NORFOLK – Captain Zenon Konopka set the stage for a dramatic finish at Norfolk Scope Arena on Saturday night with the game-tying goal in the third period. However, his Norfolk Admirals (0-1-0-1) fell in a shootout to the Hershey Bears (3-0-0-0) by a 4-3 final score.
The Admirals struck first with a power play goal 4:20 into the opening period. Radek Smolenak collected a rebound behind the net and sent a wraparound shot between the post and left leg of Hershey goaltender Simeon Varlamov.
Hershey answered back just over ten minutes later while each team skated with four attackers. Keith Aucoin one-timed a Tyler Sloan pass past Admirals goaltender Karri Ramo at 15:18 to knot the score at 1-1 heading into the second period.
The Bears took a 2-1 lead late in the second period. Francois Bouchard stole the puck from an Admirals defender and sent a shot past Ramo at 18:23.
Brandon Segal tied the game at two goals apiece 5:32 into the third period. He led a rush into the attacking zone along the left wing and sent a backhand shot from the left circle that went between Varlamov’s legs for his first goal of the season.
Hershey reclaimed the lead just over three minutes later on the power play with a Mathieu Perrault marker.
The Admirals answered back two minutes later with Konopka’s tally. Vladimir Mihalik sent a shot from the point that Konopka deflected past Varlamov at 10:57.
The Bears won the shootout on the strength of conversions by Alexandre Giroux, Bouchard and Keith Aucoin. Wyatt Smith netted Norfolk’s lone conversion, as Hershey took the shootout 3-1 and the game 4-3.
Karri Ramo stopped 23 of 26 shots but was saddled with the shootout loss. Simeon Varlamov picked up the win making 22 saves on 25 shots for the Bears.
Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play. Hershey was 1-6.
The Admirals will now embark on a five-game road trip over the next two weeks. They will visit the Lake Erie Monsters and Hamilton Bulldogs for the first times in franchise history next weekend, with a game in Lake Erie on Friday and Hamilton on Saturday.
You may listen to all Admirals games live on ESPN Radio 1310 and sportsjuice.com. You may also view the contests on a pay-per-view basis through AHL Live. For more information, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
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 (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 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!
Notes … Winger Brandon Segal now has points in his last seven games for the Admirals stretching back to the last five games of the 2007-08 season (4G, 4A since 4/4/08 vs. Albany) … Defenseman Daryl Boyle notched his first professional point with an assist on Segal’s goal … Defenseman Vladimir Mihalik notched his first points of the season with a pair of assists … Defenseman Scott Jackson made his professional debut.