Big trouble in Norfolk.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 16 shots before leaving the game with an injury. With Cedrick Desjardins likely shelved for the rest of the season, any kind of injury to Tic is a big, big problem. The early indication is that Tokarski had his chin sliced open with a skate blade. So, you'd think he should be back, but considerably more ugly, for the road trip.
Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 14 shots for the hard luck loss. It was, by far and away, Janus' best performance of the season, and he may inherit the starter's job if Tokarski is out for any length of time.
HER Greentree, (29) (McNeill, Fahey), 0:59
NOR Ritola, (5) (Pouliot, Barberio), 3:56
NOR Pouliot, (22) (Jones, Ritola), 6:09 (PP)
NOR Pouliot, (23) (Ritola, Milam), 18:53 (PP)
NOR Durno, (19) , 19:17
HER Bouchard, (12) (Souray), 2:33
HER Greentree, (30) (Aucoin, McNeill), 3:08 (PP)
HER McNeill, (7) (Perreault), 6:12
HER Gordon, (26) (Aucoin, Fahey), 17:34
Marc-Antoine Pouliot was the game's second star.
Mattias Ritola has 19 points in 12 AHL games this season. Classic case of being too good for the AHL but not quite good enough to stick in the NHL?
Radko Gudas is -9 since the calendar turned to 2011 and he has plummeted from a +20 rating to a +11 rating in a little over 3 months. With an assist tonight, the Lightning's other gifted young defenseman, Mark Barberio now has 28 points and is just 2 shy of the 30 point plateau.
Norfolk finishes their season 19-11-10 at home. There have 5 games remaining in the regular season, and all will be on the road.
Norfolk remains in 4th place in the East Division by 1 point thanks to a loss by Binghamton. The Ads still hold 1 game in hand on the Senators. Unfortunately, 3rd place Charlotte won to take a 5 point lead over the Admrials with Norfolk holding 2 games in hand. It's not impossible for Norfolk to catch the Checkers, but they have to win their next game in Charlotte to have any kind of legitimate chance. Honestly, though, I want no part of Hershey. I'd almost rather play Wilkes/Barre-Scranton or take the crossover into the Atlantic Division and play Portland or Manchester.
Norfolk's remaining schedule: at Charlotte on Monday, at Binghamton on Wednesday, at Syracuse next Friday and Saturday, and the season finale at Connecticut next Sunday. It's a brutal stretch of 5 road games in 7 nights, with uncertainty between the pipes because of injuries.
One bit of good news, with Worcester's 4-1 loss to Providence, the gap on the 4th place team in the Atlantic remained at 6 points. The Sharks have just 4 games remaining, so any combination of Norfolk points earned and Sharks points lost equal to 3 will officially clinch a playoff spot for the Admirals. But, right now, it feels like the team is backing into the playoffs, and that's not good.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
South Carolina Stingrays 1 @ Florida Everblades 4
LW Alex Hutchings: 1-0-1, +1, 4 PIM (spearing attempt), 4 SOG
Season totals: 48 GP, 13-13-26, -9, 37 PIM
G Jaroslav Janus: Did not play (backup)
Season totals: 27 GP, 12-13-0-0, 3.06 GAA, .912 sv%, 0 SO
The â€˜Blades pulled ahead of South Carolina and Wheeling for fourth in the East after beating the Stingrays 4-1 in the first game of a three game set to finish the regular season. Itâ€™s possible these teams could play 10 games in a row as they could be meeting each other in the first round of the playoffs. South Carolina is currently in sixth, but just two points behind Florida and one behind Wheeling. All have played 70 games. Alex Hutchings scored his 13th goal of the season then ignited a brawl of sorts after the play by attempting to spear an opponent. Jarsolav Janus sat backup to Mike Zacharias (34/35) in his latest return to the ECHL from Norfolk.
The Norfolk Admirals have signed goaltender Pat Nagle to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO), Admirals General Manager Julien BriseBois announced today. In addition, the Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Admirals, have reassigned goaltender Jaroslav Janus (YAHR-oh-slahv YAHN-ihs) from the Admirals to the ECHLâ€™s Florida Everblades, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Nagle, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning last week. He played in 37 games with the Ferris State (Mich.) Bulldogs this season, posting an 18-14-5 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. He ranked fifth in NCAA Division-1 in GAA, tied for ninth for shutouts with three and tied for 10th in save percentage. Nagle also set school records for GAA and was tied for second in save percentage.
Disaster in Charlotte.
CHA Dalpe, (20) (Jordan, McNicoll), 4:30 (PP)
CHA Dalpe, (21) (Micflikier, Boychuk), 10:52
NOR Szczechura, (19) (Jones, Pouliot), 13:43
CHA Terry, (32) (Matsumoto), 16:32
CHA Pistilli, (6) (Terry, Jordan), 0:07
CHA McNicoll, (4) (Boychuk, Sanguinetti), 4:26 (PP)
CHA Nash, (14) , 9:33
CHA Boychuk, (22) (Micflikier, Dalpe), 16:35
CHA Blanchard, (7) (Sutter, Bellemore), 7:09 (SH)
NOR Angelidis, (19) (Durno, Barberio), 7:39 (PP)
Yuck. There had been some hope that since the Checkers had to travel further that they'd be the more tired of the two teams. Norfolk did outshoot Charlotte 41-23 in the contest, but it didn't matter considering 1 out of every 3 shots was going in for the Checkers. Mercy. The silver lining is that Paul Szczechura and Mike Angelidis each got their 19th goals of the season, putting them 1 shy of the magic 20 goal mark.
Norfolk's fortunes in the standings took a beating tonight, too. 3rd place Charlotte moved 3 points ahead with the Admirals still owning 3 games in hand. 2nd place Hershey lost in overtime to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton so they gained a point and are now 6 points up on the Admirals with Norfolk holding 3 games in hand. But, now Norfolk is receiving pressure from behind them. Binghamton won today, moving them to within 1 point of Norfolk with the Admirals still holding 2 games in hand. Heck, even Worcester won in the crossover.
With 8 regular season games to go, a lot of positive scenarios are still open for Norfolk to achieve, but unfortunately some of the disappointing ones are still on the table, too. Norfolk has a brutal schedule next week, although all three games are at least at home: the Penguins on Wednesday and the Bears on Friday and Saturday. And then, the final week of the season will be a grueling 5 game road trip over 7 nights in Charlotte, Binghamton, a 2 game set in Syracuse, and a season capping matchup in Connecticut against the Whale. It may be a good thing that Norfolk has an 8 point lead in the crossover, after all.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Wheeling Nailers 3 @ Florida Everblades 1
LW Alex Hutchings: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 45 GP, 11-13-24, -9, 33 PIM
Bobby Goepfert stopped 23 of 26 shots to take the loss for Florida Wednesday in the first game of a three game set with Wheeling. Alex Hutchings did not register a shot for the second straight game. With five games left, Florida (74 points) is one point behind South Carolina for fourth in the East with a game in hand, but just one point up on Wheeling and Elmira, who are tied for sixth. Cincinnati is in eighth with 72 points. The â€˜Blades put some distance between them and ninth-place Gwinnett (67 points) with a three game road sweep last weekend. Goaltender Jaroslav Janus is currently with AHL Norfolk.