NORFOLK, Va. – Tyler Johnson’s 28th goal of the season and an Admirals’ penalty kill that stopped eight of nine opponent power plays was the difference as the Norfolk Admirals (46-18-1-2) defeated the Albany Devils (28-27-6-5), 2-1, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. With the victory, Norfolk extended their winning streak to 19 consecutive games, establishing a new North American professional hockey record.
The Admirals continue their longest homestand of the season tomorrow night as they face off against the Devils at Scope at 7:15 p.m.
Norfolk has now won 19 consecutive games since February 10, 2012, vaulting into first place in the entire American Hockey League. The Admirals have not lost a game since a 4-2 road setback to the Springfield Falcons on Super Bowl Sunday on February 5, 2012.
Jaroslav Janus (19-8-2) stopped 26 of 27 shots to extend his personal franchise-record winning streak to 11 games. Jean-Philippe Cote scored his third of the season.
The visitors took a 1-0 lead with a first period power play goal. Mattias Tedenby slipped a pass through the Norfolk defense to Eric Gelinas just above the left faceoff circle. Gelinas then sent a shot under Janus at 14:14.
Eighteen seconds later, Norfolk responded to knot the game at 1-1. After picking off an Albany pass, Mark Barberio sent a slap shot off the left post. The rebound deflected out to Cote in the left faceoff circle, and the veteran defenseman sent a shot through traffic and over the blocker of Devils’ netminder Jeff Frazee for his third goal of the season at 14:32.
The Admirals took the lead for good with just under eight minutes remaining in the second period. Beginning on top of the right faceoff circle, Richard Panik spun off one Devils’ defender in the right circle, then spun around a second defender near the slot before firing a shot on net. The rebound kicked off Frazee directly to Johnson on the goalmouth. Johnson then buried his 28th goal of the season to give Norfolk the 2-1 lead at 12:08.
Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the final frame as the Admirals skated away with their 19th victory in as many games.
Norfolk was held scoreless on five attempts with the man advantage while the Admirals killed off eight of nine Albany power plays.
Devils netminder Jeff Frazee (11-17-2) finished the night with 26 saves on 28 shots.
The Admirals and Devils square off again at Scope at 7:15 p.m. in the 12th Annual MDA Jersey Auction, Presented by PAPCO. Immediately following the conclusion of the game, a live auction will take place on the ice with special jerseys being sold right off the players’ backs. All proceeds go to the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The Admirals will don jerseys that pay homage to the first hockey team to play at Scope – the 1971-72 Tidewater Wings. This season marks the 40th anniversary of hockey in Hampton Roads.
Albany Devils 1 at Norfolk Admirals 2 – Status: Final
Friday, March 23, 2012 – Norfolk Scope
Albany 1 0 0 – 1
Norfolk 1 1 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Albany, Gelinas 15 (Tedenby), 14:14 (PP). 2, Norfolk, Cote 3 (Barberio, Picard), 14:32. Penalties-Zalewski Alb (tripping), 1:55; Killorn Nor (tripping), 4:21; Cote Nor (high-sticking), 6:15; Tedenby Alb (hooking), 11:08; Devos Nor (tripping), 13:25; Berube Alb (roughing), 16:19; Panik Nor (roughing), 16:19; Panik Nor (high-sticking), 18:43.
2nd Period-3, Norfolk, Johnson 28 (Panik, Palat), 12:08. Penalties-Zalewski Alb (high-sticking), 5:13; Kostka Nor (holding), 7:11; Baier Alb (tripping), 12:24; Urbom Alb (hooking), 14:11; Picard Nor (slashing), 15:46; Conacher Nor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:43; Conacher Nor (interference), 19:00.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Kostka Nor (tripping), 9:06.
Shots on Goal-Albany 15-4-8-27. Norfolk 11-6-11-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 1 / 9; Norfolk 0 / 5.
Goalies-Albany, Frazee 11-17-2 (28 shots-26 saves). Norfolk, Janus 19-8-2 (27 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Jamie Koharski (84), Geoff Miller (28).
Linesmen-Scott Pomento (25), Mark Hamlett (81).