BRIDGEPORT, CT – Bracken Kearns and Brandon Bochenski each netted two goals as the Norfolk Admirals (8-13-1-4) defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (16-6-1-2) 6-3 on Saturday night at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Norfolk charged out of the gates with a trio of opening period goals. Grant Potunly started it off with a power play goal at 3:31. Brandon Bochenski sent a pass from behind the net to Potulny just outside the goalmouth. Potunly redirected the pass behind Bridgeport goaltender Peter Mannino for his third goal in seven games with the Admirals.
Bracken Kearns doubled the lead just over four minutes later. Vladimir Mihalik sent a shot from the left point that Kearns directed past Mannino at 7:47.
Kearns’ second goal of the period gave the Admirals a 3-0 lead at 16:54. Jamie Heward’s shot from the right point was deflected on net by Juraj Simek and bounced back into the slot. Kearns found the rebound and sent a snap shot past Mannino.
The Sound Tigers briefly clawed back to within two goals of Norfolk when Trevor Smith netted a power play goal just 23 seconds into the second period.
However, a pair of power play goals by Bochenski thwarted any Bridgeport comeback hopes in the middle stanza. Bochenski’s first goal came just over ten minutes after Smith’s tally. Captain Zenon Konopka won a faceoff and the puck went back to Bochenski in the high slot even with the top of the faceoff circles. Bochenski sent a high wrist shot past Mannino at 10:37.
The Admirals quickly found themselves back on the power play and Bochenski made it 5-1 just over a minute after his first tally. The puck found its way onto his blade after a goalmouth scramble and he swept it into the net behind Mannino for his eleventh goal of the season at 11:43.
Brandon Segal extended Norfolk’s lead to 6-1 exactly nine minutes into the final frame while skating shorthanded. Jason Ward sent a cross-ice pass to Segal in the right circle for a quick shot that got past Mannino.
Trevor Smith (13:06) and Mike Iggulden (17:51) tacked on Bridgeport power play goals in the last half of the period, but the Admirals held on for a 6-3 win.
Mike McKenna (32 shots, 29 saves) earned the win. Peter Mannino (33 shots, 27 saves) shouldered the loss. Nathan Lawson briefly relieved Mannino in the first period and did not face a shot before leaving the game at the start of the second period.
Norfolk was 3-4 on the power play. Bridgeport was 3-9.
The Admirals’ five-game road trip will conclude tomorrow evening in Hershey with a 5:00 p.m. meeting with the Bears.
The Admirals will return to Scope next week with contests against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on December 10 and against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on December 12 and 13.
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!
1. Brandon Bochenski – NOR
2. Bracken Kearns – NOR
3. Grant Potulny – NOR
Notes … The Admirals handed Bridgeport just their second regulation defeat at the Arena at Harbor Yard this season … Norfolk’s line of Zenon Konopka, Brandon Bochenski and Grant Potulny combined for nine points (3G, 6A) … Konopka (0G, 3A), Bochenski (2G, 1A), Potulny (1G, 2A), Bracken Kearns (2G, 0A) and Jason Ward (0G, 2A) each had multiple point games … Bochenski has multiple-point games in six of his last ten games and at least one point in ten of his last 13 games (8G, 9A) … Bochenski is now tied for the team lead in goals with 11, tying Paul Szczechura who is on NHL recall to the Tampa Bay Lightning … Tonight was Bracken Kearns’ second career multiple goal game in the AHL. The other came last season on March 29 versus Manchester with a pair of goals … Norfolk capitalized on their first three power plays of the contest … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, D Ty Wishart, F Justin Keller, G Riku Helenius … Attendance: 3,684.