NORFOLK POWER PLAY TOO MUCH FOR CHECKERS
Ritola, Jones each score twice in 5-3 victory
CHARLOTTE, N.C.- After squandering two one-goal leads, the Norfolk Admirals used three straight goals to defeat the Charlotte Checkers, 5-2, at Time Warner Cable Arena on Monday.
Three of the Admirals’ five goals came during power-play chances, while Blair Jones’ game-winner in the second period was scored during a two-man advantage. Jones and Mattias Ritola contributed two goals each on the night, and Marc-Antoine Pouliot chipped in with three assists. The winning goaltender was Jaroslav Janus, who made 21 saves on 23 shots to earn his first AHL win of the season.
The Checkers got power-play goals of their own from Chris Terry and Bobby Sanguinetti and Jon Matsumoto assisted on both.
It took less than eight minutes for the Admirals to take their first lead as Ritola’s first of two tallies made the score 1-0 at the 7:54 mark of the first period. With Matsumoto serving a two-minute penalty for hooking, Norfolk’s leading scorer, Pouliot, set up on the right-wing boards and sent a cross-ice pass which Ritola quickly deposited just inside the right post.
Charlotte, however, answered just five minutes later. With Riley Nash camped in front of Janus, Sanguinetti passed to Terry, who scored his team leading 33rd goal of the season with a slap shot from the right-wing circle.
In the second period, Pierre-Cedric Labrie restored Norfolk’s one-goal advantage by picking the upper-right corner with a turn-around wrist shot from the high slot.
Once again, the Admirals’ lead lasted just five minutes. At 13:18 of the second period, Sanguinetti scored Charlotte’s second power-play goal by lofting a wrist shot from the blue line that navigated through a group of bodies in front of the net and into the back of the net.
But, this was the last time the game would be tied as Jones scored the eventual game-winning goal during a five-on-three power play with just over a minute left in the second period.
With the five-on-four portion of their power play carrying over into the third period, the Admirals went ahead, 4-2, when Ritola netted his second goal of the game.
Jones added another marker to make the score 5-2 and the Checkers succumbed to the Admirals, who broke a four-game losing streak with the win.
The Checkers (42-27-2-7) are back in action again Friday, when they begin a two-game, regular-season ending series against the Worcester Sharks at 7 p.m.
Notes: Charlotte takes the season series against Norfolk with a 7-3-2 record...The Checkers have scored 10 power-play goals in the last five games…Chris Terry has eight goals in the last 11 games…Brett Sutter was stopped by Janus on a penalty shot in the second period, which was Charlotte’s fourth penalty-shot chance of the season…Bobby Goepfert made his Checkers debut and made 10 saves on 10 shots in 12:39.
Norfolk Admirals 5 at Charlotte Checkers 2 - Status: Final
Monday, April 4, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Norfolk 1 2 2 - 5
Charlotte 1 1 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Ritola 6 (Pouliot, Barberio), 7:54 (PP). 2, Charlotte, Terry 33 (Sanguinetti, Matsumoto), 12:30 (PP). Penalties-Wright Nor (slashing), 2:14; Matsumoto Cha (hooking), 7:20; Jones Nor (high-sticking), 10:43; Matsumoto Cha (tripping), 18:47.
2nd Period-3, Norfolk, Labrie 6 (Wright, Berry), 7:56. 4, Charlotte, Sanguinetti 3 (Graham, Matsumoto), 13:18 (PP). 5, Norfolk, Jones 22 (Pouliot, Milam), 18:49 (PP). Penalties-Pistilli Cha (bench minor - too many men), 9:31; Mihalik Nor (hooking), 13:01; Gudas Nor (holding), 15:49; Boychuk Cha (boarding), 17:32; FitzGerald Cha (boarding), 18:03; Blanchard Cha (high-sticking), 19:20.
3rd Period-6, Norfolk, Ritola 7 (Jones, Pouliot), 0:36 (PP). 7, Norfolk, Jones 23 (Ritola), 7:40. Penalties-Vernace Nor (roughing), 9:00; Boychuk Cha (interference), 13:28; Roy Nor (fighting), 16:54; Sutter Cha (fighting), 16:54.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 10-12-14-36. Charlotte 11-8-7-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 3 / 7; Charlotte 2 / 5.
Goalies-Norfolk, Janus 0-3-1 (26 shots-24 saves). Charlotte, Pogge 21-17-4 (26 shots-21 saves); Goepfert 0-0-0 (10 shots-10 saves).
Referees-Steve Patafie (85), Jason Rollins (37).
Linesmen-Mike Sheehan (90), Alex Stagnone (7).