflected off the stick of a Penguins defender and then off of Harju before caroming into the net past goaltender Brad Thiessen for Harju’s first goal of the playoffs.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton reclaimed their one-goal lead just 2:38 into the second stanza. Brian Strait sent a shot from the left corner that deflected on its way toward the net and dribbled over the goal line to go ahead 2-1.
Norfolk tied the game at 2-2 just under 11 minutes later. Vladimir Mihalik sent a shot from the high slot that hit traffic in the low slot. Pouliot, who had his back to the net, found the loose puck in the low slot, spun around and sent a forehand shot past the left leg of a screened Thiessen for his team-leading third goal of the playoffs at 13:25.
However, the Penguins went ahead 3-2 with a power play goal as time wound down in the second period. Bryan Lerg sent a pass from the slot to Ryan Craig in the left circle. The pass was deflected into the air by an Admirals defender. However, Craig was able to shoot the puck out of mid-air from the left circle past the right leg of Tokarski at 18:17.
Joe Vitale closed out scoring with 4:22 remaining in the final frame. Chris Collins entered the attacking zone along the left wing and dropped a pass that went through a couple of sets of skates on its way into the slot. Vitale found the puck and sent a wrist shot past Tokarski's glove to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the 4-2 victory.
Dustin Tokarski (33 shots, 29 saves) took the loss. Brad Thiessen (36 shots, 34 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-7 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 1-5.
The best-of-seven East Division Semifinals series continues with Game Five on Friday night at Scope. Individual playoff tickets range in price from $13.00 - $18.00 when purchased in advance of the day of a game. Students through high school, active military with valid identification and senior citizens receive $1 off single game tickets at the Scope Box Office. Group discounts are also available when purchased in advance through the Admirals group sales office.
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. Ryan Craig – WBS
2. Marc-Antoine Pouliot – NOR
3. Corey Potter – WBS
NOTES: Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned defenseman Charles Landry to the Admirals from Montreal Juniors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Landry made his professional debut … The team with the fewest shots has won all four games of the series … The road team has won all four games of the series … Did not play: Mike Angelidis, Paul Szczechura, Chris Durno, Alex Berry, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins, Pat Nagle.