|NORFOLK (5) at WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS (2)|
WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Norfolk Admirals (1-0-0-0) used three unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (0-1-0-0) 5-2 and take a 1-0 lead in the East Division Semifinals on Friday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
The victory was Norfolk's first in Wilkes-Barre in a 16-game span since February 14, 2004.
One of the keys for the Admirals heading into the game was to come out strong in the first period - something that they did not accomplish in Wilkes-Barre very often during the regular season. However, Norfolk did just that by out-shooting the Penguins 11-5 in the opening frame and coming away with a 1-0 edge after twenty minutes.
Jonas Nordqvist netted the game's first goal at 3:56 when he sent a backhand shot from the top of the right circle into the net after Wilkes-Barre netminder Nolan Schaefer steered aside a Cam Barker slap shot from the left point.
The Admirals doubled their lead 4:22 into the second stanza. David Bolland threaded a backhanded pass from the edge of the right circle onto the tape of Pierre Parenteau at the bottom of the left circle. Parenteau buried a shot past Schaefer for a power play goal.
However, the Penguins dominated the remainder of the frame, out-shooting Norfolk 21-5 in the second period. Kyle Brodziak batted his own rebound out of mid-air past Admirals goaltender Corey Crawford at 6:41 on the power play.
Just over two minutes later, the Penguins capitalized on a Norfolk turnover to tie the game. Stephen Dixon picked off a pass in the slot and fired it past Crawford at 8:47. Crawford kept the score the same with several big saves in the period as the game entered the final frame deadlocked at two goals apiece.
Norfolk came out in the third period and peppered Schaefer with 16 shots. They took a 3-2 lead midway through the frame. Bruno St. Jacques took a shot from the right point that Schaefer stopped. Colin Fraser scooped up the rebound and backhanded it past Schaefer from the right circle at 13:39.
The Admirals added an insurance goal under two minutes later on the power play. Martin St. Pierre won a faceoff to Cam Barker who sent it back to St. Pierre in the slot. The Admirals top center dished the puck to Troy Brouwer at the goalmouth who batted it into the cage at 15:10.
Carl Corazzini sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 49 seconds remaining.
Crawford (30 shots, 28 saves) picked up his first career post-season victory. Schaefer (31 shots, 27 saves) was saddled with the loss.
Norfolk was 2-3 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 1-4.
The same two teams will square off tomorrow night in Game 2 of the East Division Semifinals with the puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m.
1. Colin Fraser - NOR
2. Jonas Nordqvist - NOR
3. David Bolland - NOR