Norfolk Admirals

AHL Game Night: 2-12-12 Admirals at Checkers

3 games. 3 nights. 3 wins.

NOR-3
CHA-1

Jaroslav Janus was fantastic, stopping 33 of 34 en route to the victory. He held the door closed in a first period where Norfolk was outshot 17-8 and really gave his club the chance to win tonight. That's what you need from your goalie on the 3rd game in 3 nights.

First Period
NOR Oberg, (4) (Ashton, Picard), 19:01

Second Period
NOR Conacher, (28) (Smith), 18:07

Third Period
CHA Sanguinetti, (6) (Boychuk, Muse), 18:17 (PP)
NOR Labrie, (10) (Cote), 18:57 (EN)

Norfolk's win coupled with Hershey's win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton today tightens up the East Division race to a log jam of 3 teams within 2 points of first place with Hershey 1 point back of the Pens and the Ads 2 points behind the Pens. Norfolk can forge a tie for the division lead on Wednesday night when they travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Big game.

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: 2-10-12 Phantoms at Admirals

Spoon!

ADK-0
NOR-2

Dustin Tokarski stopped all 17 shots he faced to post his 20th victory of the season.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Devos, (4) (Conacher, Oberg), 3:35

Third Period
NOR Labrie, (9) (Conacher, Kostka), 18:38 (EN)

Tokarski and Philip-Michael Devos were the game's first and third stars.

Norfolk outshot Adirondack 28-17 in the game.

The Admirals gained 2 points on idle Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to pull within 4 points of first in the division, and they keep pace with Hershey 2 points back for second place in the East Division. Norfolk and Adirondack rematch on Saturday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Oberg Heading Back to Norfolk

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned defenseman Evan Oberg to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. He was recalled yesterday prior to the Lightning’s game against the Los Angeles Kings and was a healthy scratch.

Oberg, 6-foot, 191 pounds, was acquired by the Lightning with Mike Kostka from the Florida Panthers on December 2 in exchange for James Wright and Mike Vernace. He made his Lightning debut on January 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oberg has played in 28 AHL games this season with Norfolk and the San Antonio Rampage, recording three goals and 12 points with a plus-4 rating. He has played in 16 games with the Admirals, notching three goals and 10 points with a plus-6. Oberg has played in 145 career AHL games with the Admirals, Rampage, Rochester Americans and Manitoba Moose. He has also skated in five career Calder Cup Playoff games, all with Manitoba during the 2009-10 season.

A native of Forestburg, Alberta, Oberg has played in five career NHL games with Tampa Bay and the Vancouver Canucks. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Vancouver on April 10, 2009. Oberg was then acquired by Florida with the Canucks’ third-round choice in 2013 in exchange for Chris Higgins on February 28, 2011. Before joining the professional ranks he played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
--Tampa Bay Lightning release

Welcome Back, Evan Oberg

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled defenseman Evan Oberg from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Oberg, 6-foot, 191 pounds, was acquired by the Lightning with Mike Kostka from the Florida Panthers on December 2 in exchange for James Wright and Mike Vernace. He made his Lightning debut on January 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oberg has played in 28 AHL games this season with Norfolk and the San Antonio Rampage, recording three goals and 12 points with a plus-4 rating. He has played in 16 games with the Admirals, notching three goals and 10 points with a plus-6. Oberg has played in 145 career AHL games with the Admirals, Rampage, Rochester Americans and Manitoba Moose. He has also skated in five career Calder Cup Playoff games, all with Manitoba during the 2009-10 season.

A native of Forestburg, Alberta, Oberg has played in five career NHL games with Tampa Bay and the Vancouver Canucks. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Vancouver on April 10, 2009. Oberg was then acquired by Florida with the Canucks’ third-round choice in 2013 in exchange for Chris Higgins on February 28, 2011. Before joining the professional ranks he played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

AHL Game Day: 2-5-12 Admirals at Falcons

It's so hard to beat the same team twice in two days, and even harder when you whip them in the first game, for whatever reason.

