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January 5, 2013

Season-High Crowd Sees Admirals Fall to Crunch in Overtime After Spirited Battle


NORFOLK – Kyle Palmieri tied the game at 3-3 to force overtime, but the Norfolk Admirals (14-16-2-0) fell to the Syracuse Crunch (22-7-2-3), 4-3, in front of a raucous crowd of 7,016 fans on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.

John Kurtz and Patrick Maroon also scored for Norfolk while Sami Vatanen assisted on all three Admirals goals. Igor Bobkov (7-10-0) stopped 22 of 26 shots for Norfolk. The Admirals' power play scored twice on five chances while denying all four Syracuse power play opportunities.

The Admirals face off against the Charlotte Checkers tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. from PNC Bank Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.

After a scoreless opening period, the Admirals struck first 2:58 into the second stanza. Vatanen worked the puck from the right corner to Kurtz in the slot. Kurtz, who initially had his back to the net, spun around and sent a shot towards the goal. The shot deflected off the skate of a Syracuse defender and eluded Crunch goaltender Dustin Tokarski for a 1-0 lead on Kurtz’s third goal of the season.

Syracuse responded less than one minute later. J.T. Wyman attempted a centering feed from the left circle that hit traffic in the goalmouth. As Bobkov attempted to cover the loose puck, Alex Killorn beat him to it and slid the puck into the net around the goaltender’s left leg. The goal at 3:48 tied the contest at 1-1.

The Admirals re-claimed the lead with a power play goal midway through the second period. Vatanen sent a slap shot from the right circle that Tokarski stopped. The puck was loose between the netminder’s legs, and Maroon jammed it into the net for his tenth goal of the season at 12:28

Syracuse leveled the game at 2-2 late in the second stanza. Pierre-Cedric Labrie caused a turnover at the right point of the Norfolk zone and chipped the puck to Vladislav Namestnikov in the right circle for a quick-developing two-on-one. Namestnikov sent a backhand shot under Bobkov at 17:58.

The Crunch took the lead for the first time early in the third period. Richard Panik dumped the puck into the Norfolk zone around the right wing boards. Bobkov attempted to play the puck, but it was picked off by Panik, who wrapped it around the post and into the net at 3:46.

The game became rough after the Panik goal, as Norfolk's Jay Rosehill and Syracuse's Eric Neilson dropped the gloves at 4:23 in a sequel to their bout of a night earlier. Moments after Palmieri was felled by a Radko Gudas hit, Norfolk's Peter Holland and Panik also dropped the gloves and put a charge into the Scope faithful at 11:19.

The Gudas hit earned the former Admiral a minor penalty to interference, and Palmieri got a measure of revenge by scoring the game-tying goal just 20 seconds into the power play. Vatanen earned his third assist of the contest by getting the puck to the Norfolk sniper in the left circle. Palmieri sent a wrist shot past Tokarski for his eleventh goal of the season and knotted the score at 3-3 at 11:39 of the third period.

In overtime, Killorn spotted Brett Connolly in the left circle for a shot that eluded Bobkov. The game-deciding play came 1:21 into overtime and gave the Crunch the 4-3 decision.

Dustin Tokarski (15-5-3) stopped 22 of 25 shots for Syracuse.

The Admirals face off against the Charlotte Checkers tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. from PNC Bank Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Due to Washington Redskins football, there will not be a radio broadcast of the game. However, you may listen online at 1021TheGame.com or watch online at AHLLive.com.

The Admirals return to Scope on Tuesday, January 15th, to face off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in another Admirals Value Night, with Family Fun Packs and Student Rush Night tickets available.

Family Fun Packs include four discounted Red Level Tickets plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $54 – that’s a savings of $37!

Student Rush Nights provide $9 White Level Tickets (normally $17 on game nights) 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.

Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets 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.

Three Stars:
1. Brett Connolly – SYR
2. Kyle Palmieri – NOR
3. Sami Vatanen – NOR

NOTES … Tonight's crowd of 7,016 was the highest attendance at Scope this season, eclipsing last night's attendance of 6,285 … The two crowds this weekend were the largest crowds at Scope prior to January 14th of any year in AHL Admirals history … The Admirals and Crunch will face off again next Friday night at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter in Syracuse. After that, they do not meet again until March 15 in Syracuse. The next meetings at Norfolk Scope Arena are on March 29th-30th … Patrick Maroon has points in seven of his last 10 games (4g, 3a) … Earlier today, Team USA won the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF U-20 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia ... Anaheim Ducks prospect John Gibson was the tournament’s MVP and top goaltender ... Eleven of the 25 players on Norfolk’s current roster are American-born – tied for the fourth-most American-born players on any AHL roster ... Norfolk’s Kyle Palmieri helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2010 WJC … Did not play: Gabe Guentzel, Brandon McMillan, Chris Wagner, Troy Bodie, Jeff Deslauriers.


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