Admirals Battle Back, Top Hershey in Overtime, 6-5
HERSHEY, Pa. – Michel Ouellet scored 1:06 into overtime as the Norfolk Admirals (3-1-0-0) erased a pair of two-goal deficits to defeat the Hershey Bears (3-0-1-0), 6-5, on Saturday night at Giant Center. The Admirals will return home to face off against the Binghamton Senators on Friday and Saturday nights at Norfolk Scope Arena.
Radko Gudas and Cory Conacher each scored twice for Norfolk while Carter Ashton also scored. Jaroslav Janus improved to 2-0-0 on the season with a 32-save performance in net.
As with last night, the teams each scored twice in the first period. Hershey opened scoring 6:42 into the contest on the power play. Keith Aucoin sent a feed from the left corner toward the crease. Graham Mink redirected the feed past Janus for a 1-0 Bears lead.
Norfolk knotted the score at 1-1 just under seven minutes later. Ouellet entered the attacking zone along the right wing and sent a shot that was blocked by Hershey goaltender Braden Holtby. However, the rebound came into the left circle, where Gudas found the puck and sent it into the net for his first goal of the season at 13:21.
Gudas put the Admirals ahead 2-1 just over five minutes later off a goalmouth scramble. Matt Fornataro entered the zone with speed and sent a shot on Holtby. As several players scrambled for the loose rebound, Gudas found the puck in the right circle and sent it past a prone Holtby at 18:38 for his first professional multiple-goal game.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Bears tied the game at 2-2 with only 14 seconds remaining in the first period. Sean Collins sent a shot from the high slot that was tipped by traffic in front of Janus at 19:46.
Hershey re-claimed the lead with a Chris Bourque goal 6:01 into the second stanza. Aucoin sent a pass from the left corner to Bourque in the slot. Bourque one-timed the puck past the glove of Janus for a 3-2 Bears lead.
The lead doubled just over five minutes later. Mattias Sjogren sent a backhand pass from the low slot to Matthew Ford in the right circle for a one-timer past Janus at 11:04.
Norfolk leveled the game at 4-4 with a pair of quick goals late in the second period. J.T. Wyman sent a feed from behind the net to Conacher in the slot. Conacher’s second attempt got past Holtby and into the net at 16:44 for his second goal of the season.
Just 28 seconds later, defenseman Jeff Dimmen sped into the attacking zone along the right wing and attempted a low wrist shot from the faceoff dot. The shot was going wide, but Carter Ashton was able to corral the puck and slide it past Holtby’s right leg at 17:12 to tie the game at 4-4. The goal was Ashton’s fourth of the season.
The Admirals took a 5-4 lead 8:59 into the third period on Conacher’s second tally of the contest. Conacher attempted a dump-in from the neutral zone that hit a Bears defender. Conacher cut through the Hershey defense, found the loose puck and broke in alone on Holtby. He chipped a shot over the blocker of the goaltender and into the net for his third goal of the season and a 5-4 Admirals lead.
Penalty trouble in the middle of the third period led to the Bears tying the game at 5-5. As a five-on-three power play had just expired, Aucoin spotted Jacob Mickflikier in the low slot for a shot over the right shoulder of Janus at 13:15.
Just 1:06 into overtime, Norfolk captain Mike Angelidis won a battle for a loose puck in the low slot in front of Holtby. He was able to slide the puck slightly to his left, where Ouellet fired a shot over Holtby’s right shoulder for the game-winning goal.
Jaroslav Janus (2-0-0) stopped 32 of 37 shots and picked up the win. Braden Holtby (1-1-0) stopped 22 of 28 shots for the loss.
Norfolk was 0-2 on the power play. Hershey was 2-8.
The Admirals will return to Scope next Friday and Saturday nights to face off against the defending Calder Cup Champion Binghamton Senators. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7:15 p.m. on Saturday.
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. Radko Gudas – NOR
3. Keith Aucoin – HER
NOTES … Norfolk has two overtime wins in just four games this season. Last season, Norfolk had two overtime wins all season long, going 2-9 in games decided in overtime … Carter Ashton (4g, 3a) and Tyler Johnson (3g, 3a) have points in all four games this season … Radko Gudas became the first Norfolk defenseman since Marc-Andre Bergeron on February 4, 2011, to record multiple goals … Bergeron recorded a pair of goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their contest against the Florida Panthers tonight … Bears center Keith Aucoin registered his 500th AHL assist on Bourque’s second period goal. He is the ninth player to reach that milestone in the 76-year history of the American Hockey League … Did not play: Ondrej Palat, Richard Panik, Trevor Ludwig, Eric Neilson.