WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - A pair of three-point performances from Cory Conacher and Trevor Smith ushered the Norfolk Admirals to a 5-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Conacher notched two goals and an assist, while Smith posted three helpers to lead Norfolk to its fourth victory in a row over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
As they had done in recent games against the Penguins, the Admirals sprinted ahead to a big cushion in the first period. Richard Panik got the scoring started 3:25 into the match, hopping on the rebound chance from Jean-Philippe Cote's point shot and backhanding it into the top of the net.
Conacher put Norfolk up 2-0 just over a minute later as he snapped a seeing-eye wrist shot through a crowd into the left corner for his first of the evening.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was further stunned at 8:35 when Radko Gudas' floater from the point sailed over the shoulder of screened Penguins goalie Brad Thiessen.
The Penguins started to creep back into the game at 2:16 of the second after a scramble in front of the Admirals' crease. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski was able to deny Ryan Craig's bid in close, but a long rebound came out to the high slot where a trailing Nick Petersen swept it back home for his sixth of the season.
With two minutes left in the period, Gudas was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Bryan Lerg. Though Geoff Walker would also be whistled for a rough penalty, the end result would see the Penguins open the third with three minutes of power play time and a chance to pull closer.
They would be unable to get the puck by Tokarski and still trailed 3-1 before Norfolk's man-advantage put game firmly out of reach. Conacher tallied his AHL-leading 21st goal of the season during a 5-on-3 power play midway through the frame and Mike Angelidis also converted with less than a minute remaining in the contest to complete the scoring.
Thiessen finished the game with 18 saves on 23 shots. Tokarski won his fourth straight, making 20 stops.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins host the Rochester Americans on Friday, January 6 at 7:05 PM. For tickets and more information, call the Penguins at (570) 208-PENS or visit www.wbspenguins.com.