|NORFOLK (3) vs. ALBANY RIVER RATS (2)|
NORFOLK, VA - The Norfolk Admirals' (27-8-4-1) dominance at Scope continued on Friday night, as all-stars Brandon Bochenski, Troy Brouwer and Martin St. Pierre each scored in a 3-2 victory over the Albany River Rats (18-17-2-1) - Norfolk's eighth straight win at home.
A pair of Albany penalties late in the opening period led to Norfolk's first two goals. With just over ten seconds remaining in the period, Carl Corazzini had the puck at the bottom of the left circle on a two-man advantage. He attempted a cross-crease pass to St. Pierre. However, the puck deflected off Brouwer's skate and into the back of the net at 19:49.
The lead grew to two goals on the tail-end of the ensuing five-on-four power play. Bochenski sent a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that deflected off the skate of a defender and through the pads of River Rats netminder Justin Peters 16 seconds into the second stanza.
The Admirals' top line struck again late in the middle period. Bochenski sent a shot from the slot that was stopped. St. Pierre found the rebound in the goalmouth and shot it under Peters' left leg pad at 18:45.
Norfolk held on for the victory despite two Albany third period goals. Ryan Bayda tallied at 7:43 by slipping a shot over Corey Crawford's right leg pad. Keith Aucoin drew Albany to within a goal of the Admirals by chipping a pass over Crawford's left leg at 9:23. But the Admirals' defense clamped down in the second half of the period to preserve a 3-2 victory.
Crawford (33 shots, 31 saves) won his eighth straight game at Scope, tying a franchise record that he set earlier in the season. Peters (31 shots, 28 saves) was saddled with the loss.
The Admirals were 2-3 on the power play. Albany was 0-2, as the Admirals penalty kill was perfect for the eleventh straight game. The Admirals PK has killed 51 consecutive penalties in that stretch - two shy of the franchise record set three seasons ago.
The Admirals have won eight straight games at Norfolk Scope. They won the first ten straight home games to begin the season to set a new franchise record and are now 20-1-2-0 at home. The franchise record for home wins in a season is 24 set during the 2000-01 season.
Hershey (26-7-3-4) defeated Binghamton in a shootout 1-0 tonight. The Admirals and Bears remain tied atop the East Division with 59 points in 40 games. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (26-7-2-2) defeated Chicago 1-0 tonight, and they remain in third place with 56 points in 37 games.
The River Rats return to Scope Saturday night at 7:15.
1. Troy Brouwer - NOR
2. Brandon Bochenski - NOR
3. Keith Aucoin - ALB