NORFOLK, Va. – Brandon Bochenski scored a pair of goals in the game’s first six minutes as the Norfolk Admirals (3-4-0-0) sunk the Portland Pirates (2-6-0-0) 4-2 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Admirals jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal 2:44 into the game. Bochenski got the puck behind the net minded by Portland goalie Jhonas Enroth. Bochenski emerged near the post close to Enroth’s right leg and spun around in the low slot to face the netminder before sending a wrist shot top-shelf, blocker-side.
Bochenski doubled Norfolk’s lead just over three minutes later on a two-on-one break. Paul Szczechura sped down the left wing and sent a pass across the slot and past the reach of a Pirates defender. Bochenski redirected the shot from the edge of the right faceoff circle past the left leg of Enroth at 5:48 for his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The Admirals took a 3-0 lead early in the second period on another two-on-one. This time, it was Bochenski who sent a pass from the right wing to Szczechura in the slot. Szczechura held the puck back in a shooting posture while gliding to his left, causing Enroth to drop into the butterfly position. Once the goaltender was committed to block a low shot, Szczechura sent a wrist shot into the top of the net for his second goal of the season at 3:39.
Norfolk’s lead grew to four goals just over four minutes later. Vladimir Mihalik sent a pass from the top of the left circle toward the slot. Ryan Craig re-directed the pass through traffic and past Enroth at 7:59 for his fifth goal of the season.
The Pirates scored a pair of quick goals shortly thereafter to draw within two goals of the Admirals. Paul Byron deflected a Mark Mancari shot past Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski at 9:02 of the second period. Tyler Ennis then made it 4-2 when he stole the puck behind the net and sent a shot that banked off a Norfolk defender in the low slot and got past Tokarski at 11:52.
However, Tokarski and the Admirals defense battened down the hatches from there, stopping all six Portland third period shots to preserve the 4-2 victory.
Dustin Tokarski (16 shots, 14 saves) earned his third win of the season. Jhonas Enroth (23 shots, 19 saves) took the loss.
Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play. Portland was 0-2.
The Admirals and Pirates will square off again tomorrow night at Scope. Tomorrow night is Hope at the Scope to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. There will be a celebrity game at 5:00 p.m. followed by the Admirals game against Portland at 7:15 p.m. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. A ticket to the Admirals game gets you in to the celebrity game, as well. Throughout the evening, there will be presentations to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease by the Admirals and Alzheimer’s Association.
1. Brandon Bochenski – NOR
2. Paul Szczechura – NOR
3. Mike Lundin – NOR
Notes … The Admirals stopped both Portland power play opportunities tonight and have killed all 17 opponent power plays over their last six games … The Admirals have allowed only eight opponent power play opportunities over the past four games. They gave up 15 power play opportunities over their first three games of the season … With a goal tonight, Ryan Craig has points in five straight games (5G, 1A) and goals in three straight games (4G) … Paul Szczechura (2G, 2A) have points in three straight contests … Scratches: LW Juraj Simek, RW Martins Karsums, G Riku Helenius ... Attendance: 3,303.