NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals (34-27-3-1) scored on four of five shots in the shootout to edge the Albany River Rats (33-24-3-4) 3-2 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals won their sixth straight home game and are now just one point back of the River Rats for second place in the American Hockey League’s East Division.
The River Rats took a 1-0 lead just 3:47 into the first period after a series of strange bounces. Zack FitzGerald sent a shot from the left point that struck the shoulder of goaltender Jaroslav Janus and then went off the chest of Albany forward Chris Terry before bouncing into the crease and rolling across the goal line for a 1-0 lead for the visitors.
Norfolk knotted the score at 1-1 midway through the second stanza on Adam Hall’s 12th goal of the season. Dana Tyrell attempted a backhand centering feed from the left corner toward the slot that was deflected high by an Albany defender’s stick. The puck hit Adam Hall in the chest and fell at his feet in the low slot. Hall swiped at the puck as it hit the ice and got it through the legs of Albany netminder Justin Pogge at 9:59.
The Admirals took a 2-1 lead at 16:07 of the second period with an 80-foot shot by Justin Keller. While on the power play, Keller skated through the neutral zone before sending a slap shot just before crossing the Albany blue line. The puck deflected off the shin of a River Rats defender in the high slot on its way into the net for Keller’s 13th goal of the season.
Albany leveled the score at two goals apiece early in the third period. Jamie McBain corralled an Admirals dump-in inside his own zone and skated all the way up ice before sending a slap shot from the right point that deflected off an Admirals defender and went past the outstretched right leg of Janus 26 seconds into the third period.
The game remained scoreless for the remainder of the third period and overtime.
In the shootout, Justin Keller, Blair Jones, Matt Fornataro and Mitch Fadden converted their attempts while only Chris Terry and Jamie McBain scored for the Rats as Norfolk won the shootout 4-2 and got the extra goal in the game to win 3-2.
Jaroslav Janus (28 shots, 26 saves) won his fifth straight game. Justin Pogge (38 shots, 36 saves) took the loss.
Norfolk was 1-7 on the power play. Albany was 0-6.
The Admirals and River Rats will square off again tomorrow night at Scope. Tomorrow night is American Cancer Society Relay for Life Night. For a complete schedule and details of all Admirals promotions, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212.
To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!
1. Adam Hall – NOR
2. Jaroslav Janus – NOR
3. Justin Keller – NOR
NOTES … The Admirals (34-27-3-1, 72 points in 65 games) are one point back of the River Rats (33-24-3-4, 73 points in 64 games) for second place in the American Hockey League’s East Division … Norfolk’s lead over the fourth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (32-27-1-2, 67 points in 62 games) increased to seven points after the Penguins fell to the Syracuse Crunch tonight … The Admirals have out-scored their opponents 22-9 during their six-game home winning streak … The Admirals play 11 of their final 15 games at Norfolk Scope Arena … Norfolk has out-shot its opponent in eight of its last nine and 17 of its last 23 games … Jaroslav Janus has posted a 1.56 goals-against average and .940 save percentage during a five-game winning streak dating back to February 5 … Dana Tyrell has points in three straight games (1G, 2A) and nine of his last 12 games (3G, 11A) … Adam Hall (2G, 3A) and Vladimir Mihalik (1G, 3A) each have points in four of his last six games … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Paul Szczechura … Attendance: 3,847.