WILKES-BARRE, Penn. – Matt Fornataro’s goal with under five minutes to play would not be enough as the Norfolk Admirals (34-29-3-3) fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (34-29-2-3) 2-1 on Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Norfolk’s lead over the Penguins for third place in the East Division fell to one point with the Penguins holding one game in hand. The Admirals will return to Scope on Friday and Saturday to face the Adirondack Phantoms.
The Penguins took control of the game with a pair of first period goals. Jesse Boulerice opened scoring 4:23 into the contest with a wraparound goal from the left corner that snuck past the right leg of Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski. Nick Johnson scored a power play goal off the rebound of a Joey Haddad shot at 13:19 for a 2-0 lead.
Norfolk controlled play in the second period, out-shooting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 10-2 in the stanza but failing to convert on four power play opportunities.
The Admirals got on the board with 4:38 left in the third period. Matt Fornataro entered the attacking zone along the left wing and deked around a defenseman in the left circle. He then cut across into the low slot and threw a backhand shot toward the net that banked off the skate of a Penguins defenseman on its way into the net for Fornataro’s ninth goal of the season.
However, that would be the only goal allowed on 30 Norfolk shots by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Brad Thiessen.
Dustin Tokarski (25 shots, 23 saves) took the loss. Brad Thiessen (30 shots, 29 saves) earned the win.
Norfolk was 0-8 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 1-6.
The Admirals will return to Scope on Friday and Saturday nights to face off against the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:15 p.m. both nights.
Friday night, the first 3,000 fans will receive an Admirals team poster courtesy of SUPERCUTS and The Virginian-Pilot. Friday is also Cheesy Noisemaker Night to Benefit Wave City Care. Fans are encouraged to bring boxes of non-perishable food to the game to use as noisemakers before donating them to those in need in the Hampton Roads area. Fans may also purchase discounted fundraising tickets for the game on norfolkadmirals.com.
Saturday night, the first 2,500 fans will receive an Admirals pennant courtesy of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Saturday is also Admirals Puck Crawl night with a $20 package including tickets to the game and discounts at area establishments before the game. Saturday is also Virginia Beach City Public Schools Night with discounted tickets available for all students, teachers and staff.
For complete details of all promotions, ticket offers and giveaways, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212.
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 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2010-11 season tickets today. Affordable monthly payment plans are available for a limited time only! 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. Nick Johnson – WBS
2. Brad Thiessen – WBS
3. Jesse Boulerice – WBS
NOTES … The Admirals (34-29-3-3, 74 points in 69 games) are now just one point ahead of the fourth-place Penguins (34-29-2-3, 73 points in 68 games) and are now ten points back of the Albany River Rats (38-24-3-5, 84 points in 70 games) for second place in the American Hockey League’s East Division. The Penguins have a game in hand on the Admirals while Norfolk has one game in hand on the River Rats … Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will meet three more times – all at Norfolk Scope Arena – in the final four weeks of the regular season … The Admirals play eight of their final 11 games at Norfolk Scope Arena … Dana Tyrell’s six-game point streak (2G, 5A) ended. Tyrell has points in 12 of his last 16 games (4G, 4A) … Forwards Carter Ashton and Richard Panik made their professional debuts. Both were high draft picks of the Admirals’ NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, last summer and joined the Admirals earlier in the week after the conclusion of their junior hockey seasons … Scratches: Kevin Quick, Kai Kantola, Chris Lawrence, Jaroslav Janus, Taylor Vichorek … Attendance: 5,479.