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December 30, 2011

Admirals Slip Past Sound Tigers


NORFOLK, Va. – Cory Conacher had a goal and an assist as the Norfolk Admirals (20-11-0-1) held on to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (12-16-3-1), 3-2, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals will take a four-game winning streak on the road for a pair of contests, beginning tomorrow night in Hershey against the Bears at 6:00 p.m. Norfolk trails Hershey by only one point for the East Division lead.

Tyler Johnson and Matt Fornataro each added a goal while Mark Barberio registered two assists. Netminder Dustin Tokarski turned aside 27 of 29 shots he faced for his thirteenth victory of the season.

The Admirals opened the scoring less than three minutes after the opening faceoff. As the teams skated at four-on-four, Conacher picked up a pass from Barberio and broke in on Sound Tigers netminder Kevin Poulin unattended. Conacher sent a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle over the blocker of Poulin for his league-leading nineteenth goal of the season at 2:30.

Norfolk took a 2-0 lead a little over nine minutes later with Fornataro’s third goal on the campaign. While the Admirals skated with a man advantage, Fornataro deflected a shot from Mike Kostka over the blocker of Poulin at 11:34.

As the second period wound down, the Admirals extended their lead to 3-0 with the team's second power play tally of the night. Barberio found Tyler Johnson skating through the center of the Bridgeport zone. Johnson picked up the pass and fired a sailing shot over the catching hand of Poulin for his thirteenth goal of the season at 16:55.

The Sound Tigers narrowed the Admirals' lead to 3-1 with a power play goal of their own midway through the third period. As the Admirals skated with a two-man disadvantage, Casey Cizikas sent a shot from the lower portion of the left faceoff circle. The shot deflected off of the stick of Norfolk penalty killer and went behind Tokarski at 11:11.

Bridgeport drew to within a goal of the Admirals with another power play tally more than a minute later. As the Sound Tigers skated with a five-on-four man advantage, Tony Romano sent a one-timer over the glove of Tokarski at 12:48.

But that is as close as the Sound Tigers would get, as the Admirals defense turned aside multiple chances in the waning moments of the contest.

Dustin Tokarski (13-7-0) turned aside 27 of 29 shots – including 14 shots in the third period – for his third consecutive victory. Kevin Poulin (7-11-0) stopped 14 of 17 shots in the loss.

Norfolk was 2-10 on the power play while the Sound Tigers were 2-8.

The Admirals now embark on a two-game road trip, beginning tomorrow night in Hershey as the Admirals take on their East-Division rivals, the Hershey Bears. Game time is 6:00 p.m.

Norfolk returns to Scope Arena next Friday and Saturday nights as they host the Albany Devils in a pair of matchups. Game time for Friday's contest with the Devils is set for 7:30 p.m.

Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.

Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2011-12 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $350 while 10-Packs are available for as little as $110. 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. Cory Conacher – NOR
2. Tony Romano – BRI
3. Tyler Johnson – NOR

NOTES … Blueliner Mark Barberio has registered at least a single assist in three straight contests and seven of the 10 Admirals games in December … Barberio continues to lead the Admirals with 26 assists this season. He leads all AHL defensemen with 29 points, is tied for fourth overall with 26 assists and is second in the AHL with a plus-20 rating … The Admirals extended their streak of scoring at least one power play goal to eight straight games, dating back to December 9th at Binghamton … With a goal and an assist, Cory Conacher has tied Trevor Smith for the team lead in points and the fourth-most points in the AHL … Seventeen shots on net set a season-low for Norfolk … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Kevin Quick, Alexandre Picard, Pierre-Cedric Labrie.


# ARMED AND READY #

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