NORFOLK, Va. – Jaroslav Janus stopped 29 shots and Ondrej Palat broke a 1-1 tie with less than six minutes left in regulation as the Norfolk Admirals (37-18-1-2) won their tenth consecutive game – a 2-1 victory over the Hershey Bears (29-19-4-5) on Wednesday night at Scope Arena. With the victory, the Admirals stand six points clear of the second-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the East Division.
The Admirals, who moved two points ahead of the Oklahoma City Barons for the most points in the AHL, also got a goal from Cory Conacher in the contest. Tyler Johnson assisted on both Admirals’ goals.
After a scoreless opening period, the Admirals jumped out to a 1-0 lead a little over six minutes into the second period. With his team enjoying a man advantage, Johnson skated around a sliding Bears’ defender and fed a cross-crease pass to Conacher. The Admirals’ current goal and points leader picked up the pass and snuck a shot in between the glove and left leg pad of Bears’ netminder Braden Holtby for his 30th goal of the season at 6:20.
A third period power play goal by Boyd Kane knotted the game at one goal apiece. Cody Eakin fed a pass through the legs of a Norfolk defenseman to Kane. Before Janus could get across the crease, Kane buried the shot into the open net at 12:56.
It took the Admirals less than two minutes to regain their one-goal advantage. This time, Johnson picked up a Bears’ turnover along his own blue line and chipped a pass up ice to Palat. After maneuvering around a pair of Bears’ defenseman, Palat sent a wrist shot between Holtby and the right post to give the Admirals a 2-1 lead at 14:56.
Despite facing a Bears’ six-on-five attack for almost two minutes, the Admirals defense shut down the visitors the rest of the way en route to their tenth victory in as many games.
Jaroslav Janus (12-8-2) finished the night with 29 saves on 30 shots for his fourth straight victory. Braden Holtby (19-14-2) stopped 18 of 20 shots in defeat.
Norfolk was 1-for-5 on the power play while Hershey was 1-for-3 in the contest.
The first 2,000 fans through the gates for Friday’s matchup vs. the Falcons will receive the third set of 2011-12 Admirals trading cards.
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. Jaroslav Janus – NOR
2. Ondrej Palat – NOR
3. Braden Holtby – HER
NOTES …Conacher is the 6th player to record 30 goals in Norfolk Admirals history (Troy Brouwer, Brandon Bochenski, Rene Bourque, Nathan Barrett, Casey Hankinson) … Conacher’s 30th came in his 57th game, which is two off the franchise-record pace set by Brouwer in '06-07 (Brouwer finished with 41 goals in 66 games played) … With a pair of assists tonight, Johnson now has 13 points during the team’s 10-game win streak … Tonight’s game was Pierre-Cedric Labrie’s fifth game in six days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Norfolk and Tuesday night in Tampa Bay) … The Admirals finished the season series vs. the Bears with five victories, which is the most since the 2006-07 season.