MANCHESTER, NH – Norfolk captain Zenon Konopka capitalized on a fortuitous bounce behind the Manchester net with five seconds remaining in regulation as the Admirals (5-6-1-3) toppled the Monarchs (3-6-0-3) 2-1 on Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Admirals now have points in five consecutive games with four wins and one shootout loss.
After a scoreless opening frame, Brandon Bochenski gave the Admirals a 1-0 lead only 24 seconds into the second period. While on the power play, Konopka sent a shot from the top of the right circle that Manchester goaltender Jonathan Quick blocked. However, the rebound ended up at the top of the crease where a waiting Bochenski poked it into the net five-hole.
The Monarchs tied the game at 1-1 just under seven minutes later. Teddy Purcell benefited from a turnover in the Admirals zone and sent a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Norfolk netminder Mike McKenna at 7:13.
The Admirals peppered Quick in the third period as they out-shot the Monarchs 13-2 in the final frame. It was the thirteenth shot that mattered the most as regulation came to a close. With roughly ten seconds left in regulation, Quick left the crease to play an Admirals dump-in behind his own net. The puck bounced over his stick and found its way to the blade of Jason Ward in the left corner. Ward quickly centered the puck to Konopka at the bottom of the left circle, and Konopka fired a shot into the yawning cage at 19:55 for the game-winning tally.
Mike McKenna (20 shots, 19 saves) earned his first win of the season. Jonathan Quick (27 shots, 25 saves) shouldered the loss.
Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play. Manchester was 0-3.
The Admirals’ seven-game road trip will continue tomorrow afternoon with a 4:05 p.m. tilt against former Admiral Martin St. Pierre and his Providence Bruins, the AHL affiliates of the Boston Bruins.
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. There are plenty of exciting promotions planned for the week. Visit norfolkadmirals.com for more details.
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!
1. Zenon Konopka – NOR
2. Mike McKenna – NOR
3. Jonathan Quick – MCH
Notes … Zenon Konopka has the game-winning goal in three of the past four games … Jamie Heward (2G, 4A) extended his point streak to five games … Bochenski’s goal was his fourth of the season and his first since October 24 at Rockford … Tonight’s contest marked the first game this season that Paul Szczechura, Brandon Segal and Radek Smolenak each were kept off the scoresheet (aside from shutouts against the Admirals) … Szczechura’s five-game point streak ended (2G, 4A) … Segal’s three-game point streak also ended (1G, 3A) … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, D Matt Smaby, F Justin Keller and F Wyatt Smith ... Attendance: 5,816.