By Ken Peacock
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jaroslav Janus made 33 saves and Cory Conacher netted his league-leading 28th goal of the season, as the Norfolk Admirals (30-18-1-2) defeated the Charlotte Checkers (29-18-2-2), 3-1, at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday night. Norfolk capped off the weekend with three victories in three nights and moved to within two points of first place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.The Admirals wrap-up their two-game road trip in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as they face off against the Penguins on Wednesday night.
Evan Oberg picked up his fourth goal of the season while Pierre-Cedric Labrie notched his 10th of the season in the victory. Janus stopped 33 of 34 shots he faced in recording his ninth victory of the season.
Norfolk opened the scoring in the final minute of the opening period. After Carter Ashton sent an initial shot on net, a scramble ensued in front of the Charlotte net. The puck caromed out of the pileup and out in front to Oberg, who skated in and knocked the rebound over Muse to give Norfolk the 1-0 lead at 19:01 of the first period.
Conacher extended the Admirals lead to 2-0 with less than two minutes remaining in the second period. After causing a turnover at the Checkers’ blue line, Trevor Smith fed a pass to Conacher between the faceoff circles. Conacher’s first shot rebounded off of Muse and back out to Conacher. The AHL’s leading scorer then slipped a shot through a screen and behind Muse for his 28th goal of the season at 18:06 of the middle frame.
The Checkers ruined the shutout attempt in the closing minutes of regulation. Eight seconds into an Admirals penalty kill, Bobby Sanguinetti snapped a shot from just inside the Admirals blue line, over Janus at 18:29 of the final period.
After the Checkers pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker, Labrie chipped a shot from center ice into an empty net for his 10th goal of the season at 18:57 of the third period to complete the scoring.
Jaroslav Janus (9-8-2) turned aside 33 of 34 shots he faced in the victory. John Muse (8-2-0) allowed two goals on 27 shots in the defeat.
Norfolk was 0 for 4 with the man advantage while Charlotte was 1 for 5.
Norfolk Admirals 3 at Charlotte Checkers 1 – Status: Final
Sunday, February 12, 2012 – Time Warner Cable Arena
Norfolk 1 1 1 – 3
Charlotte 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Oberg 4 (Ashton, Picard), 19:01. Penalties-Labrie Nor (holding), 1:31; Cote Nor (hooking), 6:15; Gudas Nor (tripping), 12:23; Bowman Cha (goaltender interference), 12:42.
2nd Period-2, Norfolk, Conacher 28 (Smith), 18:07. Penalties-Sutter Cha (hooking), 2:00; Sutter Cha (tripping), 5:09; Labrie Nor (roughing), 10:54; Smith Nor (high-sticking), 10:54; Jordan Cha (roughing), 10:54.
3rd Period-3, Charlotte, Sanguinetti 6 (Boychuk, Terry), 18:17 (PP). 4, Norfolk, Labrie 10 (Cote), 18:57 (EN). Penalties-Oberg Nor (interference), 18:09; Picard Nor (fighting), 18:09; Dalpe Cha (fighting), 18:09; Dadonov Cha (goaltender interference), 19:21; Panik Nor (interference), 19:27.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 8-13-7-28. Charlotte 17-7-10-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 0 / 4; Charlotte 1 / 5.
Goalies-Norfolk, Janus 9-8-2 (34 shots-33 saves). Charlotte, Muse 8-2-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Steve Patafie (85), Curtis Marouelli (78).
Linesmen-Ben Shiley (21), Paul Carnathan (93).