HERSHEY, Pa. – Mark Parrish’s second goal of the game gave the Norfolk Admirals (12-14-1-0) a 4-2 lead in the second period. However, they could not hold on as they fell to the Hershey Bears (16-7-0-2) 5-4 on Saturday night at Giant Center.
An action-packed opening five minutes to the game saw three goals scored. The Admirals jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:35 into the contest. Mark Parrish collected a wide shot near the left leg of Jason Bacashihua and attempted a cross-crease pass toward Radek Smolenak. The pass deflected off the leg of a Hershey defenseman and into the net for Parrish’s fourth goal of the season.
Norfolk took a 2-0 lead less than three minutes later. Ty Wishart sent a wrist shot through a screen and past the glove of Bacashihua at 4:07.
The Bears struck back just 22 seconds later on a two-on-one play. Chris Bourque took the puck into the Admirals zone along the left wing and sent a shot past Norfolk netminder Riku Helenius at 4:29.
Hershey knotted the game at 2-2 just over three minutes later. Andrew Gordon sent a saucer pass from the right circle to Jay Beagle at the left edge of the slot. Beagle sent a backhand past Helenius at 7:38.
The Admirals reclaimed the lead at 14:32 after a strong forechecking play by the Dana Tyrell-Adam Hall-Ryan Craig line. Craig won a battle for the puck in the right corner and fed it to Tyrell behind the net. Tyrell centered the puck to Hall in the slot for a one-timer through the legs of Bacashihua.
Norfolk took a 4-2 lead just 1:01 into the second stanza on Parrish’s second goal of the night. Parrish streaked into the attacking zone along the right wing and sent a wrist shot through a small opening between the crossbar and right shoulder of Bacashihua for his fifth goal of the season. That goal signaled the end of the game for Bacashihua as Michal Neuvirth entered the game.
The goalie change seemed to spark the Bears, who clawed back to knot the game at four goals apiece midway through the second stanza. Kyle Wilson brought the Bears within a goal of the Admirals at 7:32. After a shot from the left point went wide of the net, the ricochet ended up in the right corner behind Helenius. Wilson sent a shot from a tight angle off the arm of Helenius and into the net.
The Bears tied it at 10:54 on a two-on-one break. Andrew Gordon sent a feed from the right faceoff circle to Keith Aucoin in the left circle. Aucoin one-timed it past Helenius to tie the game at 4-4.
Hershey took the lead for good on the power play at 10:29 of the final frame. Boyd Kane won a faceoff back to John Carlson at the left point. Carlson sent a pass parallel with the blueline to Bourque at the right point, and Bourque sent a slap shot through a screen and past Helenius.
The Admirals had several chances to tie the game late with Helenius pulled for the extra attacker. Parrish hit the post and Hall was denied by Neuvirth on a one-timer in the game’s closing seconds as the Bears held on for the victory.
Riku Helenius (37 shots, 32 saves) took the loss. Jason Bacashihua (11 shots, 7 saves) did not factor into the decision through 21:01 of play. Michal Neuvirth (9 shots, 9 saves) got the victory through 38:59 of play.
Norfolk was 0-2 on the power play. Hershey was 1-2.
Next up on the docket for the Admirals is a pair of home games against the Manitoba Moose on Friday and Saturday nights at Scope. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. both nights. On Friday, the first 500 kids aged 12 and younger will receive a free Admirals youth jersey compliments of ITAC and WTKR NewsChannel3.
1. Chris Bourque – HER
2. Mark Parrish – NOR
3. Andrew Gordon – HER
NOTES … Tonight’s game was the 27th of the season for the Admirals. All but one of those games have been decided by either one or two goals … Mark Parrish, who was re-signed to a new 25-game Professional Tryout Contract earlier in the day, registered his first multiple-goal game as an Admiral … Radek Smolenak (1G, 5A) and Ryan Craig (2G, 4A) are both on four game point streaks … Defenseman Scott Jackson has points and assists in back-to-back games (0G, 2A). He was +3 tonight and now leads the team with a +13 rating on the season … Forward Mitch Fritz played in his 500th professional game … Hershey out-shot Norfolk 37-20 – the worst shot margin for the Admirals this season … Scratches: D Kevin Quick, C Mitch Fadden ... Attendance: 9,011.