Johnson, Tyler

AHL Game Night: 2-15-12 Admirals at Penguins

Statement made.

NOR-4
WBS-0

Dustin Tokarski stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout win. He also stopped a Robert Bortuzzo penalty shot in the third period to keep the bagel on his plate.

Tokarski tied his professional high of 4 shutouts and raised his season save percentage to .906 with the effort. He's 4-1-0 so far this month with 2 shutouts, a 1.60 GAA, and a .938 save percentage. The young man's known for being clutch, and now that the stretch run is starting, it appears Tic Time is, too.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Smith, (20) (Gudas), 0:59 (SH)
NOR Palat, (4) (Cote, Johnson), 17:51

Third Period
NOR Labrie, (11) (Panik, Palat), 12:57
NOR Johnson, (17) (Barberio, Kostka), 14:38 (PP)

Tokarski, Ondrej Palat, and Trevor Smith were the game's three stars.

Carter Ashton was stopped by Scott Munroe on a penalty shot of his own in the second period.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie extended his point streak to 6 games, with 4 goals and 7 points over that span. "Nacho" bested his pro career high of 26 points, set last season, with his 27th point on the goal.

With his 1 goal and 1 assist night, Tyler Johnson very quietly moved within 1 goal and 1 point of catching fellow rookie Ashton in those statistical categories. Perhaps Bolt Prospects co-founder Tim Bennett is right that TJ's being unfairly lost in the shuffle this season.

Panik attack, y'all.

Norfolk outshot Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 33-24 in the contest.

I want you all to take in the full scope of what the Admirals accomplished tonight. With a tie for first in the East Division on the line, they went into the Penguins' barn and didn't just beat them. No, they humiliated them. They beat them up (35 minutes in penalties for the Ads including 3 fighting majors and 6 roughing minors). They shut them down. They lit them up. There's no silver linings for the Penguins in this game, other than the fact that their 1 game in hand on Norfolk still allows them to be listed as the division leader in the standings.

Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton are tied at 65 points atop the East Division, each 5 points back of conference leading St. John's. Hershey lurks just 1 point back of the Ads and Pens. Norfolk's 31 wins are third in the AHL behind only Oklahoma City and St. John's, which both have 32. Norfolk returns home on Friday to face Syracuse for a 2 game set. The Crunch are 2 games under .500 and a very distant 4th in the East Division standings.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-11-12 Phantoms at Admirals

Laying the smacketh down.

ADK-3
NOR-7

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 25 shots but got a wee bit more goal support than last night to carry him to his 21st win of the year. That matches Tic's win total from all of last season and he now will zero in on his career mark of 27 wins set in his rookie campaign as his next milestone to beat.

First Period
NOR Panik, (11) (Palat, Johnson), 2:48
NOR Kostka, (7) (Barberio, Palat), 4:36 (PP)
NOR Conacher, (26) (Barberio, Panik), 5:07 (PP)
NOR Conacher, (27) (Smith, Johnson), 8:20 (PP)

Second Period
ADK Brown, (6) (Klotz, Kessel), 4:23

Third Period
NOR Angelidis, (11) (Picard, Cote), 3:31
ADK Kalinski, (9) (Manning, Akeson), 4:02
NOR Smith, (19) (Labrie, Ashton), 13:23
ADK Manning, (3) (Kessel, Holmstrom), 14:38 (PP)
NOR Johnson, (16) (Fornataro, Devos), 17:36

Cory Conacher, Mark Barberio, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars.

Phantoms d-man Cullen Eddy messed with the bull and got the horns, earning a game misconduct for elbowing rookie phenom Conacher. The Ads proceeded to score 3 power play goals on the subsequent 5 minute major, including 2 by Conacher himself.

Conacher did not manage a hat trick, but, by virtue of an assist added on Conacher's first goal, Richard Panik posted a first period Gordie Howe hat trick for the opening goal, a power play assist, and then a fight with ex-Admiral Dan Jancevski. When Panik attacks, Adirondack trembles.

Barberio crossed the 40 point threshold with his 2 power play helpers tonight. He's now at 41 points in 48 games, pushing him 2 points ahead of Brian Connelly of Abbotsford for the lead amongst d-men. For his part, Mike Kostka has quietly pushed up into a tie for 11th amongst d-men in scoring with 27 points in 45 games.

Norfolk picks up 1 point on Hershey, which fell in a shootout tonight, and keeps pace with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. So, the Ads are 1 point back of the Bears and 4 points back of the Pens in the division. Both the Bears and Pens hold a game in hand on Norfolk. Norfolk heads to Charlotte tomorrow to face the Midwest Division (don't ask) leading Checkers.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1-28-12 Bears at Admirals

Holtby'ed again.

HER-3
NOR-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 22 shots for the loss.

