GLEN FALLS, N.Y. – AHL MVP Cory Conacher netted his first career hat trick as the Norfolk Admirals (55-18-1-2) finished off the regular season with a 4-2 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms (37-35-2-2) on Sunday evening at the Glen Falls Civic Center. Norfolk concludes the regular season with a North American professional hockey record 28-game winning streak.
Conacher broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of goals, including his AHL-leading 39th goal of the season, in the final two minutes of regulation. Brandon Segal notched his 18th goal of the season and added three assists. Norfolk netminder Jaroslav Janus (23-8-2) made 16 saves to extend his personal winning streak to 15 games.
Adirondack’s Ben Holmstrom opened the scoring with a power play goal early in the opening period. While standing in front of the Norfolk net, Holmstrom deflected a Brandon Manning shot over Janus to give the Phantoms the 1-0 lead at 2:19.
Goals by Segal and Conacher put the Admirals ahead by one goal at the end of the second period. With under five minutes remaining in the period, Conacher sent a shot from the right faceoff circle. While skating out in front of the crease, Segal deflected the shot over the left shoulder of Phantoms’ goaltender Jason Bacashihua for his 18th goal of the season to knot the game at 1-1 at 15:30.
Less than two minutes later, the Admirals claimed a 2-1 lead Conacher’s first goal of the game. From the center slot, Conacher picked up a rebound and sent a backhand over Bacashihua at 17:27.
The Phantoms squared the game at 2-2 with nearly eight minutes remaining in regulation. After a failed clearing attempt by the Admirals, Jason Akeson snapped a shot over the blocker of Janus at 12:15 of the final period.
Conacher’s second of the night came with just two minutes remaining in regulation. The AHL Rookie of the Year picked up a loose puck off the stick of a teammate and buried a shot behind Bacashihua to give Norfolk a 3-2 lead with his 38th goal of the season.
After an Adirondack goal was waved off with 18.2 seconds remaining, Conacher capped off the hat trick with an empty net goal with just two seconds remaining as the Admirals skated away with the 4-2 victory.
Bacashihua (8-11-1) finished the night with 23 saves on 26 shots.
Norfolk was 0 for 3 on the power play. Adirondack was 1 for 5.
Norfolk Admirals 4 at Adirondack Phantoms 2 – Status: Final
Sunday, April 15, 2012 – Glens Falls Civic Center
Norfolk 0 2 2 – 4
Adirondack 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Adirondack, Holmstrom 15 (Manning, Gustafsson), 2:19 (PP). Penalties-Kostka Nor (hooking), 1:41; Bordson Adk (holding), 7:01; Mathers Adk (roughing), 10:58; Panik Nor (cross-checking), 12:04.
2nd Period-2, Norfolk, Segal 18 (Smith, Conacher), 15:30. 3, Norfolk, Conacher 37 (Segal), 17:27. Penalties-Kostka Nor (tripping), 1:58; Conacher Nor (delay of game), 5:01.
3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Akeson 14 (Testwuide), 12:15. 5, Norfolk, Conacher 38 (Segal, Smith), 18:00. 6, Norfolk, Conacher 39 (Segal), 19:58 (EN). Penalties-Labrie Nor (roughing), 10:04; Dimmen Nor (fighting), 14:32; Harper Adk (roughing, fighting), 14:32.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 7-10-10-27. Adirondack 8-7-4-19.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 0 / 3; Adirondack 1 / 5.
Goalies-Norfolk, Janus 23-8-2 (19 shots-17 saves). Adirondack, Bacashihua 8-11-1 (26 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Steeve Lemay (64), Mike Emanatian (69).