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January 1, 2011

Admirals Comeback Falls Short in 4-3 Loss to Penguins


WILKES-BARRE, Penn. – Troy Milam and Marc-Antoine Pouliot netted goals late in the third period, but the Norfolk Admirals (18-8-6-2) were unable to complete a comeback as they fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (26-8-0-0), 4-3, on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The Admirals will wrap up a quick two-game road trip evening with a 5:00 matchup against the Hershey Bears.

James Wright also scored for Norfolk as the Admirals tied a season high with three power play goals. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski took the loss and stopped 26 of 30 shots.

The Penguins took the lead 12:01 into the first period on a two-on-one play. Geoff Walker sent a feed from the right circle past a sprawling Admirals defender to Nick Johnson on the opposite side. Johnson swept the puck past the right leg of Tokarski for a 1-0 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead.

Bryan Lerg doubled the Penguins lead with only 24.2 seconds remaining in the first period. Lerg found the loose puck in the low slot and attempted a shot that was blocked. However, he found the rebound and backhanded it into the net for a 2-0 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead.

Norfolk cut its deficit to 2-1 midway through the second period on the power play. Pouliot sent a pass from the left corner to Wright in the slot. Wright one-timed the puck past Penguins goaltender John Curry for his tenth goal of the season at 11:24.

However, the Penguins restored their two-goal lead 2:19 into the third period. Former Admiral Ryan Craig accepted a pass in the right circle and sent a wrist shot past the glove of Tokarski to stretch Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead to 3-1.

Steve Wagner stretched the home team’s lead to 4-1 just under three minutes later on the power play. He sent a shot from the right circle through traffic and past a screened Tokarski at 5:07.

The Admirals’ comeback began midway through the third period on Milam’s seventh goal of the season. Paul Szczechura sent a pass from the left circle across the slot. Milam, who had pinched in from the right point, redirected the pass behind the left leg of Curry at 12:55 for a power play goal.

The Admirals cut their deficit to 4-3 less than three minutes later on Pouliot’s ninth goal of the season. Mark Barberio sent a shot from the left circle that hit Curry and bounced into the crease on the opposite side. Pouliot knocked the loose puck into the net for a third power play goal at 15:36.

Norfolk pulled Tokarski in favor of the extra attacker but was unable to get the equalizer.

Dustin Tokarski (30 shots, 26 saves) took the loss. John Curry (23 shots, 20 saves) got the win.

Norfolk was 3-6 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 1-4.

The Admirals will wrap up a quick two-game road trip evening with a 5:00 matchup against the Hershey Bears. Due to Washington Redskins football there will not be a radio broadcast of the game on 102.1-FM or 1490-AM. However, you can follow all of the action online at 1021TheGame.com and AHLLive.com.

The Admirals return to Scope next weekend to battle the Connecticut Whale on Friday and Saturday nights. The puck drops on Friday at 7:30 p.m. On Friday, the first 75 children ages 14 and younger will receive an Admirals Zamboni Bank courtesy of JPM Financial Services, John's Tax Service, WAVY-TV 10 and WTKR NewsChannel3. Saturday is Special Olympics Night, presented by SunTrust, with discounted tickets available through norfolkadmirals.com to benefit Special Olympics of Virginia.

Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.

Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2010-11 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $350 while 10-Packs are available for as little as $110. 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!

Three Stars:
1. Bryan Lerg – WBS
2. Steve Wagner – WBS
3. Ryan Craig – WBS

NOTES … Norfolk is winless in four games following the holiday break (0-2-1-1) … The Admirals tied a season high with three power play goals (October 23 at Albany) … Chris Durno’s three-game point streak ended (2G, 3A) … Scratches: Ty Wishart, Blair Jones, Tim Marks, Mathieu Roy, Mitch Fritz.

# ADMIRALS HOCKEY: IT'S TIME #

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