NORFOLK – The Norfolk Admirals (4-0-0-0) won a special teams battle against the Connecticut Whale (0-3-1-0) tonight at Norfolk Scope Arena, scoring three power play goals and two shorthanded goals en route to a 6-3 win. The victory gave the Admirals just their second 4-0-0-0 start in the team's AHL history. Next up on the docket is a trip to St. John's, Newfoundland, for games against the IceCaps next Saturday and Sunday.
Sami Vatanen, Ryan Lasch and Chris Wagner each scored their first American Hockey League goals. The Admirals also received goals from Troy Bodie, Patrick Maroon and Kyle Palmieri, while Frederik Anderson (2-0-0) stopped 32 of 35 shots for the win.
The Admirals struck first for the fourth consecutive game to begin the 2012-13 season. Wagner forced a turnover in the neutral zone in front of the Norfolk bench, giving Bodie a partial shorthanded breakaway. Bodie powered through the left faceoff circle and used his body to shield away a Connecticut defender while cutting in front of the crease. He then sent a shot over the glove of Whale goaltender Scott Stajcer at 4:33.
Norfolk’s lead doubled less than four minutes later on a five-on-three power play. Peter Holland sent a pass from the right circle to Vatanen on the right point. Vatanen sent a one-timer through a screen and past Stajcer at 8:03 for a 2-0 lead.
Connecticut cut its deficit in half just under eight minutes later. Sean Collins sent a shot from the high slot. Kyle Jean, who was stationed between the hashmarks in the slot, deflected the high shot downward and past Andersen at 16:00, cutting Norfolk’s lead to 2-1.
The Admirals restored their two-goal lead just 29 seconds into the second stanza with a power play goal. Corey Elkins skated behind the Connecticut net and sent a pass to Lasch in the right circle. Lasch sent a shot between the left shoulder and crossbar and into the net for a 3-1 Norfolk lead.
Just over five minutes later, the Whale forced a turnover in the neutral zone and skated towards Andersen on a two-on-one break. Kris Newbury fed Christian Thomas in the slot, and Thomas sent a shot past the blocker of Andersen at 5:31.
Norfolk utilized another shorthanded tally to build its lead to 4-2 late in the second period. After winning a faceoff in the Norfolk zone, Bodie chipped the puck around a defender and up the ice through the neutral zone. He recovered the puck at the right point of the Connecticut zone, and chipped it to the slot. Wagner accepted the pass on a breakaway, and sent a backhand shot past Stajcer’s glove at 18:08 for his first professional goal.
The Whale once again cut Norfolk’s lead to one goal – this time on the power play just 35 seconds into the third period. Chad Kolarik sent a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle past Andersen’s blocker to make the score 4-3 Admirals.
However, the rest of the period belonged to Norfolk. The Admirals scored their second goal on a five-on-three power play at 13:42, as Maroon scored on the second rebound of a Vatanen shot. Palmieri closed out scoring with 45 seconds remaining.
Scott Stajcer (25 saves, 31 shots) took the loss.
Norfolk was 3-for-8 on the power play. Connecticut was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
The Admirals will take their first road trip of the 2012-13 season next weekend when they visit the St. John's IceCaps for a pair of games. The puck drops on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. EDT and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Catch all of the action live on 102.1-FM, 1490-AM, 1021TheGame.com or AHLLive.com.
The Admirals return to Scope on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3, to square off against the Binghamton Senators. Friday night's game is Salvation Army Fundraiser Night. Please visit norfolkadmirals.com/groups for information about ordering discounted fundraising tickets to benefit The Salvation Army. These tickets may only be ordered online and may only be ordered through Thursday, November 1.
Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your 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. Troy Bodie – NOR
2. Chris Wagner – NOR
3. Sami Vatanen – NOR
NOTES … The Admirals have tied their franchise record for the longest winning to start an AHL season (2010-11) … Kyle Palmieri (2g, 4a) and Peter Holland (2g, 3a) each have points in all four of Norfolk's games this season … Troy Bodie had a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" with a goal, assist and fight … Hampus Lindholm netted his first North American pro/AHL/Admirals point with an assist on Ryan Lasch's second period goal … The Admirals have scored first in all four games of the season. Each goal came in the first five minutes of the game … Norfolk is now 10-0-0-1-0 in its last 11 regular season games against Connecticut/Hartford … Did not play: John Kurtz, Garrett Klotz, Luca Caputi, Matt Smaby.