Norfolk Admirals

AHL Game Night: 2-29-12

Jaroslav the Bear Slayer!

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Jaroslav Janus stopped 26 of 27 for the victory, raising his season record against the Hershey Bears to 4-0-1. Janus also raised his season save percentage to .900 in the game, capping a stellar February where he was 4-1-0 with a 1.98 GAA and a .932 save percentage.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Conacher, (30) (Johnson, Barberio), 6:20 (PP)

Third Period
HER Kane, (15) (Eakin, Bourque), 12:56 (PP)
NOR Palat, (5) (Johnson), 14:39

Janus and Ondrej Palat were the game's first and second stars.

Cory Conacher, who may get a Lightning contract as early as tomorrow, notched his 30th goal of his rookie campaign. He's 10 back of the Admirals record, stalking Troy Brouwer.

Yet another 2 point game for Tyler Johnson. Ho hum.

Your Cooper/Flanagan 2012 update: Coach Cooper ran the Admirals' franchise record winning streak to 10 games. Norfolk stretched their division lead to 6 points over the idle Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and they've buried the Bears 10 points back in third place now. They've also built a nice 4 point cushion on St. John's for tops in the Eastern Conference, although St. John's holds 4 games in hand. Friday and Saturday hold a 2 game set for the Admirals against the middling Springfield Falcons.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Tampa Acquires Keith Aulie from Leafs

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Keith Aulie from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Carter Ashton, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Aulie, 6-foot-6, 217 pounds, has played in 17 games with the Maple Leafs this season, collecting two assists and 16 penalty minutes. He’s also skated in 23 games with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, recording one assist and 30 penalty minutes.

The Regina, Saskatchewan native has played in 57 career NHL games, recording two goals and four points to go along with 48 penalty minutes. Aulie scored his first career NHL goal last season on March 8 against the NY Islanders.

The 22 year-old has skated in 107 career AHL games with the Marlies and Abbotsford Heat, posting five goals and 16 points. He represented the Marlies at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic in Hershey, PA last season.

He was originally selected by the Calgary Flames at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in the fourth round, 116th overall.

AHL Game Day: 2-26-12 Admirals at Penguins

Coach Cooper sets the Admirals record with the team's 9th straight win.

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Dustin Tokarski stopped 28 of 30 for his 25th win of the season. He moves one ahead of Ben Bishop, who was traded to the Senators organization today, into the top spot in the AHL in wins, and he has to be the odds on favorite to lead the AHL at season's end after the trade. Even if the Sens leave Bishop in Bingo, Binghamton is dead last in the East Division, so he won't have a very good team in front of him. Tokarski has a 4 win advantage on the next closest goaltenders beyond Bishop. So, it's really his to lose. He's now 7-1-0 in February with 2 shutouts, a 2.00 GAA, and a .926 save percentage, so he certainly should be in line for some award consideration come March 1st, too.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
WBS Street, (18) (Grant, Mormina), 12:27 (PP)
NOR Barberio, (9) (Johnson, Segal), 17:02 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Cote, (1) (Johnson), 4:44
WBS Picard, (4) (Craig, Gibbons), 9:50
NOR Ashton, (19) (Dimmen, Conacher), 17:56 (PP)

Carter Ashton and Jean-Philippe Cote were the game's first and third stars. Alexandre Picard was the game's second star, but it was their Alexandre Picard, the former Lightning defenseman, and not the current Lightning farmhand. Ashton snapped a 9-game goalless streak with the tally, and he's now 1 shy of the 20-goal plateau in his rookie campaign.

With 2 assists today, Tyler Johnson continued his hot February. He's got 3 goals and 11 points in his last 8 games, and he's actually 3 points ahead of Ashton for second among Norfolk rookies behind the uncatchable Cory Conacher.

Glad to see Richard Panik not miss any time after the dirtiness in Hershey yesterday. As I said, that will get cleaned up on Wednesday, I'm sure.

Let me be the first to pronounce Bolt Prospects as the official campaign headquarters for Jon Cooper's (pictured with the Godfather of Lightning hockey) bid for AHL Coach of the Year. 9 straight wins snaps the previous franchise record for the Admirals, and when you consider there's 4 Admirals regulars with Tampa Bay right now due to injuries and trades, you realize how amazing a coaching job he's been doing. The other thing you really have to commend is how he's blended so many rookies into the winning formula. Jeff Dimmen, Ondrej Palat, Panik, Ashton, Johnson, and Conacher: that's 6 rookies he's coached up and worked into the rotation of a team that now is tied for tops in the entire AHL in points. And they're not the only rookies who have contributed. Philip-Michael Devos has also been a regular in this lineup, as well. It's been a remarkable job so far, and Julien BriseBois and Steve Yzerman have every right to break their arms slapping each other on the back for that hire. He's been damned good.

Norfolk now holds a 4 point lead on the Penguins for 1st place in the East Division and an 8 point lead on 3rd place Hershey, with the Bears holding a game in hand. They've also moved into 1st in the Eastern Conference by 2 points over St. John's, although the Ice Caps have a formidable 4 games in hand. For the moment, though, the Admirals are tied for tops in the AHL in points, and are tops in wins, goals, and goal differential (+47!).

