NORFOLK, Va. – Sami Vatanen and Patrick Maroon each recorded three points, and Frederik Andersen only had to make 16 saves as the Norfolk Admirals cruised to a 5-1 win over the HERSHEY BEARS on Friday night at Norfolk Scope.
The Admirals held the BEARS without a shot for the first six minutes of the game, and then struck for the game’s first goal. Vatanen found an uncovered Dan Sexton at the left side of Dany Sabourin’s goal crease at 9:47 for a tap-in tally. Sabourin turned aside 14 shots in the first period to keep the BEARS in the game.
The BEARS then got into penalty trouble early in the second, and the Admirals took advantage. At the beginning of a two-man advantage, Vatanen collected a cross-ice pass from Maroon and one-timed a slap shot that eluded Sabourin over the glove at 6:08.
Jeff Taffe continued his torrid goal-scoring pace to cut into the Norfolk lead at 12:49, when he stole the puck just inside the Norfolk blue line. He skated two strides and fired a low slap shot that sailed past Andersen.
Norfolk then rattled off three goals in succession in the third period to put the game away. Maroon’s 15th of the season came when his bad-angle shot deflected off of Sabourin’s stick and between the goaltender’s skates at 6:33.
Josh Brittain made it 4-1 with another power-play goal. His wrist shot from the right circle connected into the upper left corner through a screen, after receiving a cross-ice pass from Maroon.
John Mitchell then rounded out the scoring, depositing the rebound of a shot from John Kurtz with 3:10 left to play.
Sabourin fell to 8-9-3 with 27 saves in the game on 32 shots. Andersen improved to 14-11-1 with the win. The BEARS finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-7 on the penalty kill.
The HERSHEY BEARS complete the regular-season series against the Norfolk Admirals tomorrow, March 9 with a 7:15 PM faceoff. The team returns home on Sunday, March 10 for a 5:00 PM faceoff against the Binghamton Senators. Individual tickets are available at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR or online at TicketMaster.com.
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