BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Jaroslav Janus made 42 saves, but the Norfolk Admirals (38-24-9-6) fell to the Binghamton Senators (41-29-3-5), 2-1, in overtime on Wednesday night at the Broome County Veteran’s Memorial Arena. Norfolk’s lead over the fifth-place Senators fell to one point, but its deficit to the idle third-place Charlotte Checkers shrank to two points.
Norfolk will continue its regular season-ending five-game road trip tomorrow night with the first of back-to-back meetings against the Syracuse Crunch. The puck drops at 7:00 tomorrow night and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night at the War Memorial at Oncenter.
Mattias Ritola scored Norfolk’s lone goal, giving him goals in a franchise record-tying six consecutive games. Blair Jones assisted on the play, giving him points in nine consecutive games.
Binghamton took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on the strength of an Andre Benoit power play goal. Kaspars Daugavins sent a pass from the right half wall to Benoit at the left point. Benoit fired a shot through traffic and past a screened Janus at 11:46.
Norfolk tied the game at 1-1 late in the second period with Ritola’s eighth goal of the season. Ritola carried the puck through the neutral zone and passed it to Jones along the right wing as they entered the attacking zone. Jones returned the puck to Ritola in the slot, and Ritola sent a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Binghamton goaltender Barry Brust at 16:01.
Janus stopped 30 shots in the final two periods alone, including all 14 Binghamton shots in a scoreless third period to force overtime.
Binghamton won the game 3:48 into overtime on a two-on-one break. Erik Condra sent a pass from the left circle past a sliding Admirals defenseman in the slot to Jim O’Brien in the right circle. O’Brien sent a shot past a diving Janus to give the Senators a 2-1 victory.
Jaroslav Janus (44 shots, 42 saves) was saddled with the loss. Barry Brust (31 shots, 30 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-4 on the power play. Binghamton was 1-3.
Norfolk will continue its regular season-ending five-game road trip tomorrow night with the first of back-to-back meetings against the Syracuse Crunch. The puck drops at 7:00 tomorrow night and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021TheGame.com and ahllive.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! Low monthly payments available for a limited time only. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Barry Brust – BNG
2. Jim O’Brien – BNG
3. Mattias Ritola – NOR
EAST DIVISION PLAYOFF RACE … The Norfolk Admirals have clinched a berth in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs … With three games remaining in the regular season, Norfolk has 91 points and is in fourth place in the AHL's East Division. The fifth-place Binghamton Senators (90 points, 2 games remaining) are now only one point back of Norfolk. The Admirals have one game in hand on the Senators … Norfolk cut its deficit on the idle third-place Charlotte Checkers (93 points, 2 games remaining) to two points. The Admirals hold one game in hand on the Checkers … The top four spots in the East Division will qualify for the East Division Semifinals in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" will come into effect for the fifth place team in the East Division, as that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals.
NOTES … Mattias Ritola has tied an AHL Admirals record by recording goals in six consecutive games for Norfolk (8G). Troy Brouwer (2006-07) and Kyle Wanvig (2007-08) have also accomplished that feat for Norfolk … Ritola’s streak of multiple-point games ended at six, but he still has points in seven straight games (8G, 9A) … Blair Jones now has points in nine straight games (7G, 5A) – the longest point streak for the Admirals since Zenon Konopka had a nine-game streak during the 2008-09 season … Jaroslav Janus has gone 1-1-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in his last three games … Did not play: Kevin Quick, Levi Nelson, Tim Marks, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins, Matt Fornataro.