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November 11, 2008

Captain Konopka Lifts Admirals Past Devils


LOWELL, MA – Jamie Heward netted a pair of power play goals, Steve Downie had three assists, and captain Zenon Konopka netted the game-winning goal with 1:19 remaining as the Norfolk Admirals (4-6-1-2) defeated the Lowell Devils (4-7-1-1) 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon at Tsongas Arena for their third straight win.

After a scoreless opening period, the Devils took a 1-0 lead on a Chad Wiseman power play goal early in the second period. Wiseman’s shot from the point was deflected past Norfolk netminder Karri Ramo at 4:07.

The Admirals tied the game 58 seconds later on a power play of their own. Steve Downie sent a pass from the left faceoff circle to Jamie Heward, who sent a shot from the right point that eluded Lowell goaltender Dave Caruso at 5:05.

The Devils reclaimed the lead just 36 seconds later. Jon DiSalvatore capitalized on a turnover in the Norfolk zone and sent a shot past Ramo at 5:41.

However, the Admirals would charge back to take the lead with a pair of goals 16 seconds apart midway through the second stanza. Heward netted his second power play goal when his shot from the left point found its mark at 10:56.

Paul Szczechura then gave Norfolk the lead when his wrist shot from the high slot beat Caruso at 11:12.

Lowell knotted the score at 3-3 midway through the final frame. Vladimir Zharkov stashed a rebound past Ramo at 8:17.

However, Devils defenseman Rosario Ruggeri committed a holding penalty against Downie at 16:39 that led to Konopka’s game-winner. As the Ruggeri penalty expired, Downie centered a pass from behind the net to Konopka in the slot, and Konopka one-timed it past Caruso at 18:41.

The Admirals withstood a six-on-four man disadvantage in the game’s final minute to claim the victory.

Karri Ramo (34 shots, 31 saves) earned his third consecutive victory. Dave Caruso (30 shots, 26 saves) got the loss.

Norfolk was 2-5 on the power play. Lowell was 1-8.

The Admirals’ seven-game road trip will continue on Friday and Saturday nights against the Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliates of the Los Angeles Kings. Opening faceoff on Friday is at 7:30 p.m. while the puck drops on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

You may listen to all Admirals games live on ESPN Radio 1310 and sportsjuice.com. You may also view the contests online on a pay-per-view basis through AHL Live. For more information, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.

The Admirals will return to Scope with three games during the week of Thanksgiving: November 26 versus the Springfield Falcons, and November 28 and 29 versus the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

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!

Three Stars:
1. Jamie Heward – NOR
2. Jon DiSalvatore – LOW
3. Vladimir Zharkov – LOW

Notes … Konopka now has goals in three straight games – including the game winner in the past two contests … Heward’s two-goal game was the first such game by a Norfolk defenseman since Dan Jancevski did so on December 1, 2007 at Binghamton … Downie’s three assists were his first points in an Admirals uniform … Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson registered two assists … Goaltender Karri Ramo notched an assist on Szczechura’s second-period tally, his first point as an Admiral … The Admirals have surrendered the first goal in the past eleven straight games and 12 of 13 games overall this season … Norfolk has not scored in the first period in six consecutive contests and has just three first period goals in 13 games this season … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, D Scott Jackson, F Brandon Bochenski, D Vladimir Mihalik ... F Brent Henley served the final game of a two-game suspension this afternoon … Attendance: 1,250.
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