NOR-2
SPR-4

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 31 shots for the loss.

First Period
SPR Calvert, (10) (Atkinson, Regner), 9:52 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Labrie, (8) (Smith, Barberio), 14:40
NOR Ouellet, (10) (Kostka, Oberg), 18:44 (PP)

Third Period
SPR Cullity, (1) (Calvert, Amadio), 11:29
SPR Mayorov, (5) (Joudrey, Regner), 11:59
SPR St. Pierre, (9) (Giroux), 15:16

Allowing 3 goals in the final frame to lose the game leads one to believe the Admirals ran out of gas playing their third game in less than 72 hours. And, again, it proves what an old wise man once told me: it's so damned hard to beat the same team twice in two days. And the caveat I've learned over the years is, it's even harder when you win big in the first game because mentally you lose the edge and the urgency and mentally they're going out with more edge and more determination not to get embarrassed again.

Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton played a 3 point game today, so the loss to Springfield hurts that extra little bit. The Ads are now 6 points back of the Pens for the division lead and 2 points back of the Bears for second place.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-4-12 Admirals at Falcons

This is not the team to tangle with when they're grumpy after a loss.

NOR-6
SPR-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory.

First Period
NOR Oberg, (3) (Labrie, Smith), 0:37
NOR Panik, (10) (Labrie), 15:11

Second Period
SPR Calvert, (9) (Atkinson), 5:27
NOR Smith, (17) (Oberg, Conacher), 5:45
NOR Smith, (18) , 11:42
NOR Barberio, (6) (Smith, Kostka), 17:30 (PP)
NOR Dimmen, (2) (Oberg, Devos), 19:17 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Trevor Smith, Evan Oberg, and the legend that is Pierre-Cedric Labrie were the game's three stars.

What I think Trevor Smith's short callup to the Lightning proved is that he absolutely is an NHLer. He looked ready to me, and, I really believe a night like tonight when he goes for 2-2-4 and is +4 is one of those signals that he's started to outgrow the AHL and he's ready for the show. He's 6th in the AHL in scoring right now, just 2 points back of Conacher for the Norfolk team lead in scoring. It's really an embarrassment of riches when some of your AHL-level guys like Wyman, Smith, and Labrie who aren't your key prospects start beating down the door to get to the NHL. I don't know if the Lightning can pull off the miracle comeback to get into the playoffs, but I do honestly believe that the way Norfolk's playing, it portends that the Lightning are going to be very strong next year as guys start to make it to the NHL and propel the club into the future. Whereas the team had little depth for many years, the depth now is getting obscenely good.

Panik attack, y'all.

Norfolk rematches Springfield tomorrow afternoon. All the disclaimers about how difficult it is to beat the same team back-to-back after you paste them in the first game apply.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-3-12 Admirals at Phantoms

It's a rare game where the Admirals were clearly outplayed.

NOR-1
ADK-3

Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 34 shots in the loss and also stopped a penalty shot.

First Period
ADK McGinn, (6) (Akeson, Roe), 12:27

Second Period
ADK Ford, (11) (Holmstrom, Hamel), 0:20
NOR Ashton, (18) (Johnson, Conacher), 9:58
ADK McGinn, (7) (Akeson, Roe), 17:42

Third Period
NO SCORING

It's probably safe to say this is partly an All-Star Break hangover. Norfolk was outshot 34-28 by an Adirondack team that came into the night with a very ordinary .500 record. Unfortunately, the loss drops Norfolk into third in their division, 5 points back of the leading Penguins. They get Springfield tomorrow night.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Lightning Prospect and Minor Pro Stats - January

Bolt Prospects lays out the organizational statistics for the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospects and minor pro players through January 31.

To view the stat table, see our post on ESPNFlorida.com by clicking here.

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.

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