|NORFOLK (6) vs. BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS (3)|
NORFOLK, VA - David Bolland scored twice as the Norfolk Admirals (45-18-5-1) established a new franchise record for points in a season by defeating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (31-28-1-5) 6-3 on Saturday night at Scope.
The term "franchise record" was used quite often in this game, starting with the opening frame when the Admirals peppered Bridgeport goaltender Billy Thompson with a franchise record 26 shots in a single period. Three of those shots dented the twine behind Thompson, starting with a Pierre Parenteau marker at 4:48. Troy Brouwer started the play behind the net midway between the near wall and the net by centering a pass toward the goalmouth. Parenteau redirected the pass into the net by chipping it over Thompson's left leg.
The roles were reversed for the second goal, as Parenteau set up Brouwer at 17:02. Brouwer played a pass off his skates and sent a backhanded, cross-crease centering attempt toward Martin St. Pierre. However, the pass deflected off a Bridgeport defender and into the cage. With the goal, Brouwer established a new Norfolk record goal-scoring streak with a goal in his sixth straight game.
The Admirals got record-setting shot number 26 with 45 seconds remaining in the first period, and the shot found its target for a power play goal. Carl Corazzini chipped a backhander over Thompson's left leg that just crossed the goal line at 19:15.
Bridgeport got on the board with a power play goal of their own just 54 seconds into the second stanza, as Frans Nielsen sent a shot from the slot that eluded Admirals netminder Corey Crawford's glove.
Bolland's first goal of the contest made it 4-1 for Norfolk just under four minutes later. While on the power play, Brouwer skated the puck into the zone along the right wall, eluding a check near the hashmarks of the faceoff circle before centering a pass toward the slot from the bottom of the circle. Bolland one-timed the pass into the net from the left edge of the slot at 4:41.
The Admirals' lead grew to four goals under a minute later. Kris Versteeg saved a clearing attempt and kept the puck in the attacking zone, dishing it to Adam Burish who was skating down the left wing. Burish chipped a pass across the crease to Bolland, who in turn chipped it over Thompson's left leg at 5:39.
The Sound Tigers netted a shorthanded goal to draw within three goals of the Admirals under six minutes later. After picking off a pass in the neutral zone, Steve Regier circled behind the net and sent a pass toward the right post. Ken Magowan redirected the pass behind Crawford at 11:20.
Norfolk closed out scoring in the middle period at 17:58. Bolland got the rebound of his own shot and dished a pass across the crease to Reed Low at the left edge of the goalmouth. Low shot the puck into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
Cam McCaffrey tacked on another goal for the Sound Tigers at 14:50 of the third period as the Admirals prevailed 6-3.
Corey Crawford (24 shots, 21 saves) picked up his 34th victory and tied a franchise record by appearing in his 52nd game of the season. Billy Thompson (34 shots, 28 saves) got the loss in playing the first two periods. Michael Mole (16 shots, 16 saves) did not receive a decision in playing the third period for Bridgeport.
Norfolk was 2-7 on the power play. Bridgeport was 1-5.
The Admirals now have a 45-18-5-1 record for 96 points, besting the previous franchise record of 94 points from the 2005-06 season (43-29-4-4). Norfolk has a four-point lead on Hershey and an eight-point lead on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for first place in the East Division.
Norfolk also extended their franchise record for wins in a season to 45 victories and their franchise record for home victories to 31 W's - just two home wins shy of the American Hockey League record. The Admirals' 2006-07 campaign still has 11 regular season games remaining - including three at Norfolk Scope.
Norfolk departs on a quick two-game road trip that will take them to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Binghamton next weekend. Norfolk faces the Penguins at 7:05 p.m. on Friday and the Senators at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
1. David Bolland - NOR
2. Troy Brouwer - NOR
3. Reed Low - NOR