NORFOLK, Va. – Admirals alternate captain Ryan Craig’s goal with 4:10 left in the third period leveled the score at four goals apiece after his team trailed 4-2 earlier in the period. However, Senators defenseman Derek Smith scored with 2:24 left in the game to give the Binghamton Senators (14-14-1-1) a 5-4 decision over the Norfolk Admirals (15-16-1-0) on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals are now off for a week before playing back-to-back games against one of their biggest rivals, the Hershey Bears, in Hershey on December 27 and at Scope on December 29.
Binghamton struck first 6:16 into the opening period. Former Admiral Geoff Kinrade skated out of the penalty box and forced a turnover in his own zone. He skated into the Norfolk zone and fired a wrist shot through traffic from the top of the right circle that beat Norfolk netminder Riku Helenius top shelf.
Norfolk knotted the score at two goals apiece just over ten minutes later. Martins Karsums found the rebound of a Ty Wishart point shot at the top of the crease and put it past Binghamton goaltender Chris Holt for a power play goal at 16:36.
The Senators re-claimed the lead 4:26 into the second period. Erik Condra stole the puck from an Admirals defender in the Norfolk zone and got the puck to Kaspars Daugavins at the top of the crease. Daugavins sent a backhand shot past Helenius to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
The Admirals leveled the score at two goals apiece just over nine minutes later with their second power play goal of the game. Brandon Bochenski moved the puck from the right corner to Karsums at the half wall and then Wishart at the right point. Wishart sent a slap shot through a screen that found its mark past the blocker of Holt at 13:04 for Wishart’s fourth goal of the season.
However, the visitors quickly re-claimed the lead just 1:33 later with a power play goal of their own. Former Admiral Martin St. Pierre threaded a pass from the left half wall across the slot to Denis Hamel in the right circle. The Binghamton captain sent a quick wrist shot past the glove hand of Helenius at 14:37 for a 3-2 Senators lead.
The lead doubled just 15 seconds into the final frame. Ryan Keller backhanded a pass from the left corner into the slot where Zack Smith was stationed. Smith sent a one-timer into the cage for a 4-2 Senators lead.
The Admirals would not go quietly and mounted a spirited third period comeback beginning with Juraj Simek’s second goal in as many nights at 12:31. Wishart sent a shot from the left point that caromed off Holt into the slot. Holt thought that he was holding on to the puck. However, Simek found the rebound and fired it into the yawning cage for his sixth goal of the season.
Norfolk tied the game at 4-4 just over three minutes later. Scott Jackson sent a shot from the high slot that Ryan Craig tipped into the net at 15:50.
However, the deadlock was short-lived. Derek Smith sent a long wrist shot that found its mark at 17:36 to give the Senators a 5-4 edge.
Norfolk skated the final 1:26 of the game with a two-man advantage after pulling Helenius for the extra attacker and a Derek Smith high-sticking double-minor. However, they were unable to find the equalizer.
Riku Helenius (23 shots, 18 saves) took the loss. Chris Holt (29 shots, 25 saves) got the win.
Norfolk was 2-8 on the power play. Binghamton was 1-6.
Next up for Norfolk is a home-and-home set against the Hershey Bears. The Admirals visit Hershey on Sunday, December 27 and the Bears come to Norfolk on Tuesday, December 29.
Tuesday’s game will be another Family Fun Pack Night and Student Rush Night. Family Fun Packs include four discounted Red Level Tickets for just $48 plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $48 – that’s a savings of $37!
Student Rush Nights, brought to you by Pit Bull Energy Drink and Baxter’s Sports Lounge, provide $8 White Level Tickets (normally $12) for high school and college students with a valid current high school or college ID. In addition, when you buy a Student Rush Night Ticket, you get a buy-one, get-one free offer for the next Student Rush Night. On top of that, you get discounted food at Baxter’s Sports Lounge (located right across the street from Scope) on the day of the game.
Admirals Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
For a complete schedule and details of the promotions, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212.
1. Derek Smith – BNG
2. Ty Wishart – NOR
3. Martins Karsums – NOR
NOTES … With an assist tonight, Brandon Bochenski (3G, 7A) extended his point streak to six games. He leads the Admirals with 31 points (15G, 16A) in 32 games this season and remains one goal shy of tying Casey Hankinson’s AHL Admirals record of 76 career goals … Ty Wishart (1G, 2A) set a career high with three points tonight. Wishart has points in six of his last nine games (3G, 7A) and has already bettered his goal, assist and point totals from last season … Martins Karsums also had three points (1G, 2A) to tie a career high … Scratches: D Kevin Quick, D Ethan Graham, LW Mark Parrish ... Attendance: 2,714.