By Ken Peacock
The Norfolk Admirals (20-11-0-1) finished up the home stretch of 2011 with another victory against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (12-16-3-1). While it was a penalty filled affair, the Admirals managed to hold on for the 3-1 victory. The Admirals will finish off 2011 with a bang as they visit their division rivals in Hershey for an early New Years Eve bash. Norfolk is currently on a four game winning streak and trails Hershey by one point for the Division lead.
Norfolk lit the lamp early in the first period. The Admirals skated into the offensive zone and Mark Barberio passed to Cory Conacher. Conacher had a few steps on the Bridgeprt d-man and took a shot that beat Sound Tigers netminder Kevin Poulin for his league-leading nineteenth goal of the season at 2:30. Mark Fornataro would hit the twine nine minutes later with his third goal of the season. Fornataro would deflect a Mike Kostka shot at 11:34 to give the Admirals a power play goal and a 2-0 lead into the locker room.
The second period was a back and forth defensive battle. The Admirals would find the back of the net once more late into the period. Mark Barberio was in the right spot once more as he fed a pass to Tyler Johnson in the center of offensive zone. Johnson took the pass and beat Poulin for another Admiral power play goal at 16:55.
The third period was not kind to the Admirals as they would find themselves in the box and killing penalties. With Norfolk down by two men, Casey Cizikas struck gold when his shot was deflected past Dustin Tokarski to cut the Admiral lead to 3-1 at 11:11. Tony Roman would strike less than two minutes later with another Bridgeport power play goal to cut the lead to 3-2 at 12:48. Norfolk managed to hold off the Sound Tigers to seal the 3-2 Admiral victory.
Dustin Tokarski (13-7-0) stopped 27 of 29 shots for the win, and Kevin Poulin (7-11-0) stopped 14 of 17 shots for the loss. Norfolk was 2-10 on the power play and the Sound Tigers were 2-8.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2 at Norfolk Admirals 3 – Status: Final
Friday, December 30, 2011 – Norfolk Scope
Bridgeport 0 0 2 – 2
Norfolk 2 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Conacher 19 (Barberio, Dimmen), 2:30. 2, Norfolk, Fornataro 3 (Kostka, Smith), 11:34 (PP). Penalties-Mouillierat Bri (high-sticking), 1:35; Kostka Nor (tripping), 1:49; Barberio Nor (interference), 5:44; Gallant Bri (fighting), 10:32; Cote Nor (fighting), 10:32; Frischmon Bri (holding the stick), 11:08; Conacher Nor (holding), 16:30; served by Ouellet Nor (bench minor – too many men), 19:32.
2nd Period-3, Norfolk, Johnson 13 (Barberio, Conacher), 16:55 (PP). Penalties-Marcinko Bri (holding), 3:16; Frischmon Bri (tripping), 5:21; Riley Bri (fighting), 7:40; Gudas Nor (fighting), 7:40; Panik Nor (roughing), 12:14; Cizikas Bri (roughing), 16:29; Howes Bri (high-sticking), 19:00.
3rd Period-4, Bridgeport, Cizikas 6 (de Haan, Wishart), 11:11 (PP). 5, Bridgeport, Romano 2 (Ness, Reese), 12:48 (PP). Penalties-Devos Nor (hooking), 1:29; Reese Bri (roughing), 4:53; Landry Nor (cross-checking), 4:53; Rakhshani Bri (holding), 5:07; Ness Bri (hooking), 5:39; Angelidis Nor (hooking), 9:53; Gudas Nor (hooking), 10:50; Howes Bri (high-sticking, unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct – abuse of officials), 17:25; Cote Nor (hooking), 19:32.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 10-3-16-29. Norfolk 6-5-6-17.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 2 / 8; Norfolk 2 / 10.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Poulin 7-11-0 (17 shots-14 saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 13-7-0 (29 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (39), Mark Lemelin (41).
Linesmen-Luke Murray (92), Tom George (61).