WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Penn. – Dustin Tokarski stopped 32 of 33 shots and the Admirals penalty kill stopped all six Wilkes-Barre/Scranton chances as the Norfolk Admirals defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 2-1, on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The Admirals have taken a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven East Division Semifinals series.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Mattias Ritola scored in the second period to stake the Admirals to a 2-0 lead. The Penguins out-shot Norfolk 33-22 in the game.
After a scoreless opening period, Norfolk struck first 5:23 into the second stanza while the teams skated four-on-four. Troy Milam intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and sent the puck to Ritola. Ritola entered the zone along the left wing and sent a snap shot that went between the legs of Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen for a 1-0 Admirals lead.
The lead doubled just over thirteen minutes later. Ritola had his back to then net at the right point and spun around to send a looping wrist shot through traffic. Pouliot tipped the shot past Thiessen at 18:27 to put the visitors ahead 2-0.
Tokarski stopped all 20 shots he faced through two periods and was very strong at the start of the third period as the Penguins had two power plays midway through the final frame.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton broke up Tokarski’s shutout bid and cut their deficit in half with only 2:47 left in regulation. Geoff Walker sent a shot from the right circle that Tokarski kicked away. However, Keven Veilleux found the rebound and stashed a shot past Tokarski’s right leg to cut Norfolk’s lead to 2-1.
However, Tokarski and the Admirals thwarted any further Penguin scoring chances and held on for the 2-1 victory.
Dustin Tokarski (33 shots, 32 saves) earned the victory in his professional playoff debut. Brad Thiessen (22 shots, 20 saves) took the loss.
Norfolk was 0-3 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-6.
Game Two is tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. from the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Fans can watch the game via AHL Live at Baxter’s Sports Lounge. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021TheGame.com and ahllive.com.
The series shifts to Norfolk for Games Three, Four and Five (if necessary) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday next week. Individual playoff tickets range in price from $13.00 - $18.00 when purchased in advance of the day of a game. Students through high school, active military with valid identification and senior citizens receive $1 off single game tickets at the Scope Box Office. Group discounts are also available when purchased in advance through the Admirals group sales office.
In addition, the Admirals will continue to offer midweek Value Nights including the popular Family Fun Packs, presented by SunTrust, and Student Rush Night tickets. These special offers will be available for all Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday home games throughout the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Family Fun Packs, presented by SunTrust, include four discounted Red Level Tickets for just $52 plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $52 – that’s a savings of $37! Student Rush Nights provide $9 White Level Tickets (normally $13) for students with a valid current high school or college ID.
During the playoffs, Family Fun Packs are ONLY available at the Scope Box Office. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
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. Dustin Tokarski – NOR
2. Mattias Ritola – NOR
3. Marc-Antoine Pouliot – NOR