|NORFOLK (5) at HERSHEY BEARS (4)|
NORFOLK, VA - On Saturday night in Hershey, Brandon Bochenski's hat trick could not lead the Admirals to a victory over the Bears. On Wednesday night in Norfolk, Bochenski's second and third goals of the game erased a third period deficit and won the game for Norfolk (24-8-4-1) 5-4 over Hershey (25-5-3-4).
The Admirals and Bears combined for six goals in a wild first period. Hershey jumped out to a 2-0 lead just two minutes into the game. Joey Tenute scored the first goal at 1:39 when his wrist shot from the right faceoff circle beat Norfolk netminder Corey Crawford top shelf. A bouncing puck off Jeff Schultz' stick found its way past Crawford for the second Hershey tally at 2:08.
Norfolk battled back with two power play goals to knot the score at 2-2. Cam Barker's shot through a screen at 6:12 made its way past Bears goaltender Maxime Daigneault and into the cage. Bochenski found the back of the net on a five-on-three power play five minutes later, sending a wrist shot through traffic at 11:12.
Dustin Byfuglien gave the Admirals a 3-2 lead three minutes later with an amazing individual play. He took the puck along the left half wall and deked past two defenders while making his way to the slot. He faked a shot and then ripped a shot top shelf on Daigneault at 14:51.
It looked like Norfolk would head to the first intermission with a lead. However, a costly turnover led to the Bears' third goal. An Admirals attacker tried to start a power play break out with a cross-slot pass in the Norfolk zone. Matt Hendricks picked off the pass and broke in uncontested on Crawford, scoring with 13 seconds remaining in the period.
Hershey reclaimed the lead midway through the second stanza when Alexander Giroux's wraparound shot snuck past Crawford at 6:50.
The third period belonged to the Admirals and Bochenski as Norfolk erased a third-period deficit to win the game. While on another two-man advantage, Bochenski collected a clearing attempt at center ice, skated through several defenders and sent a wrister from between the circles past Daigneault at 1:25.
Bochenski tied the AHL record at 13:24 when he tallied a hat trick in his second consecutive game. After collecting a feed from Danny Richmond, Bochenski sent a wrister through traffic from the slot past new Hershey goaltender Daren Machesney. The goal stood up as the game-winner.
Crawford (20 shots, 16 saves) became the first AHL netminder with 20 wins in the victory. Daigneault (33 shots, 29 saves) played through the middle of the third period before and did not receive a decision. Machesney (3 shots, 2 saves) was saddled with the loss.
The Admirals were 3-11 on the power play. The Norfolk penalty kill had yet another perfect night (4-4) to run its stretch of not allowing a power play goal to eight games. The Admirals PK is 40 for 40 in that stretch and is 46-47 (97.9%) in their last nine games.
The Admirals and Bears will meet again at Scope on Friday at 7:15 p.m. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals tee shirt, courtesy of Liberty Tax Service.
1. Brandon Bochenski - NOR
2. Martin St. Pierre - NOR
3. Matt Hendricks - HER