NORFOLK – The newest additions to the Admirals lineup came through when Norfolk needed it the most on Friday Night at Norfolk Scope Arena. Zenon Konopka recorded two assists and Brandon Bochenski netted a goal in his first game back with the Admirals since February 2007 as the Norfolk Admirals defeated the Philadelphia Phantoms 4-3 in preseason action.
The Admirals fell behind by two goals in the game’s first four minutes. Michael Ratchuk netted Philadelphia’s first goal of the game just 33 seconds in. The Phantom lead doubled just over three minutes later when Boyd Kane netted a power play goal at 3:45.
The Norfolk comeback began as a penalty to Admirals forward Luciano Aquino expired. A Riku Helenius save was recovered by Zenon Konopka at the top of the right circle. Konopka sent a saucer pass to the far blue line where Aquino, recently released from the penalty box, accepted the puck and broke in alone on goaltender Scott Munroe. Aquino beat Munroe with a sharp wrist shot along the ice at 8:49.
The Admirals knotted the score at 2-2 just over a minute later with a familiar scene to longtime Admirals fans. While on the power play, Brandon Bochenski accepted a feed from Blair Jones at the left faceoff dot. Bochenski settled the puck down and sent a shot that beat Munroe along the ice glove-side at 10:09.
Norfolk took the lead 7:49 into the second stanza. Defenseman Justin Fletcher emerged from a scramble with the puck and sent a quick wrist shot from the slot past the outstretched glove hand of Munroe.
Norfolk’s lead doubled 8:03 into the final frame. Brandon Segal sent a shot from the right corner that snuck past new Phantoms goaltender Jeremy Duchesne short-side.
Jonathan Matsumoto brought the Phantoms to within a goal of the Admirals with just 1:09 remaining in regulation. However, the Philadelphia comeback attempts were thwarted in the game’s final minute and Norfolk held on for a 4-3 win.
Riku Helenius got the win for the Admirals, stopping 29 of 32 shots. Scott Munroe did not receive a decision after playing the first two periods, stopping 18 of 21 shots. Jeremy Duchesne got the loss and stopped 13 of 14 shots in the third period.
Both teams were 1-4 on the power play.
The Admirals and Phantoms will square off again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m. Tickets for that game are available now and are only $8 for adults and $5 for children under 12 years of age.
The puck officially drops on the 20th season of Admirals hockey next Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11, at Scope against the Hershey Bears.
To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 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!