NORFOLK, VA – The Norfolk Admirals (16-20-2-4) were tickled pink after a five-goal opening period gave them a 5-1 lead in front of a season-high crowd of 7,595 fans at Norfolk Scope Arena for Pink in the Rink Night. However, the Worcester Sharks (23-18-0-1) stunned the Admirals with five unanswered goals to claim a 6-5 overtime victory.
The Sharks briefly took a 1-0 lead just 34 seconds into the game. Patrick Traverse intercepted a clearing attempt in the high slot and sent a wrist shot through traffic and past Norfolk netminder Karri Ramo.
However, the remainder of the opening stanza belonged to the Admirals. Bracken Kearns netted his tenth goal of the season – and his fourth in as many games – at 1:55 when he wrapped a shot from behind the net between the legs of Worcester goaltender Taylor Dakers.
Norfolk took the lead less than three minutes later. Justin Keller sent a shot from the slot that bounced off Dakers to Blair Jones in the goalmouth, and Jones sent a backhand shot into the net at 4:39.
Keller set up Norfolk’s third goal at 15:23. He stole the puck from a Sharks defender in the high slot and dished a pass to Chris Gratton in the left faceoff circle. Gratton sent a shot top-shelf to the blocker side for his third goal of the season.
Jones struck for a second time under two minutes after Gratton’s marker. While stationed behind the net, Kearns backhanded a centering pass into the slot and Jones chipped a shot over Dakers’ glove at 17:09.
Chris Lawrence closed out scoring in the first period with a franchise record-tying fifth goal in the period. He sent a wraparound shot from behind the net past the right leg of Dakers at 18:19.
The Sharks bounced back with a strong period of their own in the second frame. Riley Armstrong’s shot from the high slot just 14 seconds into the period beat the glove of Ramo. Ryan Vesce finished off a cross-ice pass from Lukas Kaspar for a shorthanded goal at 17:37. Jamie McGinn brought the Sharks within a goal of Norfolk with a power play slap shot from the right circle at 18:53.
The Sharks knotted the game at five goals apiece 8:36 into the third period. Jason Demers sent a shot from the bottom of the left circle that deflected off the skate of an Admiral at the top of the crease and into the cage.
Vesce sealed the comeback for the visitors 3:04 into the overtime session, scoring Worcester’s fifth unanswered goal off assists from Mike Moore and Matt Fornataro to hand the Admirals a 6-5 loss.
Karri Ramo (44 shots, 38 saves) took the loss. Taylor Dakers (37 shots, 32 saves) got the win.
Norfolk was 0-5 on the power play. Worcester was 2-6.
The Admirals’ nine-game homestand continues next week with a Wednesday tilt against the Hershey Bears and a Friday matchup with the Lake Erie Monsters. Opening faceoff at Scope for both games will be at 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday’s game will be Student Rush Night and Family Fun Pack Night. With Student Rush Nights, students in high school and college may purchase $8 white level tickets by presenting their school IDs at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game. With Family Fun Packs, you receive four red level tickets, four hot dogs, four popcorns and four sodas for only $48 – that’s a saving of $37! Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com. For more details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
On Friday night, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals bucket hat courtesy of Bank of the Commonwealth and Fox43.
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. Patrick Traverse – WOR
2. Bracken Kearns – NOR
3. Blair Jones – NOR
Notes … Tonight’s game was played on pink ice as part of the Admirals Pink in the Rink Night to benefit the Tidewater Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation … Tonight was the fourth-highest attended game in Norfolk Admirals (AHL) history (7,595) … Norfolk’s five-goal first period was the sixth five-goal period in AHL Admirals history and the first since November 21, 2007 versus Philadelphia (1st period) … Bracken Kearns had a goal and two assists for three points – the most points in a single game in his AHL career. Kearns now has points in five straight games (4G, 3A) and goals in four straight games (4G, ties an Admirals season high) … Blair Jones tied a career high with two goals tonight … Brandon Bochenski has points in five straight games (2G, 4A) … Chris Gratton has points in nine of the 12 games he has appeared in for the Admirals this season (3G, 7A) … Forward Brandon Segal and defenseman Andy Rogers returned to the lineup tonight after missing time due to injury. Segal had missed seven games and Rogers had missed ten games … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, F Jason Ward, F Mathieu Curadeau, D Scott Jackson and G Riku Helenius.