NORFOLK, Va. – Ty Wishart scored 3:50 into overtime to propel the Norfolk Admirals (11-12-1-0) past the Albany River Rats (10-10-1-2) 4-3 on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena as the Admirals returned home from a season-long eight-game road trip. The same two teams will face off tomorrow night at Scope.
The Admirals claimed a 1-0 lead 6:51 into the first period. Matt Smaby created a turnover at his own blueline and sent Adam Hall and Dana Tyrell into the Albany zone on a two-on-one break. Hall sent a pass from the right wing to Tyrell in the left circle, Tyrell then sent the puck back to Hall across the crease and Hall tapped it in for his third goal of the season.
Another turnover led to the game’s second goal. An errant Admirals pass was picked off at the Albany blue line and led Rob Hennigar and Jacob Micflikier on a two-on-none break in on Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski. Hennigar sent a feed from the left circle to Micflikier in the right ring for a one-timer that beat Tokarski’s glove at 7:59.
The River Rats took a 2-1 lead less than nine minutes later. Mike Angelidis forced a turnover in the neutral zone and sent Matthew Pistilli into the attacking zone along the right wing. Pistilli sent a feed to the top of the right circle and Nick Dodge one-timed it into the net at 16:39.
After a scoreless second period, a wild three-minute span saw the Admirals briefly take the lead midway through the third period. The hosts tied the game at 2-2 at 5:48. Ryan Craig emerged from the left corner and attempted a backhand shot in the low slot that dribbled off his stick and was headed toward the right corner. Blair Jones pounced on the loose puck near the edge of the crease and batted it into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
Norfolk took a 3-2 lead at 7:41 on Matt Syroczynski’s fourth goal of the season. Ethan Graham sent a shot from the left point that Syroczynski tipped past Albany netminder Mike Murphy.
The lead was short-lived, as Angelidis was able to poke a loose puck past the outstretched left leg of Tokarski at 8:48. The game went to overtime tied at three goals apiece.
In overtime, Ryan Craig won a battle for the puck in the right corner of the Albany zone and got it to Brandon Bochenski in the right ring. Bochenski fed it across the slot to defenseman Ty Wishart in the left faceoff circle, and the blueliner’s wrist shot beat Murphy glove-side high at 3:50 to win the game for the Admirals.
Dustin Tokarski (30 shots, 27 saves) earned the win. Mike Murphy (46 shots, 42 saves) was saddled with the loss.
Norfolk was 0-1 on the power play. Albany was 0-3.
The Admirals and River Rats will square off once again tomorrow night at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
1. Ty Wishart – NOR
2. Blair Jones – NOR
3. Mike Angelidis – ALB
NOTES … After concluding a season-high eight-game road trip earlier this week, Norfolk began a stretch of seven games at home over their next nine contests tonight … Norfolk has killed 26 consecutive opponent power plays … Twenty-three of Norfolk’s 24 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals … Tonight’s contest ended a stretch of seven games where the Admirals were limited to no more than two goals per game … Wishart’s goal was his second of the season, his third career AHL goal and his first career game-winning goal … Blair Jones has points in three straight games (2G, 1A) and points in nine of his last 12 games (5G, 9A) … Matt Syroczynski has points in three of his last four games (3G, 1A) … Brandon Bochenski has points in seven of his last 12 games (5G, 7A) … Scratches: D Kevin Quick, LW Radek Smolenak, C Mitch Fadden ... Attendance: 3,835.