Admirals win 21st straight game
The Norfolk Admirals rode the strong goaltending of Dustin Tokarski to a 2-0 shutout win over the St. John’s IceCaps Wednesday night running the team’s incredible winning streak to 21 games.
Special teams play was the difference for the winners, who scored once short-handed and another on the power play, both in the second period. Tyler Johnson, the game’s second star, assisted on both Norfolk goals, extending his scoring streak to 12 games.
The teams battled hard all night, as St. John’s, using a lineup of 11 forwards and seven defencemen, fired 32 shots at Tokarski, who was chosen as the game’s first star. The club’s power play, which consisted of forwards who haven’t seen much time with the man advantage, was 0-for-5 on the evening. Norfolk won the special teams battle, going 1-for-4 on the power play, and scoring that shorthanded marker.
David Aebischer got the start in the contest in the absence of Eddie Pasquale – who suffered an upper body injury in his last start – and stood the challenge of six Norfolk shots in the opening frame. The biggest chance came from the hot stick of Cory Conacher, the Admirals’ leading scorer. Conacher broke in on a breakaway and tried to deke forehand-backhand, but Aebischer got his glove on the puck to thwart the attempt.
Norfolk opened the scoring with a short-handed effort at 13:27 of the middle frame. With teammate Scott Jackson in the penalty box serving a high sticking minor, Ondrej Palat scored against Aebischer to put Norfolk up 1-0. When the Admirals score first, the team has a stellar 33-2-1-1 record. The second Admirals goal came on a power play.
Rookie defenceman Will O’Neill – making his pro debut after four years at the University of Maine – was called for tripping and just six seconds later Richard Panik put the puck past Aebischer on a rebound to put the home team up 2-0.