By Ken Peacock
Norfolk’s bid to end the year with a bang fell short despite battling back to send the game to overtime. Mike Kostka’s third-period power play goal sent the game to overtime, but the Admirals (20-11-0-2) could not figure out Braden Holtby and the Hershey Bears (19-8-3-3). The Bears took home a 3-2 win in the shootout and maintained the lead in the AHL’s East Division. Next up for the Admirals are the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night in WB/S.
The Admirals opened up the scoring with an Ondraj Palat goal at 1:59 of the opening period. Palat scored his second of the season off of a Richard Panik pass. Palat passed to Panik in the left circle and Panik sent the pass back to Palat who beat Holtby through his pads and into the net for an early Admiral lead.
The Bears would strike next in the second period when Chris Bourque scored as the Bears were shorthanded. Keith Aucoin fed Bourque a pass and Bourque redirected the pass into the net at 7:16. Christian Hanson made the game 2-1 Bears at 15:34 of the second. Once again the Bears were on the penalty kill, but Hanson broke free and sent the puck off the crossbar and past Janus for another shorthanded goal. Hershey would take the 2-1 lead into the locker room.
The Admirals Mike Kostka tied up the game at 2 goal each at 5:31 of the third. Kostka sent a shot towards the Bears goal and the puck was deflected by a Hershey defenseman for an Admirals power play goal. There would be no more scoring for the remainder of the period and the game would go to overtime.
Both teams went scoreless in the 4 on 4 overtime and sent the game to a shootout. Braden Holtby was stellar in the net and stopped all five of the Norfolk Shooters. Jaroslav Janus came up short as he surrendered the game winning goal to Keith Aucoin.
Jaroslav Janus (7-4-2) stopped 37 of 39 shots in the loss and Braden Holtby (11-7-1) stopped 26 of 28 shots. Norfolk was 1-for-6 on the power play while the Bears were 0-for-5.
Norfolk Admirals 2 at Hershey Bears 3 (SO) – Status: Final SO
Saturday, December 31, 2011 – Giant Center
Norfolk 1 0 1 0 – 2
Hershey 0 2 0 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Palat 2 (Panik, Kostka), 1:59. Penalties-Johnson Nor (hooking), 2:25; Kane Her (hooking), 7:42; Smith Nor (high-sticking), 9:55; McNeill Her (tripping), 13:48; Gudas Nor (fighting), 17:50; Richmond Her (fighting), 17:50.
2nd Period-2, Hershey, Bourque 18 (Aucoin, Collins), 7:16 (SH). 3, Hershey, Hanson 5 (Bourque, Brouillette), 15:34 (SH). Penalties-Jackson Nor (tripping), 2:10; Angelidis Nor (fighting), 4:44; Carroll Her (fighting), 4:44; Neilson Nor (fighting), 4:47; Wellar Her (fighting), 4:47; Conacher Nor (roughing), 6:04; Micflikier Her (roughing, roughing), 6:04; Gudas Nor (roughing), 12:45; Hanson Her (roughing), 12:45; Greentree Her (slashing), 13:45; Johnson Nor (holding the stick), 17:46.
3rd Period-4, Norfolk, Kostka 5 (Fornataro, Smith), 5:31 (PP). Penalties-Mitchell Her (fighting, misconduct – continuing altercation), 3:09; Gudas Nor (high-sticking), 6:21.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Norfolk 0 (Panik NG, Smith NG, Conacher NG, Ouellet NG, Johnson NG), Hershey 1 (Potulny NG, Micflikier NG, Bourque NG, Aucoin G).
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 10-8-8-2-0-28. Hershey 8-19-10-2-1-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 6; Hershey 0 / 5.
Goalies-Norfolk, Janus 7-4-2 (39 shots-37 saves). Hershey, Holtby 11-7-1 (28 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Chris Cozzan (18).
Linesmen-Bob Fyrer (72), Scott Pomento (25).
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