NORFOLK, VA - The Norfolk Admirals (25-8-4-1) got three power play goals, including two from Captain Craig MacDonald, in a 3-1 victory over the Hershey Bears (25-6-3-4) in front of 5,404 on Friday night at Scope.
The Admirals got on board first in the opening period on the power play. Troy Brouwer entered the attacking zone a step ahead of two Hershey defenders. He cut across the crease from left to right and slipped a shot past the left leg of Bears goaltender Daren Machesney at 6:21.
Craig MacDonald stretched the Norfolk lead to three goals in the second period with two power play goals. Midway through the period, Bruno St. Jacques sent MacDonald on a breakaway with a center ice pass. MacDonald broke in on Machesney and scored glove side along the ice at 10:20.
Six minutes later with the Admirals on a two-man advantage, Dustin Byfuglien faked a shot from the left circle and instead fed a wide-open MacDonald at the right dot. MacDonald one-timed the pass into a wide-open net at 26:39.
The Bears got on the board three minutes later in a goalmouth scramble. Joey Tenute found the puck and slipped it through Corey Crawford's pads and into the net at 19:27.
But the Bears could not claw back into the contest. Crawford made nine saves in the third period to cement the victory.
Crawford (26 shots, 25 saves) for his 21st win of the season. Machesney (27 shots, 24 saves) played well for the Bears despite the loss.
The Admirals were 3-9 on the power play. With a 5-5 night, the Admirals penalty kill was perfect for the ninth straight game. The Admirals PK has killed 47 consecutive penalties in that stretch and is 51-52 (98.1%) in their last ten games.
The Admirals reached the 25-win mark the fastest in their seven-season AHL history, reaching the plateau in just 38 games. The earliest that the Admirals had reached 25 wins in the past was during the 2002-03 season when did so in their 43rd game on January 15, 2003.
Tomorrow night at Scope, the Admirals will face off against the Lowell Devils at 7:15 p.m. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals team poster, courtesy of Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
1. Craig MacDonald - NOR
2. Troy Brouwer - NOR
3. David Koci - NOR