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Admirals Fight Back To Earn Point

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

NORFOLK - The Norfolk Admirals (48-20-6-2) scored three unanswered goals to force overtime but fell 4-3 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (49-20-2-4) in a shootout on Friday night at Norfolk Scope.

For the second night in a row, the Penguins scored the first three goals of the game. Jonathan Filewich started things off when he netted a power play goal off a goalmouth scramble at 13:41 of the opening frame.

Wilkes-Barre used two goals just 19 seconds apart to open up a three-goal lead early in the second stanza. Matt Carkner scored at 1:56 when his shot from the right point went through traffic and beat Norfolk netminder Corey Crawford's glove. The Penguins took a 3-0 lead after a blocked shot ended up on the stick of Stephen Dixon, who made his way around a maze of bodies and sent a backhander past Crawford at 2:15.

The Admirals closed the gap with two goals of their own before the midway point of the second stanza. Pierre Parenteau tied a franchise record with a point in his fourteenth consecutive game when his shot from the left dot beat Wilkes-Barre netminder Jeff Deslauriers at 4:51.

Just over three minutes later with Norfolk on a power play, Parenteau spotted Craig MacDonald with a pass near the goalmouth. MacDonald spun around and jammed the puck past Deslauriers's right leg at 7:56.

Norfolk evened the score with just 3:41 remaining in regulation. David Bolland scored his 17th goal of the season with assists from Kris Versteeg and Jack Skille, as the game was knotted at three goals apiece after regulation.

Kurtis McLean netted the only shootout conversion for either team as the Penguins picked up the extra point with the shootout victory.

Crawford (29 shots, 26 saves) was saddled with the shootout loss. Deslauriers (42 shots, 39 saves) got the win.

Norfolk was 1-6 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 1-5.

The Admirals are now two one points behind the Hershey Bears (47-15-6-6, 106 points), as they defeated the Philadelphia Phantoms tonight. The Penguins and Admirals now both have 104 points. Both Hershey and Wilkes-Barre have one game in hand on the Admirals.

The Admirals now travel to Hershey for a critical matchup against the division-leading Bears on Saturday night. The puck drops at Giant Center at 7:00 p.m.

Norfolk concluded the home half of its schedule with a 32-5-2-1 record at Scope - just one victory shy of tying the AHL's single-season record for home victories. They also fell just one point shy of tying the AHL's single-season record for most points at home. However, the 32 victories and 67 points at home will go down in Norfolk's franchise record book as the best season the Admirals have ever enjoyed at Scope.

Three Stars:

1. Connor James - WBS
2. David Bolland - NOR
3. Pierre Parenteau - NOR

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