Admirals Win Another Thriller vs. Checkers, Start Season with Two Wins
NORFOLK, Va. – Cory Conacher had a three-point game – including the go-ahead goal in the third period – as the Norfolk Admirals (2-0-0-0) defeated the Charlotte Checkers (0-1-1-0), 4-3, on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals will play a home-and-home pair of games against the rival Hershey Bears next weekend with games Friday night at Scope and Saturday night in Pennsylvania.
Carter Ashton, Alexandre Picard and Tyler Johnson also scored for Norfolk. Jaroslav Janus turned aside 26 of 29 shots – including all 13 shots in the third period – for the victory.
For the second night in a row, Ashton gave the Admirals an early 1-0 lead with a power play goal. Mark Barberio fired a slap shot from the right point into a screen. The puck deflected off the stick of Ashton and over the shoulder of Checkers netminder Mike Murphy with 7:02 remaining in the first. The goal was Ashton's third of the young season.
Less than five minutes later, the Checkers answered back with a power play tally of their own. Defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti fed Drayson Bowman on the point. Bowman then fired a slap shot over the glove hand of Admirals netminder Jaroslav Janus with 3:48 remaining in the opening period.
The Checkers took a 2-1 lead just short of midway through the second period. As the Checkers' skated with a man advantage, former Admiral Mathieu Roy fired a slap shot from the right point that found its way beyond Janus. The goal came with 10:20 remaining in the second period.
Norfolk responded just 58 seconds later to tie the game at 2-2. From behind the Charlotte net, James Wright fed a pass to the front of the net. Alexandre Picard found the puck in a scrum and pushed it under Murphy with 9:22 remaining in the middle frame for his second goal in as many nights.
With less than five minutes remaining in the second, rookie forward Tyler Johnson gave the Admirals a 3-2 lead. Defenseman Mike Vernace fired a shot from the point that deflected off the crossbar and then off the back of the Checkers netminder. Johnson picked up the loose rebound in the crease and shoveled a backhand shot beyond Murphy for his second goal of the season.
However, Charlotte knotted the game at three goals apiece with 9.7 seconds remaining in the second. Off of a faceoff victory by Jon Matsumoto, Brett Bellemore fired a shot from the point. Charlotte's Bowman deflected the shot passed a screened Janus for his second tally of the night.
Cory Conacher netted the game-winning goal with 5:50 remaining in regulation. After Johnson gained control off a faceoff in the left circle, he fed Conacher a cross-ice pass. Conacher picked up the puck and slipped it under Murphy for his first goal of the season to give the Admirals a 4-3 lead.
Janus turned aside all 13 third period shots to preserve the one-goal victory.
Jaroslav Janus (1-0-0) stopped 26 of 29 shots for the win. Mike Murphy (0-1-0) made 40 saves on 44 shots for the loss.
Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play. Charlotte was 2-5.
The Admirals will return to the ice next Friday night, Oct.14, as the Hershey Bears make their season debut at Norfolk Scope. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Friday's matchup against the Bears will be the first Military Appreciation Night at Norfolk Scope. Red Level tickets (normally $17.50 on game nights) will be available for just $9 at the Norfolk Scope Box Office for all active or retired military, their dependants and reservists with valid military identification.
Groups of 25 or more can purchase their Red Level tickets for just $8 by contacting the Admirals Group Sales Office via phone at (757)640-1212 ext. 23 or ext. 24 or via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 2011-12 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. Cory Conacher – NOR
2. Tyler Johnson – NOR
3. Drayson Bowman – CHA
NOTES … The line of rookies Carter Ashton (2g, 2a), Cory Conacher (1g, 3a) and Tyler Johnson (2g, 1a) lead the Admirals in scoring through two games … Alexandre Picard (2g, 1a) and Mark Barberio (0g, 3a) are tied with Johnson for third on the team in scoring … Fifteen of 18 skaters have recorded at least one point for Norfolk … Did not play: Ondrej Palat, Richard Panik, Trevor Ludwig, Eric Neilson … Attendance: 4,516.