Norfolk Admirals

AHL Game Night: 4-9-10 Bears at Admirals

The playoffs are now a very remote possibility for the Admirals.

HER-6
NOR-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed 6 goals on 29 shots for the loss. Other than the 4th Hershey goal, Tokarski was just hung out to dry. The Admirals gave up way too many odd-man rushes and just didn't do much to disrupt the Hershey power play.

First Period
HER Giroux, (47) (Bourque, Alzner), 9:40 (PP)
NOR Fritz, (2) (Marks, St. Pierre), 10:56

Second Period
HER Giroux, (48) (Helmer, Aucoin), 4:44
HER Giroux, (49) (Aucoin), 8:35
HER Rome, (6) (Alzner, Bouchard), 9:19
HER Joudrey, (15) (Pinizzotto, Kane), 11:27

Third Period
HER Gordon, (37) (Aucoin, Bourque), 6:18 (PP)

The night went about as badly for the Admirals as it could have. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton knocked off Albany 4-3, so the Penguins have clinched 3rd place in the East Division. Meanwhile, in the crossover, Bridgeport defeated Lowell 6-3 in Lowell. So, both Lowell and Bridgeport are 2 points ahead of the Admirals and each team has 1 game in hand. That means to make the playoffs the Admirals would have to beat the Bears tomorrow night and either Bridgeport or Lowell would have to lose both of their remaining games in regulation, because the Admirals would hold the tiebreaker for more regulation wins. A loss tomorrow night or a single point for both Bridgeport and Lowell and the postseason hopes are done.

Considering where the Admirals have been the past couple of years, I think it's progress that they can honestly say that all 80 games this season were meaningful. That said, this still feels rotten.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 4-7-10 Penguins at Admirals

Hope lives in Norfolk.

WBS-0
NOR-1

Dustin Tokarski shut out the Penguins on 29 shots for the win. It was his 4th shutout of this rookie campaign. Heading into the final two games of the regular season, he has a 26-24-3-3 record on the year with a 2.46 GAA and a nice .917 sv%.

First Period
NOR Parrish, (17) (Wishart, Szczechura), 13:47 (PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NO SCORING

Tokarski and Mark Parrish were the game's first and second stars.

Ty Wishart returned from injury after missing the recent road trip, and chipped in a helper for his 32nd point of the season. It was just in a nick of time.

The victory temporarily puts Norfolk back in the playoffs. They are one point back of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for 3rd in the East Division, they are two points behind Lowell, which is 4th in the Atlantic Division, and they're tied in points with Bridgeport, which is 5th in the Atlantic Division. Norfolk would get in on the tiebreaker for having more regulation wins. That's the good news. The bad news is that all three teams hold a game in hand on the Admirals, so Norfolk still doesn't control its own destiny.

With the win tonight, Norfolk moved it's overall record to 38-34-3-3 with 2 games left to play, meaning the Admirals have clinched a winning record for the season. They finish up with a pair of games against Hershey at The Scope this weekend. At a minimum, they'll probably need at least 2 points out of those games to advance to the playoffs. Getting all 4 points would not mathematically guarantee the playoffs, but the odds would be in Norfolk's favor.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finishes up with Albany and then with back-to-back games against Binghamton. 2 of those 3 games are at home for the Penguins. The Pens have lost 2 games in a row.

Lowell has Bridgeport and Providence at home and the Portland Pirates on the road. Lowell won their last game but are 3-5-0-2 in their last 10.

Bridgeport may have the toughest schedule of the three clubs. They have Lowell on the road and then home games against Manchester and Hartford. Manchester has won 7 straight games since I declared them the bubble team likely to fall off. Shows what I know. Bridgeport has lost 2 games in a row.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Lightning Set to Recall Jones, Lashoff

Per a twitter report from Tribune Bolt beat writer Eric Erlendsson, the Tampa Bay Lightning will recall prospect forward Blair Jones and defenseman Matt Lashoff from the Norfolk Admirals today. The Lightning play the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, and this recall is expected to be for a single game as the Admirals play Wednesday night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a must-win game to make the AHL playoffs.

AHL Game Night: 4-4-10 Admirals at Bears

Norfolk falls one goal short again.

NOR-2
HER-3

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss.

First Period
HER Perreault, (16) (Beagle, Collins), 11:00

Second Period
HER Eakin, (2) (Gustafsson, Wellar), 12:53

Third Period
HER Giroux, (46) (Perreault, Gustafsson), 4:45
NOR Craig, (23) (Tyrell, St. Pierre), 7:24
NOR Fadden, (7) (Fornataro, Keller), 8:16

The Admirals remain 2 points behind Bridgeport for the final East Division playoff spot because of the crossover rule, but they've given the Sound Tigers a game in hand with tonight's loss. It's a shame, because in back-to-back games the Admirals were just one bounce away from getting the game tied and getting at least a point from their efforts.

It says a lot about the confidence Jim Johnson has in Mitch Fadden that he was on the ice with veterans like Hall and Craig at the end of the game with the Admirals hunting the equalizer. I'm eager to see what he does with a good offseason of training to build up his body and a full season in the AHL next year.

Tonight was the Admirals final road game. They have three games at The Scope to close the year: one against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday and a back-to-back set against Hershey to finish things up. Realistically, they have to win at least 2 games and perhaps all 3 to make the postseason.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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