By Brian Ring

Norfolk, VA, January 14, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated by the Norfolk Admirals, 4-2, Saturday night at the Norfolk Scope before a crowd of 7,227. Richard Panik scored twice and Matt Fornataro tallied the game-winner for Norfolk, while Aaron Voros and Kelsey Tessier accounted for the pair of Whale goals.

CT WhaleThe loss extended the Whale’s current skid to six-straight games (0-4-1-1).

“A coverage mistake, a turnover where we didn’t support anyone on the rink, all leaving the zone,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander of breakdowns that cost the Whale. “Some big penalties to some key people really took the flow out of things.”

Panik accounted for the only scoring of the first period, as he received a pass from Evan Oberg in the high slot and fired a shot past sprawling Whale goaltender Cam Talbot (34 saves) 13:45 into the frame. Tyler Johnson also picked up an assist on the score.

Panik would score again to increase the Admirals’ lead to 2-0 10:20 into the second period, scoring in similar fashion as he wristed a shot past Talbot for his eighth of the season.

The Whale would break through on Tessier’s seventh goal of the year with 4:28 left in the second period, his shot deflecting off of a Norfolk defender and past Admirals’ goaltender Dustin Tokarski (24 saves). The goal was assisted by defenseman Sam Klassen, for his first AHL point.

Voros evened the game at two apiece 49 seconds later at 16:21, with his second tally in as many nights versus Norfolk. Sean Avery won a clean draw to Voros, who promptly wristed it through Tokarski for the equalizer.

Fornataro would give the Admirals a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish 4:14 into the third period, his shot beating Talbot with the game-winning assists going to Mike Kostka and Cory Conacher.

The Admirals would seal their triumph with 2:39 remaining in the third period, as Mike Angelidis tallied his seventh of the season to put Norfolk up 4-2. Mark Barberio recorded the lone assist, his third in two games against the Whale.

“We’ll get a little bit of rest for our guys that logged big minutes, and then hopefully Tuesday prepare for a big game in Portland,” said Gernander.

Connecticut will head to Portland for the second time this season to take on the Pirates Wednesday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center (6:30).

The Whale will return home Friday, Jan. 20, when they host the St. John’s IceCaps at the XL Center.

Tickets to the January 20 game, the January 21 CWHL double-header vs. Norfolk, Trading Card Weekend and CT Hockey Hall of Fame Night, and all 2011-12 Whale home games, are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, as well as on-line at and through TicketMaster Charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000.

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Connecticut Whale 2 at Norfolk Admirals 4
Saturday, January 14, 2012 – Norfolk Scope

Connecticut 0 2 0 – 2
Norfolk 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Norfolk, Panik 7 (Oberg, Johnson), 13:45. Penalties-Newbury Ct (holding), 8:08; Avery Ct (slashing), 12:14; Picard Nor (roughing), 12:14; Kostka Nor (interference), 18:52.

2nd Period-2, Norfolk, Panik 8   10:20. 3, Connecticut, Tessier 7 (Klassen), 15:32. 4, Connecticut, Voros 4 (Avery), 16:21. Penalties-Oberg Nor (hooking), 3:59; Klassen Ct (interference), 7:58; Avery Ct (misconduct – abuse of officials), 16:28; Christensen Ct (high-sticking), 19:14; Parlett Ct (fighting), 19:14; Ashton Nor (fighting), 19:14.

3rd Period-5, Norfolk, Fornataro 5 (Kostka, Conacher), 4:14. 6, Norfolk, Angelidis 7 (Picard), 17:21. Penalties-Newbury Ct (game misconduct – abuse of officials), 9:13; Nightingale Ct (roughing), 13:09; Voros Ct (roughing), 13:09; Conacher Nor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:09; Oberg Nor (hooking), 18:46; Bouchard Ct (boarding), 19:52.

Shots on Goal-Connecticut 12-9-5-26. Norfolk 15-12-11-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 3; Norfolk 0 / 4.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 9-9-0 (38 shots-34 saves). Norfolk, Tokarski 16-9-0 (26 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Graham Skilliter (48).
Linesmen-Brian Oliver (80), Scott Pomento (25).

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