MANCHESTER, N.H. – Riku Helenius made 21 saves before stopping all four shooters he faced in the shootout to propel the Norfolk Admirals (10-8-1-0) past the Manchester Monarchs (11-4-1-2) 2-1 on Wednesday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Admirals sit in second place in the American Hockey League’s East Division and are now 2-1-1-0 on their season-high eight-game road trip with the fifth stop coming Friday night in Lowell against the Devils.
After a scoreless opening period, the Admirals took a 1-0 lead 11:45 into the second stanza. Justin Keller found a loose puck behind the goal line defended by Manchester goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Keller emerged from behind the net near Bernier’s right skate and scored his fourth goal of the season with a shot between the netminder’s leg pads.
The Monarchs struck back six minutes later as a power play expired. An attempted pass in the slot was blocked and the puck ricocheted to former Admiral Brandon Segal along the goal line between the net and the left corner. Segal banked a shot into the goal off Norfolk netminder Riku Helenius at 17:44 to tie the game at 1-1.
The Admirals out-shot the Monarchs 12-5 in the third period and 4-2 in overtime but were stonewalled by Bernier.
In the shootout, Juraj Simek and Blair Jones scored in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, while Helenius stopped all four shots he faced to give the Admirals a 2-0 shootout decision and a 2-1 victory in the game.
Riku Helenius (22 shots, 21 saves) earned the victory. Jonathan Bernier (35 shots, 34 saves) was saddled with the shootout loss.
Norfolk was 0-2 on the power play. Manchester was 0-3.
The Admirals will play game five of their season-long eight-game road trip against the Lowell Devils Friday night at 7:00. All Admirals games can be heard on STAR 1310-AM and star1310.com. They can also be seen on a pay-per-view basis on ahllive.com.
The Admirals will return to Scope on Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28, to square off against the Albany River Rats. The puck drops both nights at 7:15 p.m. On November 27, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals mousepad courtesy of Your Community PhoneBook. For details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
1. Juraj Simek – NOR
2. Jonathan Bernier – MCH
3. Brandon Segal – MCH
NOTES … The Admirals are 10-8-1-0 for 21 points through 19 games this season and are in second place in the AHL’s East Division. Through 19 games last season, Norfolk was 5-10-1-3 for 14 points and in sixth place in the East Division … Norfolk picked up its seventh road victory in its 12th road game of the campaign. Last season, the Admirals did not earn its seventh road victory until its 25th road game … Norfolk became just the second team to defeat the Atlantic Division-leading Monarchs at home this season in Manchester’s ninth home game … After becoming the last AHL team to play an overtime game last Saturday in Albany, the Admirals played their third straight overtime game tonight … The last time Norfolk played three or more consecutive overtime games was a four-game stretch from January 23 – February 1, 2008 … Blair Jones has points in five of his last seven games (3G, 7A) … Scratches: D Kevin Quick, D Ethan Graham, LW Mark Parrish, C Mitch Fadden... Attendance: 3,614.