By Ken Peacock
Cory Conacher and Trevor Smith showed why they made the AHL All-Star team. Both All-Stars had three-point nights as they led the Admirals (21-11-0-2) over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (18-11-1-4) for a 5-1 victory on Penguin ice. Norfolk has now moved into a tie for first place in the AHL’s East Division with the Hershey Bears. The Admirals will return to Scope this weekend to take on the Albany Devils on Friday and Saturday night.
Richard Panik opened the scoring at 3:25 of the first period. Panik picked up a rebound from a J.P. Cote shot and backhanded the puck past Brad Thiessen and into the net. A minute later, Conacher would increase the lead to 2-0. Pierre-Cedric Labrie sent a pass to Conacher at the top of the right circle. Conacher sent a shot over Thiessen for his first goal of the night at 4:31. Radko Gudas scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Admirals a 3-0 lead. Conacher passed to Gudas on the point and Gudas fired a shot thru the screen and into the net at 8:25.
The Penguins managed to put a point on the board early in the second period. Nick Peterson picked up a Ryan Craig rebound and knocked the puck past Tokarski at 2:16. The Penguins cut the Admirals lead to 3-1 going into the locker room.
The Admirals would score their first of two power play goals at 11:34 in the third period. With Norfolk on a five-on-three power play Mike Kostka sent a slap shot to the net. Cory Conacher picked up the rebound and deposited the puck in the net for his second goal of the night. Mike Angelidis finished off the scoring with a power play goal at 19:00 of the third sealing the 5-1 Admirals victory.
Dustin Tokarski (14-7-0) stopped 20 of 21 shots for the win, Brad Thiessen (11-9-2) stopped 19 of 24 shots for the loss. Norfolk was 2 for 5 on the power play and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0 of 4.
Norfolk Admirals 5 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1 – Status: Final
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Norfolk 3 0 2 – 5
W-B/Scranton 0 1 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Panik 5 (Cote, Ashton), 3:25. 2, Norfolk, Conacher 20 (Labrie, Smith), 4:31. 3, Norfolk, Gudas 5 (Conacher, Smith), 8:25. Penalties-Picard Wbs (tripping), 9:44; Devos Nor (hooking), 10:24; Panik Nor (tripping), 19:02.
2nd Period-4, W-B/Scranton, Petersen 6 (Craig, Samuelsson), 2:16. Penalties-Craig Wbs (roughing), 11:59; Ouellet Nor (goaltender interference), 16:30; Gudas Nor (major – boarding, game misconduct – boarding), 18:36; Walker Wbs (roughing), 18:36; Conacher Nor (cross-checking), 19:32; Sill Wbs (roughing), 19:32.
3rd Period-5, Norfolk, Conacher 21 (Kostka, Smith), 11:34 (PP). 6, Norfolk, Angelidis 6 (Dimmen, Landry), 19:00 (PP). Penalties-Tangradi Wbs (boarding), 9:40; Rust Wbs (high-sticking), 9:59; Grant Wbs (high-sticking), 18:11.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 9-6-8-23. W-B/Scranton 8-7-6-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 2 / 5; W-B/Scranton 0 / 4.
Goalies-Norfolk, Tokarski 14-7-0 (21 shots-20 saves). W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 11-9-2 (23 shots-18 saves).
Referees-Chris Ciamaga (24), Chris Cozzan (18).
Linesmen-Jud Ritter (34), Mike McDevitt (13).