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Admirals Eke Out 14th Straight Win

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

NORFOLK, VA - All three Admirals shooters converted in the shootout while goaltender Mike Brodeur turned aside all three River Rats attempts, as the Norfolk Admirals (36-10-4-1) eked out a 5-4 shootout victory over the Albany River Rats (21-23-2-2) on Wednesday night at Scope. The victory was the fourteenth in a row at home and sixth consecutive win overall for the AHL's top team.

The River Rats struck first just 2:21 into the game. Kyle Cumiskey spotted Keith Aucoin with a pass at the right edge of the crease. Aucoin played the puck behind his back to Jakub Petruzalek, who tapped it past Brodeur for a power play goal.

Colin Fraser knotted the score at 1-1 just over a minute later. Jonas Nordqvist dished the puck from the left half wall toward the slot. Fraser, who was stationed at the right edge of the slot near the hashmarks, one-timed the puck with a backhander past Albany goaltender Tyler Weiman at 3:37.

Martin St. Pierre gave Norfolk the lead three minutes later. He sent a long wrist shot from the right point that deflected off an Albany defender in the slot and went past Weiman at 6:07.

The River Rats crawled back to tie the game four minutes later. Aucoin provided another sharp pass on the power play, this time to Ryan Bayda, who scored on a backdoor play at 10:09. Albany took the lead early in the second stanza on yet another power play goal with Matt Murley denting the twine at 3:56.

Reed Low tied the game at 3-3 just 30 seconds into the third period with his second goal of the season. He sent a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that found its way through traffic and past Weiman.

Bayda gave the River Rats a 4-3 lead just three minutes later. He sent a shot from the slot through Brodeur's pads at 3:28.

Fraser knotted the game at 4-4 with just 1:36 left in regulation. A Dustin Byfuglien shot from the point was stopped. Fraser found the rebound at the bottom of the slot and sent it into the net to force OT.

After a scoreless overtime, the Admirals went to a shootout for the second straight game. Martin St. Pierre, David Bolland and Jonas Nordqvist all converted their shootout attempts, while Brodeur stonewalled all three Albany attempts to give Norfolk a 3-0 shootout win and a 5-4 victory.

Brodeur (28 shots, 24 saves) picked up the win in his first Admirals and AHL start. Weiman (28 shots, 24 saves) got the shootout loss.

The Admirals were 0-3 on the power play. Albany was 3-5.

Norfolk has now won 26 games at Scope - including each of its past 14 home games. Both are franchise records. Norfolk is just five wins shy of tying the 1996-97 Philadelphia Phantoms for most consecutive home wins (19).

Three Stars:
1. Colin Fraser - NOR
2. Martin St. Pierre - NOR
3. Ryan Bayda - ALB

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