NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals (29-18-1-2) scored four goals on 25 shots in the opening period and held on to defeat the Adirondack Phantoms (22-24-1-1), 7-3, on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. The Admirals now hit the road for a two-game trip beginning tomorrow evening in Charlotte.
Fourteen different Admirals picked up at least one point in the victory. Cory Conacher scored twice and reclaimed the league lead in goals with 27. Tyler Johnson picked up a goal and two assists. Richard Panik, Mike Kostka, Mike Angelidis and Trevor Smith also scored for Norfolk, while Dustin Tokarski turned aside 22 of 25 shots for his AHL-leading 21st victory of the season.
Panik gave the Admirals a 1-0 lead with his 11th goal of the season. After a shot by Ondrej Palat was turned aside, Panik jammed a loose rebound under the right leg of Phantoms netminder Michael Leighton at 2:48.
The next three Norfolk goals would come via the power play. As the Admirals skated with a five-on-three advantage, Kostka extended the Admirals lead to 2-0 with a slap shot over the glove of Leighton at 4:36.
Norfolk’s lead tripled to 3-0 after a shot by Mark Barberio deflected to Conacher, who sent a backhander over Leighton at 5:07.
Three minutes later, Conacher capped off the scoring in the opening period. After picking up the rebound of a Trevor Smith shot, Conacher buried the puck under the Phantoms netminder to give Norfolk a 4-0 lead at 8:20. The goal was Conacher’s AHL-leading 27th of the season.
Norfolk out-shot Adirondack, 25-8, during the first period and entered the first intermission with a 4-0 lead.
The visitors narrowed the Admirals’ lead to 4-1 when Tyler Brown backhanded a rebound over the glove of Tokarski at 4:23 of the second period.
Norfolk stretched its lead to 5-1 on Angelidis’ 11th goal of the season. Standing in front of the net, Angelidis picked up a pass from Alexandre Picard and tucked a shot over the glove of Leighton at 3:31 of the final frame.
However, it took only 31 seconds for the Phantoms to respond. While standing on the edge of the right faceoff circle, Jonathon Kalinski deflected a Brandon Manning shot over Tokarski to narrow the Admirals’ lead to 5-2 at 4:02.
With just over six minutes remaining in regulation, Trevor Smith sent a slap from between the faceoff circles over the catching hand of Leighton to give Norfolk a 6-2 lead. The goal was Smith’s 19th on the season and came at 13:23 of the third.
The Phantoms’ comeback attempt continued as they narrowed the deficit to 6-3 with a power play goal by Manning. Four seconds into a man advantage, Manning fired a shot from just inside the zone, which found its way through a screen and behind Tokarski at 14:38 of the third.
Johnson answered back with less than three minutes remaining in regulation. Matt Fornataro fed Johnson a pass in front of the Phantoms net. Johnson slipped the puck behind Leighton for his 16th goal of the season at 17:36.
Dustin Tokarski (21-11-0) turned aside 23 of 27 shots in the victory. Michael Leighton (15-19-0) stopped 41 of 48 shots in the loss.
Norfolk was 3-for-6 on the power play while Adirondack was 1-for-8.
Adirondack Phantoms 3 at Norfolk Admirals 7 – Status: Final
Saturday, February 11, 2012 – Norfolk Scope
Adirondack 0 1 2 – 3
Norfolk 4 0 3 – 7
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Panik 11 (Palat, Johnson), 2:48. 2, Norfolk, Kostka 7 (Barberio, Palat), 4:36 (PP). 3, Norfolk, Conacher 26 (Barberio, Panik), 5:07 (PP). 4, Norfolk, Conacher 27 (Smith, Johnson), 8:20 (PP). Penalties-Klotz Adk (elbowing, fighting), 0:31; Labrie Nor (fighting), 0:31; Lauridsen Adk (interference, fighting), 3:53; Cote Nor (fighting), 3:53; Eddy Adk (major – elbowing, game misconduct – elbowing), 4:03; Manning Adk (cross-checking), 7:54; Jancevski Adk (fighting), 10:18; Panik Nor (boarding, fighting), 10:18; Gudas Nor (holding), 15:48.
2nd Period-5, Adirondack, Brown 6 (Klotz, Kessel), 4:23. Penalties-served by Akeson Adk (bench minor – too many men), 8:10; Angelidis Nor (hooking), 10:48.
3rd Period-6, Norfolk, Angelidis 11 (Picard, Cote), 3:31. 7, Adirondack, Kalinski 9 (Manning, Akeson), 4:02. 8, Norfolk, Smith 19 (Labrie, Ashton), 13:23. 9, Adirondack, Manning 3 (Kessel, Ford), 14:38 (PP). 10, Norfolk, Johnson 16 (Fornataro, Devos), 17:36. Penalties-served by Fornataro Nor (bench minor – too many men), 9:22; Gudas Nor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:34.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 8-11-6-25. Norfolk 25-12-11-48.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 1 / 5; Norfolk 3 / 6.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 15-19-0 (48 shots-41 saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 21-11-0 (25 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Jeff Smith (49).
Linesmen-Mark Hamlett (81), Tom George (61).