NORFOLK, Va. – Dustin Tokarski made 26 saves – many as his team killed off all six power plays against them – as the Norfolk Admirals (19-11-0-1) defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (12-15-3-1), 2-1, on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena in front of the highest mid-week crowd in AHL Admirals history. The rematch between the Admirals and Sound Tigers will be on Friday night, with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m.
Mike Kostka and Philip-Michael Devos each scored to erase a 1-0 deficit in front of 5,695 fans at Scope.
Brett Gallant gave the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season. While leading a three-on-one rush into the Admirals zone, Gallant fed a pass from the top of the right circle that deflected off the stick of a back-checking Admiral and over the glove of Tokarski at 8:12 of the opening period.
Norfolk knotted the game at 1-1 as they scored the lone power play goal of the contest. While the Admirals skated with a two-man advantage, Cory Conacher sent a pass from beside the Sound Tigers net back to the top of the right circle. Defenseman Mike Kostka picked up the pass and sent a slap shot through a screen and over the blocker of Bridgeport’s netminder Kevin Poulin. Kostka's second goal as an Admiral came at 2:41 of the second period.
Philip-Michael Devos scored what wound up being the game-winning goal when he put the Admirals ahead, 2-1. Carter Ashton skated around the Sound Tigers net and sent a no-look backhanded pass through a crowd into the slot. Devos picked up the puck and sent a slap shot over the glove of Poulin at 11:38 of the middle frame for his second goal of the season.
The Norfolk penalty kill starred for the rest of the game. Just over two minutes after the Devos goal, Trevor Smith was assessed a five-minute major penalty for spearing and a game misconduct. The Admirals limited Bridgeport to only two shots on the power play, which they successfully killed.
Norfolk then entered the third period with the one-goal lead. After killing a Jean-Philippe Cote elbowing minor at 7:18, the Admirals then killed off 1:55 of a two-man disadvantage in the middle of the final frame. Evan Oberg was whistled for interference at 9:56, and Cote was whistled for slashing only five seconds later. However, Tokarski and the Norfolk penalty killers blocked every shot the Sound Tigers threw at them.
Dustin Tokarski (12-7-0) stopped 26 of 27 saves in the victory. Kevin Poulin (7-10-0) turned aside 17 of 19 shots he faced in the defeat.
Norfolk was 1-6 on the power play while Bridgeport was 0-6 with the man advantage.
The Admirals and Sound Tigers will rematch on Friday night in the final game of the 2011 calendar year at Norfolk Scope Arena. The first 2,000 fans through the gate on Friday night will receive the second set of 2011-12 Admirals trading cards. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
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. Dustin Tokarski – NOR
2. Philip-Michael Devos – NOR
3. Kevin Poulin – BRI
NOTES … The Admirals have won nine of their last 12 games (9-3-0-0) … Norfolk has notched at least one power play goal in seven consecutive games dating back to Dec. 9th and is 8 for 37 (21.6%) over that stretch … The announced attendance of 5,695 was the largest mid-week attendance in AHL Admirals history … The previous high mid-week attendance was exactly 11 years ago today – Thursday, December 28, 2000 – when 5,181 fans saw the Admirals lose to the Kentucky Thoroughblades, 4-3 in overtime … The 19 shots on net were a season-low for the Admirals … Mark Barberio picked up his ninth assist of the month in the contest … Norfolk improved its all-time record vs. Bridgeport to 34-21-0-4-3 and at Scope, the Admirals are 19-9-0-3 vs. the Sound Tigers … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Kevin Quick, Alexandre Picard, and Pierre-Cedric Labrie.