NORFOLK, Va. – Pierre-Cedric Labrie had a goal and an assist and Blair Jones scored in his return from Tampa Bay as the Norfolk Admirals (11-8-0-1) defeated the Providence Bruins (8-12-1-1), 5-1, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The same two teams square off tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
Ondrej Palat's first professional goal was the game-winner while Radko Gudas and J.T. Wyman also tallied for Norfolk. Dustin Tokarski improved to 6-5-0 with 17 saves in the win.
The Admirals opened scoring 7:34 into the game on a goal by Jones, who was assigned to Norfolk by the parent Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in the day. While on a five-on-three power play, Cory Conacher sent a pass from the right circle to Matt Fornataro at the high slot. Fornataro’s shot hit the right leg of Providence goaltender Michael Hutchinson and deflected to the left circle. Jones found the rebound and shot it past Hutchinson’s right leg for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 Norfolk lead.
Providence responded with its own power play goal just under four minutes later. David Warsofsky sent a pass from the right point to Carter Camper at the bottom of the right circle. Camper quickly pushed the puck toward the top of the goalmouth, where Jamie Tardif shot it past Tokarski at 11:16 to tie the game at 1-1.
The Admirals took a 2-1 lead 9:41 into the second stanza on Palat’s first pro goal. Palat entered the attacking zone along the left wing and dropped a pass back to Labrie in the high slot. Labrie then muscled his way into the left corner before threading a pass through several sets of legs to Palat on the opposite side of the goalmouth. Palat tapped the puck into the net between the post and Hutchinson’s left leg.
Norfolk then went ahead, 3-1, on a strong individual play by Labrie late in the second period. A Bruins defender had the puck just inside the Admirals’ attacking zone. Labrie stripped him of the puck and charged toward the net, sending a shot between the legs of a defender and off the leg pads of Hutchinson. Labrie caught up to the rebound and backhanded a shot into the net while falling down at 18:19 for his fourth goal of the season.
The Admirals went ahead, 4-1, exactly nine minutes into the final frame. Gudas entered the attacking zone along the right wing. He sent a wrist shot from the right half wall that squeezed between the blocker and left leg of Hutchinson and trickled across the goal line for Gudas’ fourth goal of the season.
Wyman sealed the victory with a shorthanded, empty-net goal with 1:30 remaining in regulation.
Dustin Tokarski (6-5-0) stopped 17 of 18 shots for the victory. Michael Hutchinson (0-4-0) stopped 39 of 43 shots for the loss.
Both teams were 1-7 on the power play.
The same two teams square off tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m. at Scope. Tomorrow night’s game is March of Dimes “Hockey Night for Healthy Babies.” In addition, the first 2,000 fans through the gates will receive the first set of Admirals trading cards. Also, tomorrow night marks the second Post-Game Skate with the Admirals of the season where fans can skate with the Admirals following the game. A limited number of skates will be available or fans may bring their own skates.
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. Pierre-Cedric Labrie – NOR
2. Blair Jones – NOR
3. Ondrej Palat – NOR
NOTES … Cory Conacher extended his season-long point streak to eight games (6g, 5a) with an assist in the first period … Earlier today, the Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned AHL Admirals all-time leading scorer Blair Jones to Norfolk … Jones, Mark Barberio and Tyler Johnson each sent seven shots on goal to lead the team … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Kevin Quick, Jeff Dimmen, Alexandre Picard, Michel Ouellet, Eric Neilson.