Skille, Dowell Get First Pro Points
|NORFOLK (6) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHANTOMS (2)|
NORFOLK - Martin St. Pierre had a three-point night and newcomers Jake Dowell and Jack Skille both picked up their first pro points as the Norfolk Admirals (47-18-6-1) hit the century mark in points in a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms (28-36-2-6) on Wednesday night at Norfolk Scope.
Troy Brouwer opened scoring with his 40th goal of the season on the power play. St. Pierre and David Bolland set up Brouwer with a tic-tac-toe passing play that ended with the puck behind Philadelphia goaltender Scott Munroe at 3:01 of the first period.
The Phantoms responded under two minutes later. Boyd Kane chipped a one-timer from the slot past Norfolk netminder Corey Crawford at 4:45. The teams skated to the locker room deadlocked at 1-1 after 20 minutes.
Veteran blueliner John Slaney gave Philadelphia the lead 8:59 into the second stanza with a slap shot from the point on the power play. The lead was short-lived, as the Admirals answered with another power play marker of their own just over two minutes later. Pierre Parenteau slid a cross-ice pass to St. Pierre at the right circle, and St. Pierre shot the puck past a sliding Munroe at 11:25.
Kris Versteeg gave the Admirals a 3-2 lead with under five minutes to play in the middle period. Skille sent a slap shot from the right faceoff dot that hit Munroe and bounced back to Versteeg at the left circle. Versteeg skated past a sliding defender and buried the puck top shelf at 16:30. Norfolk led 3-2 after two periods.
Dowell picked up his first pro goal to increase the lead to two goals. Craig MacDonald sent a shot on net from the bottom of the left circle. Munro got a piece of the shot, but the puck trickled behind him toward the opposite post. Dowell batted it past Munroe at 6:16.
Norfolk closed out scoring with two more power play markers in the final five minutes of the game. Dustin Byfuglien sent a wrister from the high slot through traffic and past Munroe at 15:29 on a four-on-three power play. Mike Jarmuth scored his second Admirals' goal of the season with a slap shot on a five-on-three power play at 19:10 to close out scoring at 6-2 in favor of Norfolk.
Crawford (20 shots, 18 saves) earned his AHL-leading 35th victory of the season. Munroe (37 shots, 31 saves) received the loss.
Norfolk's four power play goals (4-6) were the most since their home opener on October 13. Philadelphia was 1-6 with the man advantage.
With 101 points, the Admirals now lead the East Division by one point over the Hershey Bears, who did not play this evening. Norfolk also leads Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by three points, as the Penguins defeated the Binghamton Senators tonight in Pennsylvania. Hershey has two games in hand on the Admirals while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has played one fewer game than the Norfolk.