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Schaefer, Pens Frustrate Admirals

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

NORFOLK - Penguins goaltender Nolan Schaefer made 43 saves as the Norfolk Admirals (48-20-6-1) fell 3-1 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (48-20-2-4) on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope.

Stephen Dixon converted a shorthanded two-on-one with Connor James to give Wilkes-Barre a 1-0 lead at 3:20 of the first period. The lead doubled under nine minutes later when Jean-Francois Jacques backhanded a shot under the crossbar and over Corey Crawford's right shoulder at 12:03.

The Penguins built a three-goal lead when Kurtis McLean played a carom off the end boards and sent a quick shot past Crawford at 16:13. Schaefer made 16 first period stops as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton led 3-0 after twenty minutes.

Schaefer continued to frustrate the Admirals in the second stanza, pushing aside 12 shots. Martin St. Pierre got the Admirals on the board 5:19 into the third period. Troy Brouwer sent a pass from the right circle to St. Pierre at the opposite dot. St. Pierre attempted to return the pass, but it deflected off the skate of a Penguins' defender and trickled over the goal line behind Schaefer.

With an assist on the play, Pierre Parenteau stretched his scoring streak to 13 games - one shy of the Norfolk franchise record.

However, that would be the only blemish on Schaefer's record, as he turned aside 15 third-period shots to thwart any Norfolk comeback attempts.

Crawford (30 shots, 27 saves) got the loss. Schaefer (44 shots, 43 saves) earned the victory.

Norfolk was 0-3 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-4.

The Admirals remain just one point behind the Hershey Bears (46-15-6-6, 104 points), as they lost to the Binghamton Senators tonight. The Penguins are now just one point behind Norfolk and two back of the East Division-leading Bears. Both Hershey and Wilkes-Barre have one game in hand on the Admirals.

Norfolk is also just one win shy of the AHL's single-season record for home victories. They will attempt to tie that record when they square off against the Penguins again on Friday night at Scope. Friday night is Fan Appreciation Night, with thousands of prizes being given away to the best fans in the American Hockey League. Friday will also feature another STIHL Hometown Hero presentation.

Three Stars:

1. Nolan Schaefer - WBS
2. Micki DuPont - WBS
3. Martin St. Pierre - NOR


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