Home sweet home.
Marc Denis stopped 42 of 44 shots faced for the win, and is playing really well of late.
NOR Segal, (6) (Kearns, Smolenak), 6:17
NOR Henrich, (11) (Wanvig, Keller), 13:11 (PP)
NOR Jones, (13) , 4:37
PHI Matsumoto, (17) (Laliberte, Gauthier), 8:23 (PP)
NOR Smolenak, (10) (Jones, Scalzo), 3:18 (PP)
PHI Laliberte, (3) (Matsumoto, Powe), 14:34
Tonight was the Ads' first game back at The Scope after the annual marathon known as the circus road trip. The road trip was modestly successful, considering the team lost 2/3 of its top line to a call up and an injury. Still, there's no doubt that the Admirals are a much better team at home and the team put a really good first period together tonight to jump out to a 2-0 lead and Denis helped make it stick. Denis pulled his save percentage for the AHL season up above .900 tonight, which is a welcome sign.
A night like tonight also gives you a lot of hope that the youngsters on this team are starting to get it. Jones and Smolenak each chipped in 1 goal and 1 assist, Adam Henrich potted a goal, and Justin Keller added a helper. With Junior Lessard in Tampa and Paul Szczechura on the shelf injured it would be easy for the Ads to pack it in right now. But, the kids are stepping up a little here and taking more reponsibility on their shoulders. Good.
Don't look now, but Vladimir Mihalik is sitting on a +7 rating, which is somewhat phenomenal for a guy who plays 20 minutes a night on a team that's 11 games under .500 and has been outscored by 38 goals this season. This young man is going to be a beast in two or three years.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Another tough late loss.
Philadelphia 18:06, Jeff Carter 25 (Sami Kapanen, Kimmo Timonen)
Jussi Jokinen had 1 goal and 1 assist in the game and Michel Ouellet continued his streak of good production of late with a goal. That's the good news. If the Lightning can get that one more bluechip offensive player (Stamkos please), these complimentary pieces are looking like they might be ready to step up and chip in offensively.
BCHL Coastal Conference, First Round
Game 5: No.5 Victoria Grizzlies 3 @ No.4 Burnaby Express 2 (OT)
Victoria wins Best of 5 Series 3-2
W Justin Courtnall, VIC:
Game: 0-0-0, 0 PIM
Series: 5 GP, 2-0-2, 4 PIM
Victoria's Jonathan Millhouse scored on a wrist shot at 2:44 of overtime to give the Grizzlies a first round series win over the higher seeded Burnaby Express. Victoria will open their conference semi-final matchup against the second-seeded Langley Chiefs on Friday. In the other Coastal Conference first round matchup, sixth ranked Powell River, fresh off a first round upset of Surrey, will play top seeded Nanaimo.
After battling a knee sprain and a tandem goaltender on a hot streak, Helenius made his first start since February 20 and earned a win for Seattle. Seattle sits in fourth in the Western Conference, four points ahead of Everett and five ahead of Kelowna. Tyrell and PG have long been out of the running for a playoff spot. Tyrell has just two assists in his last five games.
Vancouver Giants 4 @ Kelowna Rockets 1
G Torrie Jung, KEL: Did not play
Vancouver outshot Kelowna 35-17 in the game. Jung has not started a game since February 23 and has not won a start since January 30. Kelowna is currently in sixth in the Western Conference with a secured playoff spot. They could move up as high as fourth with a strong finish, but will more likely be the fifth or sixth seed.
The WHL regular season ends March 16.