NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Norfolk Admirals won a special teams battle against the Connecticut Whale tonight at Norfolk Scope Arena, scoring three power play goals and two shorthanded goals en route to a 6-3 win.
Sami Vatanen, Ryan Lasch and Chris Wagner each scored their first American Hockey League goals. The Admirals also received goals from Troy Bodie, Patrick Maroon and Kyle Palmieri, while Frederik Anderson (2-0-0) stopped 32 of 35 shots for the win.
The Admirals struck first for the fourth consecutive game to begin the 2012-13 season. Chris Wagner forced a turnover in the neutral zone in front of the Norfolk bench, giving Bodie a partial shorthanded breakaway. Bodie cut through the left faceoff circle and used his body to shield away a Connecticut defender while cutting in front of the crease. He then sent a shot over the glove of Whale goaltender Scott Stajcer at 4:33.
Norfolk’s lead doubled less than four minutes later on a five-on-three power play. Peter Holland sent a pass from the right circle to Vatanen on the right point. Vatanen sent a one-timer through a screen and past Stajcer at 8:03 for his first North American professional goal and a 2-0 lead.
Connecticut cut its deficit in half just under eight minutes later. Sean Collins sent a shot from the high slot. Kyle Jean, who was stationed between the hashmarks in the slot, deflected the high shot downward and past Andersen at 16:00, cutting Norfolk’s lead to 2-1.
Norfolk utilized another shorthanded tally to build its lead to 4-2 late in the second period. After winning a faceoff in the Norfolk zone, Troy Bodie chipped the puck around a defender and up the ice through the neutral zone. He recovered the puck at the right point of the Connecticut zone, and chipped it to the slot. Wagner accepted the pass on a breakaway, and sent a backhand shot past Stajcer’s glove at 18:08 for his first professional goal.
The Whale once again cut Norfolk’s lead to one goal – this time on the power play just 35 seconds into the third period. Chad Kolarik sent a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle past Andersen’s blocker to make the score 4-3 Admirals.
However, the rest of the period belonged to Norfolk. The Admirals scored their second goal on a five-on-three power play at 13:42, as Maroon scored on the second rebound of a Vatanen shot. Palmieri closed out scoring with 45 seconds remaining.
The Admirals will take their first road trip of the 2012-13 season next weekend when they visit the St. John's IceCaps for a pair of games.
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