Admirals Shut Out Penguins, Win Fourth Straight, Move Into Tie for First Place
WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Penn. – Dustin Tokarski stopped 24 shots to lead the Norfolk Admirals (31-18-1-2) to their fourth consecutive win, a 4-0 shutout victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (29-15-2-5) on Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
With 65 standings points apiece, Norfolk is now tied with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for first place in the American Hockey League’s East Division. The Admirals return to Scope to face off against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday and Saturday nights.
Norfolk received goals from Trevor Smith, Ondrej Palat, Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Tyler Johnson in the victory. The Admirals out-shot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 33-24, with Tokarski stopping all eight shots he faced in each period. Norfolk improved to 4-0-0-0 against the Penguins at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza this season with the final contest in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton slated for February 26.
After a scoreless opening period, the Admirals used a shorthanded goal just 59 seconds into the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Radko Gudas intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and chipped the puck through the Penguins’ logo. Smith picked up the puck as he crossed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton blue line and sped past two defenders in the right wing. He sent a forehand shot from the low slot that went into the net between the blocker and right leg of Penguins goaltender Scott Munroe for his 20th goal of the season.
Norfolk went ahead, 2-0, with a goal late in the second period. Jean-Philippe Cote stole the puck from a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman in the left corner and chipped it to Johnson for a shot. The rebound came through a maze of bodies in the low slot, where Palat found it and shot it past Munroe for his fourth goal of the season at 17:51.
Labrie’s 11th goal of the season midway through the final frame extended Norfolk’s lead to 3-0. Labrie emerged from a puck battle in the left corner and snapped a backhand shot from the bottom of the left circle that went between the legs of Munroe and into the net at 12:57.
The Admirals closed out scoring less than two minutes later on a five-on-three power play. Johnson attempted a pass from the bottom of the left circle that was blocked. However, the puck came back to him, and he flipped a backhand shot past Munroe at 14:38 for his 17th goal of the season.
Dustin Tokarski (22-11-0) stopped all 24 shots he faced for the win. Scott Munroe (9-4-3) stopped 29 of 33 shots for the loss.
Norfolk was 1-for-6 on the power play while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-6.
The Admirals now return to Scope to face off against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday and Saturday nights. The puck drops on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
On Friday, the Class of 2012 will be inducted into the Admirals Hall of Fame. Aaron Downey and Chris Phelps will be inducted as the 11th and 12th members of the Admirals Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony before the Admirals take on the Syracuse Crunch.
On Saturday night, the Admirals will hold a post-game skate where fans can skate at Scope with their favorite 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.
Admirals 10-Packs for the 2011-12 season remain available for as little as $110. You may also reserve your 2012-13 season tickets with a deposit of as little as $100 per seat today. 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. Ondrej Palat – NOR
3. Trevor Smith – NOR
NOTES … The top three teams in the East Division are separated by only one point, with Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton sitting atop the division with 65 points and Hershey in third with 64 points … The Penguins (51 games played) have one game in hand on the Admirals (52 games played) while the Bears (50 games played) have two games in hand on the Admirals … Norfolk has tied its longest winning streak of the season with four straight wins dating back to last Friday vs. Adirondack … During its four-game winning streak, the Admirals have allowed only four goals while scoring 16 goals … Norfolk has the most wins (4) and points (8) on the road against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a single season … Tonight’s contest was the first in AHL Admirals history to have two regulation penalty shots. Norfolk’s Carter Ashton was stopped by goaltender Scott Munroe in the first period, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Robert Bortuzzo was stopped by goaltender Dustin Tokarski in the third period … Cory Conacher saw his eight-game point streak (4G, 7A) end … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Michel Ouellet, Eric Neilson.