Wednesday, they'll have the opportunity to put Hershey firmly behind the 8-ball with a 4-point game at Scope that could allow the Admirals to bury their arch-rivals in a 10-point hole that will be very difficult for Hershey to climb out of. The rest of the week holds a 2-game set on Friday and Saturday against a very mediocre Springfield Falcons team. So, Norfolk's got a big-time opportunity to keep the momentum rolling and really extend their lead in the East Division and start to set their sites higher on being the best team in the Eastern Conference and even the entire AHL. It's really, really exciting times.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-25-12 Admirals at Bears

The Admirals tie a winning streak record from the heady days of Head Coach Jim Johnson. 8 straight wins for Norfolk, even as the Lightning call up several of their players.

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Jaroslav Janus stopped 25 of 28 shots he faced for the victory. From the, "no way that can be right," file: Janus (pictured) is 3-0-1 against Hershey this season. Bear in mind Hershey is the second highest scoring team in the AHL behind just Norfolk. And, yet, they tremble before the might and power of Jaroslav Janus between the pipes.

First Period
NOR Barberio, (8) (Dimmen, Conacher), 2:21
NOR Ouellet, (11) (Picard, Kostka), 15:58 (PP)
HER Pope, (5) (Mink, Carman), 17:07

Second Period
HER Bourque, (25) (Eakin, Mink), 0:16 (PP)
NOR Segal, (15) (Ouellet, Picard), 1:29
HER Greentree, (4) (Potulny, Bourque), 13:19 (PP)
NOR Segal, (16) (Barberio, Panik), 16:35 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Brandon Segal and Mark Barberio were the game's first and second stars. Hershey did a good job tying the game at 2-2 and 3-3, but in the end, Segal made sure they were Marked for Death.

After assisting on Segal's game winning goal, prospect Richard Panik took a rather nasty slash to the leg by Kyle Greentree that sent him to the dressing room. Panik attacked, y'all? Expect that issue to be cleaned up Wednesday when the Ads play the Bears for the last time this season.

Defenseman Evan Oberg was a healthy scratch and may be on his way to join the Lightning after Victor Hedman's injury earlier this afternoon. One thing we know, this is a man who will not pull a Nikita Alexeev and miss his flight, if that's the case.

Tonight went as well as possible for the Admirals, as they not only opened up a 6 point lead on the Bears, but with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins losing to Syracuse tonight, they also have moved 2 points ahead of the Penguins to claim uncontested hold of the top spot in the division. They've also tied St. John's for the most points in the Eastern Conference, although the Ice Caps hold 3 games in hand on the Admirals.

Norfolk draws the Pens at the Mohegan Sun Slot Machine Gamble-plex tomorrow, with the opportunity to open up a 4 point lead on the Pens and an 8 point lead on the idle Bears. With a name like the Mohegan Sun Slot Machine Gamble-plex, you know the Admirals will be looking for the pay window.

Box score at TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-24-12 Admirals at Senators

Norfolk gels quickly after a slow start in come-from-behind victory.

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Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 35 shots for the win, including a penalty shot top on Andre Petterson. He didn't get a star for his efforts, but he absolutely gave his team a chance to win tonight. Tic moves to 24-11-0 on the season, tying Ben Bishop of Peoria for the league lead in wins with Bishop still in action tonight.

First Period
BNG Hoffman, (13) (Locke), 1:34
BNG Klinkhammer, (14) (Petersson, Gryba), 6:42 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Segal, (14) (Picard, Oberg), 0:15

Third Period
NOR Oberg, (5) , 6:27 (PP)
NOR Labrie, (13) (Johnson, Conacher), 19:30

Evan Oberg and Pierre-Cedric Labrie were the game's first and second stars. Oberg has 4 goals and 13 points in his last dozen games, and one can only speculate where he'd be in points had he not spent the better part of two months on a plane, waiting for a plane, or getting on and off a plane.

Veteran Brandon Segal (pictured) scored a goal in his first game back with the Admirals since his acquisition from the Blackhawks organization, once again reaffirming that Brandon Segal is Hard to Kill.

10 shots on goal tonight for Tyler Johnson. He didn't find the back of the net, but it darned sure wasn't for the lack of trying. He did get the primary assist on the game winner, though.

With the win, Norfolk moves back into a tie for the East Division lead at 71 points with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. They also hold a 4 point lead now on the third place Hershey Bears with the Pens and Bears having burned all their games in hand, at the moment.

It gets REALLY interesting now. Norfolk goes into Hershey tomorrow night with the opportunity to put the Bears 6 points back, and on Sunday night they'll have a pivotal matchup with the Penguins. Remember, Norfolk would very much prefer to win their division than face the possibility of a 4/5 matchup against the Pens or Bears in the first round. The road to the Calder Cup would be significantly easier for the Ads if they secure the first or second seed in the East.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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