NORFOLK, Va. – With a trio of goals in the final three minutes of regulation on Saturday night, the Norfolk Admirals (52-18-1-2) downed the Binghamton Senators (28-40-4-2), 4-1, in their regular season finale in front of a sellout crowd at Norfolk Scope Arena. With the win, the Admirals set a franchise record with 15 consecutive wins on home ice and stretched their overall winning streak to 25 games.
The Admirals will conclude the 2011-12 regular season with a three-game road trip beginning next Friday against the Albany Devils.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Trevor Smith, Tyler Johnson and Cory Conacher all scored for Norfolk while
Alex Killorn picked up a pair of assists in the victory. Dustin Tokarski (31-11-0) stopped 30 of 31 shots to run his personal winning streak to 12 games.
Craig Schira gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 13:12 of the first. After Wacey Hamilton won a faceoff in the right circle of the Norfolk zone, Schira’s shot from just inside the blue line deflected off a player in front of Tokarski and eluded the Norfolk netminder’s glove.
The Admirals knotted the game at 1-1 in with less than two minutes to go in the second period. After winning a race to the puck, Alexandre Picard slipped a pass to Labrie on the right side of the net. From there, Labrie jammed home a shot behind Binghamton goaltender Mike McKenna at 18:27for his 14th goal of the season.
After an equally-played first 16 minutes of the third period, the Admirals took charge with three goals in the final three minutes to close out the game.
Norfolk took a 2-1 lead on Smith’s 24th goal of the season. With teammate Brandon Segal fighting off a Senators’ defenseman in front of the net, Smith snapped a shot from just inside the left faceoff circle. The shot found its way through traffic and over McKenna’s shoulder and into the net at 17:11.
Norfolk doubled its lead just 42 seconds later. From the left faceoff circle, Killorn sent a cross-crease pass to Johnson. Before McKenna could recover, Johnson slipped his 31st of the season behind the Senators netminder to give Norfolk the 3-1 lead.
An empty-net goal by Conacher capped off the scoring as the Admirals skated away with the 4-1 victory in front of the third sellout crowd at Scope of the season.
McKenna (14-21-1) stopped 36 of 39 shots in the defeat.
Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.
1. Dustin Tokarski – NOR
2. Trevor Smith – NOR
3. Mike McKenna – BNG
NOTES … Tonight’s crowd of 8,699 was the third sellout at Norfolk Scope Arena during the 2011-12 season … The Admirals averaged over 5,000 fans in attendance for the first time in the twelve-year AHL Admirals history (5,119) … Norfolk also surpasses the 190,000 attendance plateau for the first time in AHL Admirals history (194,521), despite playing just 38 games on home ice … Admirals have now won 25 games in a row, the longest streak for any active professional league in North American hockey history … Norfolk has not lost since Feb. 5th – a 4-2 defeat in Springfield … Norfolk extended their regulation winning streak to 19 games, a record for active professional hockey leagues in North America … The Admirals have won 24 of 25 games during the winning streak in regulation and only one game in a shootout (Feb. 18 vs. Syracuse) …The Admirals set a new franchise record with their 15th consecutive victory on home ice … Norfolk finishes with a 27-9-1-1 record on home ice this season … Tonight’s contest was the ninth time Norfolk has claimed a victory while entering the third period trailing or tied … during the 25-game winning streak … Tyler Johnson leads the Admirals with 16 goals and 39 points during the 25-game winning streak, posting at least one point in 21 of 25 games of the streak and posting multiple points in 14 of the 25 games … Trevor Smith continued his success against Binghamton with his goal tonight, giving him seven goals and 13 points in six games against the Senators for the season … Rookie Alex Killorn registered his first professional multi-point performance in just his seventh game as a pro* … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Mike Angelidis, Alex Hutchings, Ondrej Palat, Jon Kalinski.
Binghamton Senators 1 at Norfolk Admirals 4 – Status: Final
Saturday, April 7, 2012 – Norfolk Scope
Binghamton 1 0 0 – 1
Norfolk 0 1 3 – 4
1st Period-1, Binghamton, Schira 4 (Hamilton), 13:12. Penalties-Blood Bng (fighting), 12:53; Conboy Bng (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; Downing Bng (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; Dziurzynski Bng (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; Grant Bng (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; McKenna Bng (roughing), 12:53; Devos Nor (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; Gudas Nor (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; Jackson Nor (fighting), 12:53; Ouellet Nor (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; Picard Nor (roughing, misconduct), 12:53; Tokarski Nor (leaving the crease), 12:53; Segal Nor (slashing), 14:38.
2nd Period-2, Norfolk, Labrie 14 (Picard), 18:27. Penalties-Borowiecki Bng (tripping), 0:30; Grant Bng (slashing), 7:27; Gryba Bng (interference), 16:19.
3rd Period-3, Norfolk, Smith 24 (Oberg, Segal), 17:11. 4, Norfolk, Johnson 31 (Killorn, Conacher), 17:53. 5, Norfolk, Conacher 35 (Killorn, Cote), 19:47 (EN). Penalties-Segal Nor (cross-checking), 4:03; Picard Nor (tripping), 10:06.
Shots on Goal-Binghamton 11-10-10-31. Norfolk 10-10-20-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 0 / 3; Norfolk 0 / 3.
Goalies-Binghamton, McKenna 14-21-1 (39 shots-36 saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 31-11-0 (31 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Francis Charron (46).
Linesmen-Luke Murray (92), Tom George (61).