NORFOLK (6) VS BINGHAMTON SENATORS (2)
The Admirals closed the books on the 2005-2006 regular season in a dominant fashion, defeating the Binghamton Senators 6-2 for their 43rd victory of the season.
Much of the first period was played in Binghamton's end, as the Senators did not put a shot on net until nearly seven minutes into the game. Pavel Vorobiev put the Admirals in front with a pick-pocket play. As Binghamton goaltender Billy Thompson attempted to play a shootaround behind the net, Vorobiev snuck in and stole the puck, sending the netminder scrambling back to the crease. Vorobiev circled the net and wired a wrister over the goalie's glove at 8:36.
Another Senators turnover led to a second Norfolk tally. Martin St. Pierre pilfered the puck at the red line to start an Admirals' attack. The AHL All-Rookie team member threaded a pass from the top of the right circle to Nathan Barrett in the slot. Barrett re-directed the puck into the center of a nearly empty cage at 17:53. Norfolk led 2-0 after twenty minutes.
Denis Hamel got the Senators on the board with a power play goal at 4:08 of the second stanza. But the Admirals took control of the game after that with three quick goals. Thompson misplayed another puck behind the net on the power play. The recipient of the turnover, Matt Keith, sent a backhander into the back of the net on Thompson's glove side at 6:03. Two minutes later, Carl Corazzini interrupted a pass at the Binghamton blue line and sent it to Quintin Laing. Laing sent a cross-ice pass to Eric Meloche, who sent a shot past Thompson as he fell to the ice at 8:14.
James Wisniewski scored Norfolk's fifth goal by teeing up a point slap shot that found its way through traffic and past Thompson before he could react at 11:29. The goal prompted a change in goal, as Kelly Guard replaced Thompson between the pipes. After two periods, the Admirals led 5-1.
The third period began with another Admirals' strike, as Keith and St. Pierre broke in on Guard two-on-one. Keith dished the puck to St. Pierre, who slid the puck into the net just ahead of Guard's left leg pad at 1:21.
The Senators closed out scoring at 15:13, as Cody Bass picked up his first career AHL goal.
With the 6-2 victory, Norfolk finished the season with a 43-29-4-4 mark. Norfolk's franchise-record 94 points placed them securely in third place in the AHL's East Division, and earned them a first round Calder Cup Playoff match-up with the Hershey Bears. The series starts in the Keystone State on Wednesday at 7:00 before coming to Scope for Games 2 and 3 on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22.
Adam Munro earned the victory by stopping 30 of 32 shots. Billy Thompson got the loss and stopped 14 of 19 shots through just over 30 minutes. Kelly Guard stopped 16 of 17 shots in relief and did not receive a decision.
Norfolk was 1-6 on the power play. Binghamton was 1-3.
1. Matt Keith - NOR
2. James Wisniewski - NOR
3. Martin St. Pierre - NOR