ALBANY, N.Y. – Radek Smolenak’s first goal of the season early in the third period broke a scoreless tie and put the Admirals on top. However, Pat Dwyer scored with 1:55 left in regulation and Zach Boychuk netted the overtime game-winning goal 1:46 into overtime as the Norfolk Admirals (8-8-1-0) fell to the Albany River Rats (8-7-0-2) 2-1 on Saturday night at the Times-Union Center. The Admirals picked up their first point on a season-high eight-game road trip (0-1-1-0) with the third stop on Tuesday night in Portland against the Pirates.
The game was scoreless through two periods with Norfolk goaltender Riku Helenius stopping 17 Albany shots and his River Rats counterpart Justin Peters stopping ten Admirals shots.
Radek Smolenak broke the stalemate 4:46 into the third period with his first goal of 2009-10. Blair Jones sent a shot from the slot that bounced off Peters and landed in the crease. Smolenak, who was in the bottom of the left circle, batted the puck over the outstretched right leg of Peters while falling to the ice.
That goal stood up until there was 1:55 remaining in the period when Albany captain Pat Dwyer knotted the contest at one goal apiece. Brett Carson sent a shot from the right circle that ricocheted off Helenius into the slot. Dwyer found the rebound and sent it into the cage.
An odd-man rush ended the contest 1:46 into the extra session. Zach Boychuk sent a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that found its mark and gave the River Rats the victory.
Riku Helenius (27 shots, 25 saves) saw his three-game winning streak end with the overtime loss. Justin Peters (20 shots, 19 saves) picked up the win.
Norfolk was 0-1 on the power play. Albany was 0-3.
The Admirals will play game three of their season-long eight-game road trip against the Portland Pirates on Tuesday night 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. Pat Dwyer – ALB
2. Zach Boychuk – ALB
3. Radek Smolenak – NOR
Notes … The game was Norfolk’s first overtime game of 2009-10. The Admirals were the final AHL team to have a game go past regulation time … The game was the 16th of Norfolk’s 17 contests this season that was decided by either one or two goals ... Blair Jones (3G, 6A) has points in four of his last five games … With alternate captain and LW Mark Parrish out due to an upper-body injury, RW Brandon Bochenski wore an alternate captain’s ‘A’ along with RW Adam Hall and D Mike Lundin … Scratches: LW Mark Parrish, C Mitch Fadden... Attendance: 3,445.