Norfolk Admirals

Barberio Named AHL's Top Defenseman

(Norfolk Admirals press release) The American Hockey League announced today that Mark Barberio of the Norfolk Admirals has been named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman for the 2011-12 season, as voted by AHL coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

Barberio leads all AHL defensemen in assists (47) and points (60) and is tied for second among blueliners with a plus-25 rating in 71 games this season, helping Norfolk to the AHL’s top-ranked offense, third-ranked defense and best overall record. Barberio, who has set a single-season franchise record for scoring by a defenseman, is also first among AHL rearguards in power-play scoring, notching 30 assists and 37 points as Norfolk ranks second in efficiency with the man advantage (21.9 percent). Voted to the Eastern Conference starting lineup for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic back in January and named a First Team AHL All-Star last week, the 22-year-old native of Montreal is the youngest winner of the Eddie Shore Award since 1981 (Craig Levie).

Barberio, a sixth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2008, established franchise records for a rookie defenseman when he totaled nine goals, 22 assists and 31 points in 68 games in 2010-11.

Barberio is the first Admiral to win the Eddie Shore Award.

Cooper is Coach of the Year

(Norfolk Admirals press release) The American Hockey League announced today that Jon Cooper of the Norfolk Admirals has been named the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for the 2011-12 season, as voted by coaches and members of the media in each of the league’s 30 cities.

In his second season in the professional ranks, Cooper has kept his Admirals at the top of the league for much of the year, finally pulling away from the rest of the pack on the strength of a record 25-game winning streak that remains intact heading into the final week of the season. At 52-18-1-2 (107 points), the Admirals have won their first division title since 2003 and have captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the overall points champion for the first time ever. Norfolk, whose top five scorers this season include three rookies and one second-year pro, leads the AHL in offense (3.58 goals per game) and ranks third in defense (2.40 goals against per game), and under Cooper’s development watch nine Admirals were called up to play a total of 142 games with the parent Tampa Bay Lightning in the National Hockey League this season.

A 44-year-old native of Prince George, B.C., Cooper joined the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in August 2010 as head coach of their top development affiliate in Norfolk following a prolific career in the U.S. junior ranks. He won a USHL championship and was that league’s coach of the year with Green Bay in 2010, and was twice coach of the year in the NAHL with St. Louis, winning back-to-back titles there in 2007 and 2008. Cooper has also spent time behind the bench internationally for Team USA’s U-17 and U-18 teams. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Cooper played hockey and lacrosse at Hofstra University and later obtained a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Cooper becomes the second Admirals head coach to win the Louis A.R. Pieri Award. Mike Haviland also won the award during the 2006-07 season.

Aulie Joins Norfolk for Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned defenseman Keith Aulie to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Aulie, 6-foot-6, 217 pounds, appeared in 36 NHL games this season between the Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs, recording three assists and 29 penalty minutes. Aulie played in 17 games with the Maple Leafs, collecting two assists and 16 penalty minutes before being acquired by the Lightning on February 27 in exchange for Carter Ashton. Aulie then appeared in 19 games with Tampa Bay, posting one assist and 13 penalty minutes. In 76 career NHL games, Aulie has scored two goals and five points with 61 penalty minutes.

Aulie also skated in 23 games with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL this season, recording one assist and 30 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old native of Regina, Saskatchewan, 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.

Aulie was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round, 116th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by Toronto along with Fredrik Sjostrom and Dion Phaneuf from Calgary in exchange for Jamal Mayers, Niklas Hagman, Matthew Stajan and Ian White on January 31, 2010. (News Observer photo)

AHL Game Night: 4-7-12 Senators at Admirals

No one finished in close on the power play like Dave Andreychuk, and no one finishes games stronger than the Norfolk Admirals.

BNG-1
NOR-4

Dustin Tokarski allowed 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. He held the game close and gave the team in front of him plenty of time to blow the game open, finally, late in the third period.

First Period
BNG Schira, (4) (Hamilton), 13:12

Second Period
NOR Labrie, (14) (Picard), 18:27

Third Period
NOR Smith, (24) (Oberg, Segal), 17:11
NOR Johnson, (31) (Killorn, Conacher), 17:53
NOR Conacher, (35) (Killorn, Cote), 19:47 (EN)

Tokarski and Trevor Smith were the game's first and second stars.

I've never in my life seen a team that is this good late in hockey games. True, they won their fair share of games during the first half of this 25 game winning streak by blowing teams out quickly in the first period, staking themselves to 3 goal leads early. But, that hasn't happened lately. Teams go against the Admirals very prepared and very resolute to try to break the streak from the opening drop of the puck (hence the line brawl in the First Period of tonight's game). So, there's been a lot of games in the second half of the streak that get into the Third Period either tied or one goal games.

Something amazing seems to happen, though, when this team gets down into the final 10 minutes of a hockey game. I don't know if its their young legs. I don't know if it's their team speed. I don't know if it's their unflagging confidence. Whatever it is, this club buries teams late. They don't just get a one goal lead and try to sit on it. They don't just hit and run, they knock you over and then step on your throat.

The Ads will finish their regular season on the road with three games next weekend: Albany Friday, Binghamton Saturday, and Adirondack Sunday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Segal Reassigned to Norfolk

(Norfolk Admirals press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have assigned forward Brandon Segal to the Admirals, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Segal, 28, has played in 10 games with the Lightning this season, recording four penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound forward was acquired by Tampa Bay on February 21 from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Richmond, British Columbia native has played in three games with Norfolk this season, tallying three goals and four points. In 56 AHL games between the Admirals and Rockford IceHogs this season, Segal has compiled 16 goals and 29 assists to go along with 63 penalty minutes.

He appeared in 94 games with the Admirals between the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, posting 36 goals and 71 points with 120 penalty minutes. Segal posted AHL career highs with 26 goals, 26 assists and 52 points with the Admirals in 2008-09. That season, he ranked second in goals, fourth in points and tied for third in assists with Norfolk.

Segal has skated in 511 career AHL games with the Milwaukee Admirals, Portland Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Manchester Monarchs, Texas Stars and Rockford IceHogs, collecting 123 goals and 237 points. He also has five goals and eight points in 41 career Calder Cup Playoff games. Segal won the Calder Cup in 2004 with the Milwaukee Admirals.

He has played in 102 career NHL games with the Lightning, Dallas and Los Angeles, collecting 11 goals and 22 points. He was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the fourth round, 102nd overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Segal signed a one-year contract with Chicago on September 1, 2011.

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