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November 9, 2011

Penguins Skate Past Admirals, Claim First Place in East Division


NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals (8-5-0-1) fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (8-2-1-1), 4-2, on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. With the win, the Penguins moved one point ahead of the Admirals for the lead in the East Division.

The Admirals now embark on a four-game road trip beginning on Friday night against the Albany Devils before having a rematch with the Penguins in Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

Cory Conacher and Pierre-Cedric Labrie scored for Norfolk while Dustin Tokarski fell to 4-4-0 on the season after stopping 22 of 25 shots.

The teams exchanged power play goals in the first half of the opening period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opened scoring 4:46 into the contest on an Eric Tangradi goal. Simon Despres sent a shot from the blueline that hit his teammate Ben Street in the slot. The puck ended up on the blade of Tangradi in the right circle, and he put the puck past the left leg of Tokarski.

Norfolk responded less than four minutes later on a man advantage of their own. Mike Vernace sent a shot from the right half wall that Penguins netminder Brad Thiessen attempted to freeze to the ice with his glove. However, Tyler Johnson jarred the puck loose to Thiessen’s right, and Conacher lifted a shot into the net for his fifth goal of the season at 8:35.

The visitors took a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later. Tokarski attempted to pass the puck behind his net to his defenseman in the right corner. However, the pass was intercepted by Street, who wrapped a shot around the post and into the vacated net at 13:27.

The Penguins went ahead by two goals with 3:12 remaining in the first period. Ryan Craig sent a shot toward the net from the right circle. Street found the rebound in the slot and attempted a shot that was blocked. Despres found the loose puck and sent it into the net for a 3-1 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead.

After a scoreless second period, Norfolk closed to within one goal of tying the game with 3:19 remaining in regulation. Pierre-Cedric Labrie found the puck in a goalmouth scramble and slipped a shot past Thiessen for his third goal of the season.

However, the Admirals were unable to find the equalizer, and Tangradi added an empty-net goal with 22 seconds remaining for the 4-2 final score.

Dustin Tokarski (4-4-0) turned aside 22 of 25 shots for the loss. Brad Thiessen (8-2-0) stopped 25 of 27 shots for the win.

Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 1-7.

The Admirals now embark on a four-game road trip beginning on Friday night against the Albany Devils. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. All games can be heard at 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and 1021TheGame.com. You can also watch on a pay-per-view basis at AHLLive.com.

The Admirals return to Scope on Wednesday, November 23, to take on the Charlotte Checkers in the fourth game of the GEICO Challenge Cup. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. in the first Admirals Value Night of the 2011-12 season.

Family Fun Packs include four discounted Red Level Tickets for just $48 plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $48 – that’s a savings of $37!

Student Rush Nights provide $8 White Level Tickets (normally $12) for students with a valid current high school or college ID. In addition, when you buy a Student Rush Night Ticket, you get a buy-one, get-one free offer for the next Student Rush Night.

Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.

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!

Three Stars:
1. Ben Street – WBS
2. Simon Despres – WBS
3. Pierre-Cedric Labrie – NOR

NOTES … Pierre-Cedric Labrie (2g, 2a), Carter Ashton (2g, 2a) and Cory Conacher (1g, 2a) each have points in three consecutive games … Labrie has points in eight of 13 games played this season so far, posting three goals and ten points. Labrie is on pace for 18 goals and 61 points this season after posting seven goals and 26 points in 64 games last season … Dustin Tokarski became the first goaltender with back-to-back starts for Norfolk in 2011-12. Prior to tonight, Tokarski and Jaroslav Janus had rotated starts every other game … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Radko Gudas, Alexandre Picard, Richard Panik, Michel Ouellet.

# ARMED AND READY #

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