By Ken Peacock
It took ten shootout rounds to get things done tonight in Connecticut, but the Admirals get it done. Richard Panik’s shootout goal in the tenth round to give the Norfolk Admirals (25-14-1-2) a come from behind win over the Connecticut Whale (19-15-3-5), 5-4. The Admirals return home for a three-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Charlotte Checkers and a Friday and Saturday night series against the Hershey Bears.
Norfolk opened the scoring just 39 seconds into the first period on a Tyler Johnson goal. Johnson fired a shot in on Whale netminder Chad Johnson. The puck snuck in under the blocker of the Whale goalie for Tyler Johnson’s 14th goal of the season. Connecticut put the pressure on Admiral goalie Dustin Tokarski and scored on their first three shots of the game. The goals by Andre Deveaux, Scott Tanski and Ryan Bourque gave the Whale a 3-1 lead and chased Tokarski from the Norfolk goal in favor of Jaroslav Janus.
The Admirals scored early in the second to cut the Whale lead to one goal. Ondrej Palat picked the loose puck in front of the Whale goal and shot it into the goal over Johnson narrowing the Whale lead to 3-2 at 3:58. For Palat this was his third goal of his rookie season.
A Carter Ashton goal at 6:10 of the third period tied the game 3-3. Ashton skatedv behind a Whale defenseman and backhanded a shot over Johnson for his 16th goal of the season. Cory Conacher scored 18 seconds later on a feed from Mike Kostka at 6:28 of the third. The lead did not last long as Scott Tanksi scored his second of the night at 8:13 to tie the game 4-4. Both teams would fail to score in regulation and overtime and sent the game to the shootout.
The Whale opted to shoot first and Eric Christensen scored on the first attempt. Mike Kostka would score on the Admirals third shot of the shootout. Both goalies were stellar and it would take Richard Panik and a tenth round goal to give the Admirals the 5-4 shootout victory.
Dustin Tokarski started the game but allowed three goals on the first three shots he faced. Jaroslav Janus came in and stopped 25 of 26 shots for the victory. Chad Johnson stopped 30 of 34 shots in the shootout loss. Both teams were one for three on the powerplay.
Norfolk Admirals 5 (SO) at Connecticut Whale 4 – Status: Final SO
Saturday, January 21, 2012 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Norfolk 1 1 2 0 – 5
Connecticut 3 0 1 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Johnson 14 (Ashton, Conacher), 0:39. 2, Connecticut, Deveaux 12 (Newbury, Christensen), 1:26 (PP). 3, Connecticut, Tanski 3 (Tessier), 3:49. 4, Connecticut, Bourque 3 (Tessier, Parlett), 6:33. Penalties-Ouellet Nor (slashing), 1:16; Angelidis Nor (roughing), 9:03; Owens Ct (roughing), 9:03; Bell Ct (interference), 10:55.
2nd Period-5, Norfolk, Palat 3 3:58. Penalties-Conacher Nor (goaltender interference), 0:19; Newbury Ct (goaltender interference), 5:41; Johnson Nor (boarding), 14:39.
3rd Period-6, Norfolk, Ashton 16 (Panik, Jackson), 6:10. 7, Norfolk, Conacher 24 (Kostka), 6:28 (PP). 8, Connecticut, Tanski 4 (Grant, Owens), 8:13. Penalties-Jackson Nor (fighting), 6:10; Nightingale Ct (fighting), 6:10; Voros Ct (cross-checking), 6:10.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Angelidis Nor (roughing), 3:40; Newbury Ct (roughing), 3:40.
Shootout – Norfolk 2 (Gudas NG, Ashton NG, Kostka G, Barberio NG, Conacher NG, Ouellet NG, Fornataro NG, Dimmen NG, Johnson NG, Panik G), Connecticut 1 (Christensen G, Audy-Marchessault NG, Bell NG, Newbury NG, Tanski NG, Bouchard NG, Thuresson NG, Bourque NG, Deveaux NG, Erixon NG).
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 8-8-13-5-1-35. Connecticut 7-7-11-4-0-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 3; Connecticut 1 / 3.
Goalies-Norfolk, Tokarski 17-9-0 (3 shots-0 saves); Janus 8-6-2 (26 shots-25 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 10-8-5 (34 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Derek Wahl (46), Luke Galvin (2).