Admirals pull even with Bears, beat Senators

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by Brian Smith

WVEC.com

Posted on April 7, 2013 at 12:50 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 7 at 1:05 AM

NORFOLK-Frederik Andersen stopped all 33 shots he faced and Harry Zolnierczyk broke a scoreless stalemate early in the third period as the Norfolk Admirals (35-30-4-1) shut out the Binghamton Senators (40-23-1-6), 3-0, on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena in the final home game of the regular season.

With the win, the Admirals draw even with the Hershey Bears for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race with six games remaining in the regular season. The Bears fell to the Syracuse Crunch tonight, 2-1. Hershey holds the first tiebreaker (wins in regulation and overtime) and has one game in hand, which they will use tomorrow in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Patrick Maroon and Rod Pelley also scored for the Admirals. Andersen (22-15-1) turned in his fourth shutout of 2012-13 and added an assist. The Admirals now embark on a season-ending six-game road trip beginning with contests on Friday and Saturday nights against the Worcester Sharks.

Neither team found the back of the net through the game's first 40 minutes. Andersen made 25 saves while Binghamton goaltender Marc Cheverie stopped 20 shots. The Admirals broke the scoreless stalemate 3:11 into the final frame. Norfolk captain Nate Guenin sent a shot from the right point that Cheverie stopped. The rebound emerged near the side of the net to Cheverie’s left. Zolnierczyk found the puck and tucked it across the goal line for his first goal as an Admiral and a 1-0 Norfolk lead.

The lead doubled a little over ten minutes later as the Senators, who lead the league in shorthanded goals, surrendered a shorty to Norfolk. Andersen corralled a dump-in behind his net and fired the puck along the right half wall to Maroon for a partial breakaway. Maroon faked a shot on his forehand before sending the puck beneath Cheverie with a backhand shot at 13:36 for his team-leading 23rd goal of the season.

Pelley tacked on an empty-net goal at 19:22 to cement the victory. Cheverie (4-5-0) stopped 28 of 30 shots and took the loss. Norfolk was 0-for-5 on the power play. Binghamton was 0-for-3, as the Admirals stretched their streak of consecutive opponent power plays killed to 27. The Admirals now embark on a season-ending six-game road trip beginning with contests on Friday and Saturday nights against the Worcester Sharks.

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