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January 16, 2009

Sharks Bite Back, Top Admirals in Shootout


NORFOLK, VA – Goals by Bracken Kearns and Brandon Bochenski gave the Norfolk Admirals (16-20-1-4) a 2-0 lead in the second period on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. However, the Worcester Sharks (22-18-0-1) netted two unanswered goals in regulation and then claimed a 3-2 win by topping the Admirals in a seven-round shootout.

The Admirals got on the board just 2:30 into the game with a shorthanded goal. Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss used a poke check to disrupt a charging Bracken Kearns near the top of the left circle. However, Kearns recovered the puck and sent a shot from the left faceoff dot into a yawning cage for his ninth goal of the season.

Norfolk’s lead doubled early in the second period with Brandon Bochenski’s team-leading thirteenth goal of the season. Bochenski sent a shot from the high slot that went off the skate of a Worcester defender and deflected through Greiss’ legs at 3:54.

Worcester got on the board just over 11 minutes later. Jamie McGinn centered the puck from the bottom of the left circle toward the goalmouth, and Torrey Mitchell redirected the feed past Norfolk netminder Mike McKenna at 15:15.

The Sharks knotted the score at 2-2 exactly six minutes into the third period. Matt Fornataro accepted a pass from Ryan Vesce in the left faceoff circle and approached McKenna alone, holding the puck on his backhand before shooting a puck high to the short side.

In the shootout, Justin Keller and Radek Smolenak scored for Norfolk. However, Vesce and McGinn leveled the shootout at two goals apiece through the customary five rounds and then Fornataro scored in the seventh round to give Worcester the 3-2 edge in the shootout and in the game.

Mike McKenna (41 shots, 39 saves) shouldered the shootout loss. Thomas Greiss (33 shots, 31 saves) picked up the win.

Norfolk was 0-4 on the power play. Worcester was 0-3.

The Admirals and Sharks will face off once again tomorrow night at Scope. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m.

Tomorrow night will be Pink in the Rink Night. The event will seek to educate and raise awareness about breast cancer while also raising monies for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Events leading up to and during the game include a breast cancer informational session, survivor participation during game night, “Hockey 101- A Clinic for Women” and a silent auction for player-autographed Tampa Bay Lightning merchandise. Even the ice will be pink! Special $12 Red Level Tickets are available through the Tidewater Affiliate Susan G. Komen For the Cure. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. For information on the event or ordering tickets, 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!

Three Stars:
1. Matt Fornataro – WOR
2. Bracken Kearns – NOR
3. Ryan Vesce – WOR

Notes … The Admirals are now 1-5 in shootouts this season with an 0-2 mark at Scope … Bracken Kearns has points in four straight games (3G, 1A) and goals in three straight games (3G) … Brandon Bochenski has points in four straight games (2G, 3A) … Chris Gratton’s point streak ended at six games (2G, 4A). He has points in eight of the 11 games he has appeared in for the Admirals this season (2G, 7A) … Mike Lundin assisted on Bochenski’s second period goal and has points in five of his last eight games (2G, 6A) …After starting the season with just one shorthanded goal in the first 25 games, Norfolk now has five shorthanded goals in its last 16 games – including three in its last five games. The Admirals’ six shorthanded goals – scored by six different players – are tied for the tenth most in the league … Goaltender Karri Ramo returned to Norfolk from the Admirals’ NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, earlier in the day … Forward Juraj Simek returned to the lineup tonight after missing ten games due to injury … Scratches: F Pete Zingoni, F Jason Ward, D Andy Rogers, F Brandon Segal and G Riku Helenius… Attendance: 3,901.

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