NORFOLK – Brandon Bochenski, Paul Szczechura and Wyatt Smith each had a goal and an assist, but the Norfolk Admirals (0-1-0-0) fell to the Hershey Bears (2-0-0-0) 5-3 in their 20th anniversary season opener on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Bears struck first near the midpoint of the opening period, as Oskar Osala scored off a turnover at 9:52.
Newly appointed alternate captain scored the first goal of the season for Norfolk, tying the score at 1-1 with a power play goal just 2:32 into the second period. Smith emerged with the puck from a goalmouth scramble and beat Hershey goaltender Daren Machesney for his first goal as an Admiral.
Norfolk took a one-goal lead on their second shot of the period. Chris Lawrence sent a pass from the left corner that deflected off the skate of winger Brandon Bochenski and through the legs of Machesney for Bochenski’s first goal of the season at 8:32.
However, Hershey charged back with a trio of goals to take a two-goal lead heading into the third period. Graham Mink sent a backhander past Admirals netminder Karri Ramo at 14:31. Andrew Gordon’s turnaround backhand shot from the slot found its mark for a power play goal at 16:57. Alexandre Giroux made it 4-2 in favor of the visitors with a tally at 19:01.
The home team closed the gap to a single goal midway through the final frame. Paul Szczechura picked off a pass in the neutral zone and broke into the attacking zone along the left wing. He dropped a pass to Vladimir Mihalik, who dropped a pass to Brandon Segal. Segal’s shot from the slot was deflected by Szczechura past Machesney at 9:43.
However, Chris Bourque sealed Norfolk’s fate with an empty net goal at 18:44, and the Admirals fell 5-3.
Karri Ramo was saddled with the loss making 33 saves on 37 Hershey shots. Daren Machesney picked up the victory stopping 19 of 22 Norfolk shots.
Both teams were 1-6 on the power play.
The Admirals and Bears will square off again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m. The Admirals will once again hand out Admirals magnetic schedules courtesy of the Kim Cummings Foundation.
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!
Notes … The Admirals dropped to 4-3-0-1-0 all-time in regular season openers and 4-3-1-0-0 in home openers … Defenseman Jeff May made his pro debut while right wing Brady Leavold made his AHL debut … Six players made their Admirals debuts – Andrew Hutchinson, Ty Wishart, Wyatt Smith, Jeff May, Zenon Konopka and Brady Leavold.