HERSHEY, Pa. – Matt Syroczynski and Juraj Simek netted third period goals, but they were not enough to overcome a three-goal deficit as the Norfolk Admirals (8-8-0-0) fell to the Hershey Bears (11-5-0-0) 5-3 on Friday night at Giant Center. Norfolk plays game two of a season-long eight-game road trip tomorrow night in Albany against the River Rats.
The Admirals took a 1-0 lead just 1:09 into the game. Ty Wishart sent the puck into the attacking zone as he crossed the center line and Blair Jones out-hustled a Hershey defenseman to the puck near the left corner. Jones stuffed a shot into the net on a wraparound past the right skate of Bears goaltender Michal Neuvirth.
The Bears tied the game at 1-1 less than eight minutes later. Karl Alzner sent a shot that caromed off the end boards to Keith Aucoin in the left corner. Aucoin sent a tough-angle shot off of Norfolk goaltender Dustin Tokarski that trickled across the goal line 9:06 into the opening period.
Hershey took the lead for good at 7:19. Alexandre Giroux skated into the attacking zone with a partial breakaway. Tokarski goaltender denied Giroux’s initial attempt but could not stop the rebound shot that got past his right skate.
The Bears doubled their lead at 9:53. Oscar Osala emerged from behind the goal line through the left circle with his back to Tokarski. Osala fired a shot while spinning around to face the net and scored over the right shoulder of Tokarski.
Hershey took a 4-1 lead at 17:36 of the second period. Aucoin sent a feed from the left circle across the slot. Andrew Joudrey one-timed the pass from the right circle into the net top-shelf.
The Admirals mounted a spirited comeback in the final frame beginning with a Matt Syroczynski tally at 8:57. Syroczynski found a loose puck behind the goal line and wrapped a shot around Neuvirth’s left leg and into the net for his second goal of the season.
Nearly five minutes later, Juraj Simek brought the visitors within a goal of tying the game. Defenseman Mike Lundin found Simek in the low slot and the Admirals winger sent a shot into the roof of the net over the extended right leg of Neuvirth at 13:50.
Norfolk nearly tied the game with roughly one minute to play in the game. Brandon Bochenski sent a shot from the right faceoff circle that hit Neuvirth. The puck got past Neuvirth and would have crossed the goal line if a Hershey defenseman had not swiped it into the corner.
The Admirals pulled Tokarski for the extra attacker and had chances to tie the game in the final minute but were unable to find the equalizer. Steve Pinizzotto iced the game for the Bears with an empty net goal with one second remaining.
Dustin Tokarski (30 shots, 26 saves) took the loss. Michal Neuvirth (29 shots, 26 saves) picked up the win.
Both Norfolk and Hershey were 0-2 with the power play.
The Admirals will play game two of their season-long eight-game road trip tomorrow night in Albany at 7:00. All Admirals games can be heard on STAR 1310-AM and star1310.com. They can also be seen on a pay-per-view basis on ahllive.com.
The Admirals will return to Scope on Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28, to square off against the Albany River Rats. The puck drops both nights at 7:15 p.m. On November 27, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals mousepad courtesy of Your Community PhoneBook. For details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
1. Keith Aucoin – HER
2. Alexandre Giroux – HER
3. Karl Alzner – HER
Notes … The game was the 15th of Norfolk’s 16 contests this season that was decided by either one or two goals ... Mike Lundin (2G, 7A) has points in nine of his last 11 games … Blair Jones (3G, 5A) and Juraj Simek (2G, 3A) each have points in three of their last four games … Ty Wishart (1G, 1A) has points in back-to-back games … Mitch Fritz and chris Lawrence each have assists in two of their last three games (0G, 2A) … Scratches: C Mitch Fadden, D Matt Lashoff... Attendance: 8,014.