WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Penn. – Dustin Tokarski stopped 24 shots to lead the Norfolk Admirals (31-18-1-2) to their fourth consecutive win, a 4-0 shutout victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (29-15-2-5) on Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
With 65 standings points apiece, Norfolk is now tied with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for first place in the American Hockey League’s East Division. The Admirals return to Scope to face off against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday and Saturday nights.
Norfolk received goals from Trevor Smith, Ondrej Palat, Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Tyler Johnson in the victory. The Admirals out-shot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 33-24, with Tokarski stopping all eight shots he faced in each period. Norfolk improved to 4-0-0-0 against the Penguins at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza this season with the final contest in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton slated for February 26.
After a scoreless opening period, the Admirals used a shorthanded goal just 59 seconds into the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Radko Gudas intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and chipped the puck through the Penguins’ logo. Smith picked up the puck as he crossed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton blue line and sped past two defenders in the right wing. He sent a forehand shot from the low slot that went into the net between the blocker and right leg of Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen for his 20th goal of the season.
Norfolk went ahead, 2-0, with a goal late in the second period. Jean-Philippe Cote stole the puck from a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman in the left corner and chipped it to Johnson for a shot. The rebound came through a maze of bodies in the low slot, where Palat found it and shot it past Thiessen for his fourth goal of the season at 17:51.
Labrie’s 11th goal of the season midway through the final frame extended Norfolk’s lead to 3-0. Labrie emerged from a puck battle in the left corner and snapped a backhand shot from the bottom of the left circle that went between the legs of Munroe and into the net at 12:57.
The Admirals closed out scoring less than two minutes later on a five-on-three power play. Johnson attempted a pass from the bottom of the left circle that was blocked. However, the puck came back to him, and he flipped a backhand shot past Munroe at 14:38 for his 17th goal of the season.
Dustin Tokarski (22-11-0) stopped all 24 shots he faced for the win. Scott Munroe (9-4-3) stopped 29 of 33 shots for the loss.
Norfolk was 1-for-6 on the power play while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-6.
Norfolk Admirals 4 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 0 – Status: Final
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Norfolk 0 2 2 – 4
W-B/Scranton 0 0 0 – 0
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Jackson Nor (fighting), 1:03; Bortuzzo Wbs (fighting), 1:03; Angelidis Nor (fighting), 4:43; Walker Wbs (fighting), 4:43; Picard Nor (roughing), 5:26; Wild Wbs (roughing), 5:26; Williams Wbs (slashing), 5:46; Oberg Nor (double minor – high-sticking), 14:42; Mormina Wbs (roughing), 15:43.
2nd Period-1, Norfolk, Smith 20 (Gudas), 0:59 (SH). 2, Norfolk, Palat 4 (Cote, Johnson), 17:51. Penalties-Picard Nor (roughing, roughing), 0:27; Thompson Wbs (roughing), 0:27; Thompson Wbs (high-sticking), 5:08; Gudas Nor (hooking), 11:40; Wild Wbs (hooking), 13:46; Oberg Nor (cross-checking), 18:34.
3rd Period-3, Norfolk, Labrie 11 (Panik, Palat), 12:57. 4, Norfolk, Johnson 17 (Barberio, Kostka), 14:38 (PP). Penalties-Bortuzzo Wbs (tripping), 5:56; Barberio Nor (roughing), 6:15; Panik Nor (roughing), 6:15; Sill Wbs (cross-checking), 6:15; Oberg Nor (holding), 9:25; Walker Wbs (roughing), 9:25; Picard Wbs (roughing), 13:42; Bortuzzo Wbs (high-sticking), 14:08; Gudas Nor (fighting), 18:45; Craig Wbs (fighting), 18:45.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 8-12-13-33. W-B/Scranton 8-8-8-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 6; W-B/Scranton 0 / 6.
Goalies-Norfolk, Tokarski 22-11-0 (24 shots-24 saves). W-B/Scranton, Munroe 9-4-3 (33 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (39), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Jud Ritter (34), Chris Allman (11).