By Ken Peacock
Fans wanting to catch a glimpse of Sean Avery may have to wait another night. The one thing they did not have to wait for was an Admiral victory. Cory Conacher and the Norfolk Admirals (22-13-1-2) beat the Connecticut Whale (19-13-2-4), 3-1, at home this Friday night. The win the Admirals broke the three game losing streak and reclaimed sole possession of second place in the East Division.
Norfolk took a 1-0 lead midway thru the first period. Mike Kostka scored a power play goal at 11:51. Whale goalie Chad Johnson was pelted with shots from Mark Barberio and Michel Ouellet when Kostka picked up a rebound and knocked it home. This was Kostka’s fourth goal as an Admiral.
The Admirals would make it 2-0 early in the second. Mark Barberio stole the puck from the Whale and put it behind the net. Carter Ashton sent it out front where Cory Conacher picked it up and slammed it home for his league leading 22nd goal of the season. Conacher’s goal came at 1:58 of the second period.
Matt Fornataro scored his fourth of the season at 6:58 of the third to give Norfolk a 3-0 lead. Philip-Michael Devos sent a shot that deflected off a Connecticut player in front of the net. Fornataro picked up the puck and put it past Johnson. Dustin Tokarski’s chance at a shutout was ruined at 11:10 with a Aaron Voros goal to cut the lead to 3-1. That would be the only Whale goal of the night as the Admirals held on for the 3-1 victory.
Dustin Tokarski (15-9-0) stopped 25 of 26 shots for the win while Chad Johnson (10-7-4) stopped 31 of 34 shots in loss. Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play while Connecticut was 0-4.
Both teams are back in action Saturday night. This will be the fifth-annual Pink in the Rink Night to Benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The game starts at 7:15pm so get your tickets support the Admirals.
Connecticut Whale 1 at Norfolk Admirals 3 – Status: Final
Friday, January 13, 2012 – Norfolk Scope
Connecticut 0 0 1 – 1
Norfolk 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Kostka 6 (Ouellet, Barberio), 11:51 (PP). Penalties-Angelidis Nor (interference), 0:40; Bell Ct (interference), 10:40; Nightingale Ct (fighting), 13:05; Jackson Nor (fighting), 13:05; Grant Ct (boarding), 14:48; Valentenko Ct (holding), 19:13.
2nd Period-2, Norfolk, Conacher 22 (Ashton, Barberio), 1:58. Penalties-Newbury Ct (fighting), 2:38; Angelidis Nor (fighting), 2:38; Gudas Nor (hooking), 5:14; McKelvie Ct (roughing, fighting), 8:21; Gudas Nor (fighting), 8:21; Thuresson Ct (tripping), 12:36.
3rd Period-3, Norfolk, Fornataro 4 (Devos), 6:58. 4, Connecticut, Voros 3 (Valentenko, Zuccarello), 11:10. Penalties-Fornataro Nor (tripping), 9:05; Nightingale Ct (roughing), 12:14; Thuresson Ct (roughing), 12:14; Angelidis Nor (boarding), 12:14; Cote Nor (roughing), 12:14; Picard Nor (roughing), 12:14.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 13-6-7-26. Norfolk 17-11-6-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 4; Norfolk 1 / 5.
Goalies-Connecticut, Johnson 10-7-4 (34 shots-31 saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 15-9-0 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Graham Skilliter (48).
Linesmen-Brian Oliver (80), Scott Pomento (25).