NORFOLK, VA – Paul Szczechura scored two goals and Juraj Simek tied the game with 1:33 left in regulation to force overtime as the Admirals erased their second deficit of the third period. However, the Norfolk Admirals (1-4-1-2) fell in overtime to the Philadelphia Phantoms (3-5-0-0) 5-4 on Wednesday Night at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Phantoms took a 1-0 lead 13:27 into the first period with a power play goal. Claude Giroux sent a shot from the left corner that pinballed off Admirals goaltender Karri Ramo’s pads and into the net.
Rob Bellamy doubled the Phantoms lead 8:37 into the second stanza as he converted a two-on-one feed from Steve Downie.
The Admirals got on the board with a shorthanded goal seven minutes later. Pete Zingoni broke into the attacking zone along the right wing and sent a shot on Phantoms netminder Scott Munroe. The puck bounded off Munroe to the slot where Paul Szczechura sent a quick shot into the net at 15:57.
Philadelphia struck back just over a minute later with a power play goal. Jonathon Kalinski finished off a tick-tac-toe passing play from Downie and Giroux for a 3-1 Phantoms lead at 17:10 of the third period.
Norfolk clawed back to even the score with a pair of goals two minutes apart early in the third period. Wyatt Smith drew the Admirals to within a goal of Philadelphia with a five-on-three power play goal 4:18 into the third period. Jamie Heward sent a shot through traffic that glanced off Smith’s leg and into the net.
Exactly two minutes later, Brandon Segal sent a pass from behind the net to Szczechura in the slot. His initial shot was stopped. However, Szczechura picked up his own rebound near Munroe’s left leg and lifted a backhand shot into the net at 6:18.
Jonathan Matsumoto put Philadelphia ahead once again with a goal 15:37 into the third frame, setting the stage for another Norfolk comeback late in the period.
Jared Ross committed a holding penalty with three minutes left in regulation, and the Admirals capitalized on the ensuing power play. Blair Jones sent a pass from the left corner to Juraj Simek in the slot, and Simek sent a shot five-hole on Munroe with 1:33 left to knot the score at 4-4 and send the game into overtime.
It appeared as if the game would remain tied through the five-minute overtime session, as Ramo came up with several big saves to keep the score leveled. However, Ross atoned for his late penalty when he scored the game-winner with 15.3 seconds remaining for a 5-4 Philadelphia victory.
Karri Ramo (33 shots, 28 saves) was saddled with the loss. Scott Munroe (35 shots, 31 saves) picked up the victory.
Norfolk was 2-6 on the power play. Philadelphia was 2-8.
The Admirals will face off against the Portland Pirates, AHL affiliates of the Buffalo Sabres, on Friday and Saturday nights at Scope. On Friday night, the Admirals will have trick-or-treating available for children on the concourse and will also hold a costume contest. On Saturday night, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive an Admirals pennant courtesy of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Also, fans will be able to skate on the ice with their favorite Admirals following the game. For more details, 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!
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.
1. Jared Ross – PHI
2. Paul Szczechura – NOR
3. Steve Downie – PHI
Notes … Szczechura’s second period tally was Norfolk’s first shorthanded goal of the season … Reigning Eddie Shore Award Winner (AHL Defenseman of the Year) Andrew Hutchinson netted two assists on the evening … The Admirals out-shot the Phantoms 35-33, marking the first time Norfolk has out-shot an opponent all season … Norfolk’s three-goal third period matched its highest offensive output in a single period this season (10/24 at Rockford, second period) … As of the end of tonight’s game, Paul Szczechura’s 33 shots on goal (4th) and linemate Brandon Segal’s 30 shots (T-6th) both rank in the top ten in the league … Szczechura also ranks in the top ten of AHL scoring with 10 points (T-10th) … Healthy scratches: D Matt Smaby, F Jay Rosehill, D Daryl Boyle ... Attendance: 2,622.