First Period
HER Potulny, (14) (Bourque, Aucoin), 3:56 (PP)
NOR Johnson, (15) (Panik, Conacher), 8:46 (PP)

Second Period
HER Potulny, (15) (Bourque, Aucoin), 18:44 (PP)
NOR Conacher, (25) (Johnson, Dimmen), 18:59

Third Period
HER Hanson, (9) (Ford), 1:14

Cory Conacher and Tyler Johnson were the game's second and third stars.

Norfolk outshot Hershey 40-22, but as has been the case seemingly about a half dozen times over the years, just when the Ads look ready to make their move and establish themselves as the better team, Holtby or one of the other Caps prospect goaltenders stands on their heads. Holding that team, as explosive as it is, to 22 shots is unheard of. To play that well and still lose hurts badly.

And the Panik attack continues. In the last 16 games, Richard Panik has 6 goals and 13 points and he's now riding a 5 game point streak. It's not quite as impressive as Carter Ashton's ridiculous 11 goals and 17 points in the first 16 games this year, but it's in the ballpark (upper deck, perhaps, but in the ballpark).

Monday night is the AHL All-Star Game and the Admirals will return to action next Friday against Adirondack. Fortunately, the Penguins got spanked by Binghamton, so they pull into the break just 3 points back in the division despite the loss to the Bears.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-30-11 Sound Tigers at Admirals

Norfolk holds on by their fingernails for the sweep.

BRI-2
NOR-3

Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 29 shots for the victory.

First Period
NOR Conacher, (19) (Barberio, Dimmen), 2:30
NOR Fornataro, (3) (Kostka, Smith), 11:34 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Johnson, (13) (Barberio, Conacher), 16:55 (PP)

Third Period
BRI Cizikas, (6) (de Haan, Wishart), 11:11 (PP)
BRI Romano, (2) (Ness, Reese), 12:48 (PP)

Cory Conacher and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and third stars.

Bridgeport probably deserved better than they got in this two game set against the Ads. They outshot Norfolk by a decent margin in both games and, in the end, found themselves done in only by good goaltending and timely special teams goals by the Ads. Tonight's back breaker was TJ's second period PP marker, which held up as the winner. As I've said many times, a 3 goal lead is the magic number going into a third period. Three goal leads are practically insurmountable in pro hockey, even if you get thoroughly outshot like Norfolk did tonight (16-6 in the third).

Norfolk draws Hershey in yet another key divisional battle tomorrow. A regulation win will put the Admirals back on top in the division.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 12-17-11 Admirals at Penguins

Norfolk's biggest win of the season thus far.

NOR-5
WBS-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the win. He snaps a brief 2 game personal skid in a spot where his club absolutely needed a win.

First Period
NOR Fornataro, (2) (Smith, Devos), 0:53 (PP)
NOR Ashton, (14) (Gudas, Jackson), 4:32
WBS Street, (10) (Henningson, Merth), 10:41

Second Period
WBS Lerg, (11) (Walker, McDonald), 1:42
NOR Johnson, (11) (Cote, Tokarski), 7:06
NOR Conacher, (18) (Smith, Jackson), 13:31
NOR Ouellet, (7) (Ashton, Angelidis), 19:40

Third Period
NO SCORING

Carter Ashton, Tyler Johnson, and Scott Jackson were the game's three stars.

For Norfolk, this was a huge game. They did not want to go into Hershey tomorrow trying to stave off the divisional sweep. That's a bad spot to be in on your 3rd game in 3 nights in one of the toughest buildings in the league to earn points in. They absolutely needed tonight's win to keep contact in the divisional hunt, and if they can steal a win from the Bears tomorrow, well that's just a bonus present in this holiday season. With the win, Norfolk is 2 points back of the Bears and Pens for the top spot in the East Division.

Carter Ashton (pictured) played well last night, but was Holtby'ed off the scoresheet on more than one occasion. He's starting to get active again, and that bodes well. Meanwhile, Johnson has 5 goals and 7 points in his last 8 games. That leads to an interesting question. Nate Thompson went out early in tonight's Lightning game and speculation is a forward may be recalled at some point. Is it Ashton? Is it Johnson? Trevor Smith?

Norfolk draws Hershey tomorrow at 5 pm. My guess is that Oberg rides the shuttle back for that game. When that game is over, the Admirals are off until 12/28. So, anyone's fair game for a call up from a manpower standpoint. The Lightning don't play again until Wednesday, when they start a 2 game swing through San Jose and Colorado. The question then is whether Matt Gilroy and/or Nate Thompson will be healthy, and whether Oberg and/or a forward will need to make the trip with the team and possible spend Christmas in Tampa.

No pressure, kids, but I suspect there will be some Tampa execs with eyes on the Hershey game.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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