Norfolk Admirals Triumph Over Mario Lemieux’s Baby Penguins

By Corine Gatti

Norfolk Triumphs Over Mario Lemieux’s Baby Penguins 3-1

Is the slumber of the lumber over? “Whether it was fatigue or staleness we got to the core, after eighty-games it’s going to happen and the best thing is to correct it quickly,” (referring to their four-game skid), said Aaron Downey. Guys out there worked as a cohesive unit and that’s more our established Admirals hockey. Friday night the lumber was awakened and a more aggressive squad stepped onto the ice Friday night against the Mario Lemieux’s team, the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton, Penguins (27-17-7-1). They are second in the Mid—Atlantic Division thus dubbing their northern rivals 3-1.”This was a must needed game for us,” Downey continued. The Penguins have a record of the best penalty kill squadron in the AHL (85.06). But Norfolk’s roster was able to tread and capitalized on opportunities on three of their power plays. “Scoring goals is the key to getting out of a slump,” said Casey Hankinson.

There were only a total of nine penalty minutes in the first round between the north and south. But, the rivalry manifested quickly and ignited both teams adrenaline. The first period took off when rookie Mark Bell (37-9-15-24) slapshot a pass from shipmates Mike Souza, and Casey Hankinson at 8:12. Despite not receiving Chicago recognition, Casey Hankinson still remains unstoppable as Norfolk’s as the team’s leader with his 23-Goals, 15- Assists. But after twenty-three transactions he remains Norfolk bound. Disappointed? “It’s not my decision and I can’t worry about it. You play your whole life to get to the top level and you put on your skate’s everyday hoping to play at that level. If I got called up earlier I might not of been this ruddy. But every day I’m here I am learning.”

The Baby Pens tied the knot at 15:53 with a wrister from Chris Kelleher. In the second stanza, veteran player Valeri Zelepukin blasted a shot past Pen trapper Joel Laing 5:49. Five- minutes later on pp Casey Hankinson shot a biscuit in the basket thus increasing the lead to 3-1. Netminder Jeff Maund out dueled his challengers for the remainder of the contest casting over 30 saves.

          1   2  3 OT

Admirals  1   x  2  x

Penguins  1   x  x  x

Referee: Ian Walsdh
Linemen: Kevin Kierst & Marty Hamlett