SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Veteran center Ryan Craig netted a pair of goals to help the Admirals to a 4-3 third-period lead. However, Norfolk (1-4-0-0) surrendered a pair of third period tallies as they fell to the Syracuse Crunch (2-3-0-0) 5-4 on Friday night in their first game at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter since January 2003.
The Crunch and Admirals each scored on their first shots of the game. Syracuse took a 1-0 lead just 48 second in when Stefan Legein’s shot from the left faceoff dot eluded Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski.
Norfolk tied the game just over two minutes later. Blair Jones sent a shot from the right wing that hit the post behind the left leg of Syracuse netminder Dan LaCosta. The puck trickled through the crease and Mark Parrish poked it in the net past the right leg of LaCosta at 2:49 for his first goal as an Admiral.
The Admirals took a 2-1 lead with their first power play goal of the season less than four minutes later. Parrish attempted a wraparound shot to the stick-side of LaCosta that the Crunch goaltender stopped. The rebound went to Ryan Craig, who chipped a shot up and over LaCosta for his second goal of the season at 6:45.
Syracuse knotted the score at 2-2 less than four minutes later. Brent Regner’s shot from the left point was deflected by Tom Sestito past Tokarski at 10:36.
The game would not remain tied long, as the Admirals re-claimed the lead less than three minutes later on Paul Szczechura’s first goal of the season. The third-year Admirals forward broke in along the left wing on a two-on-one break. His initial shot was denied by LaCosta, but Szczechura found the rebound in the bottom of the left circle and sent it past the Crunch netminder at 13:01.
The lead doubled for the visitors 5:16 into the second stanza with Craig’s second goal of the game. Dana Tyrell sped down the right wing and sent a backhand pass from behind the goal line toward the slot. Adam Hall collected the pass and dished it across the slot to Craig, who deked to his backhand before slipping a shot past the left leg of LaCosta.
The Crunch cut Norfolk’s lead in half at 16:04 of the middle period. Dan Fritsche sent a pass from the left half wall across the slot to the bottom of the right circle. Maksim Mayorov sent a one-timer past the outstretched left leg of Tokarski to make the score 4-3 in favor of Norfolk.
Syracuse stormed out of the gates in the third period with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart to take the lead. Derek MacKenzie found a Norfolk turnover in the right corner and sent a feed toward the crease. Alexandre Picard redirected the feed past Tokarski at 4:29 to level the score at four goals apiece.
The hosts took the lead at 6:17. Legein sent a shot from the right faceoff circle that bounced off Tokarski and into the slot. Jared Aulin found the rebound and fired it into the net for a 5-4 Syracuse lead.
The Admirals had several chances to tie the game late in the third period and pulled Tokarski in favor of an extra attacker but were unable to find the equalizer.
Dustin Tokarski (36 shots, 31 saves) picked up the loss. Dan LaCosta (26 shots, 22 saves) got the win.
Norfolk was 1-1 on the power play. Syracuse was 0-2.
The Admirals will conclude their road trip tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. All Admirals games can be heard on STAR 1310-AM and star1310.com. You may also watch games on a subscription or pay-per-view basis online at ahllive.com.
1. Stefan Legein – SYR
2. Ryan Craig – NOR
3. Tom Sestito – SYR
Notes … The game was Norfolk’s first in Syracuse since a 3-0 victory on January 3, 2003 … The Admirals last played the Crunch at Scope on January 17, 2003 in a 3-3 tie … The Crunch moved to the East Division this season after spending the past several seasons in the Western Conference … Norfolk scored on its only power play opportunity of the game to break an 0-18 streak on the power play to start the season … The Admirals stopped both Syracuse power play opportunities tonight and have killed 12 consecutive opponent power plays … The Admirals have only allowed three opponent power play opportunities over the past two games … Ryan Craig has points in three straight games (3G, 1A) … Brandon Bochenski’s three-game goal-scoring and point streak (3G, 0A) ended … Mark Parrish (1G, 1A) and Adam Hall (0G, 1A) each recorded their first Norfolk points … Scratches: C Mitch Fadden, RW Chris Lawrence, G Jaroslav Janus, D Matt Smaby.