Jones, Blair

AHL Game Night 11/14: Admirals at Monarchs

Left a point on the table.

NOR-4
MAN-5 (SO)

Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 32 shots before surrendering shootout goals to 2 of 3 shooters to take the SOL. Ramo continues to struggle this season in the shootout situations.

First Period
NOR Simek, (3) (Jones, Boyle), 3:49
MCH Moulson, (3) (Murray, Drewiske), 18:39

Second Period
NOR Szczechura, (7) (Hutchinson, Smolenak), 0:35
MCH Gauthier, (3) (Purcell, Moulson), 4:59
NOR Smolenak, (6) (Segal, Smaby), 6:47
NOR Smolenak, (7) (Heward, Segal), 19:11 (PP)

Third Period
MCH Lewis, (3) (Parse, Drewiske), 3:24
MCH Purcell, (3) (Gauthier, Piskula), 16:29

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NOR- NONE
MAN- Dravecky, Purcell

Radek Smolenak and Brandon Segal were the game's first and third stars, respectively.

That's a tough one. A win in this game and the Ads would've had an opportunity to get to .500 tomorrow night, and they had a 2 goal lead and momentum heading into the final frame. Ordinarily you feel great if you can get a point on the road, but this was worse than a sister kisser. And, it's hard to get too upset about Ramo's shootout futility considering how poorly the Admirals' shooters have faired on breakaways in the extra extra session this season too. Tonight, Wyatt Smith, Blair Jones, Paul Szczechura, and Smolenak all got blanked in the shootout.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Lightning Send Six to Admirals Camp

Eric Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have made six training camp cuts following Saturday night's first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. All six are being sent the Norfolk Admirals training camp and will join the current roster which starts on Monday. The six players include Lightning prospects Blair Jones, Brandon Segal, Chris Lawrence, and Andy Rogers. The remaining two cuts include free agent invitees Jamie Heward and Sean O'Connor.

Heward had previously said that he if he could not make an NHL roster, he would return to Europe instead of playing North American minor league hockey. It is unknown if Heward will report to the Admirals training camp.

AHL Game Night 3/15: Pirates at Admirals

Unfortunately, injuries on the backline may finally be catching up to Norfolk.

POR-5
NOR-3

Marc Denis allowed 5 goals on 23 shots for the loss before being pulled for Jonathan Boutin who stopped all 4 shots he faced.

First Period
POR Bouck, (7) (St. Jacques, Ebbett), 5:35 (PP)
NOR Henrich, (14) (Keller, Wanvig), 17:11

Second Period
POR King, (26) (Bouck, Festerling), 12:58
POR Birner, (7) (Ferguson), 13:38
NOR Wanvig, (20) (Henrich, Mihalik), 14:44

Third Period
POR St. Jacques, (7) (Miller, Bootland), 1:14
POR Bouck, (8) (Ebbett, Ferguson), 7:05
NOR Keller, (12) (Jones, Lawrence), 17:45

Justin Keller and Adam Henrich each checked in with 1 goal and 1 assist in the game. Kyle Wanvig and Henrich were named the game's second and third stars.

Keller now has 12 goals and 33 points in 60 games with a +5 rating. A season ago in Springfield, Keller played exactly 60 games but only managed 24 points and had a -11 rating. The improvement is obvious.

Prior to this season Henrich had just 13 goals and 38 points in his entire AHL career of three seasons and 102 games. This season Henrich already has 14 goals and 31 points in 40 games, and there is still a chance he will double his career statistical output by the end of the year. Again, the improvement is obvious.

A year ago, as a rookie, Blair Jones had 5 goals and 21 points in 45 games (.467 PPG). This season, Blair Jones has 13 goals and 35 points in 63 games (.556 PPG). Again, the improvement is obvious.

A season ago, as a rookie, Radek Smolenak had just 1 point in 20 games. This season, the big winger has 11 goals and 21 points in 45 games. Again, the improvement is obvious.

Coupled with a strong rookie campaign by Vladimir Mihalik (now a team leading +9 among defensemen), the organization is looking less and less like the disaster the local and national media was making it out to be just a month or two ago. In fact, I dare say, it's difficult to claim that there isn't progress being made in Norfolk, even with the defeat tonight.

Eventually, some of that progress will find its way onto NHL ice.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 3/7: Phantoms at Admirals

Home sweet home.

PHI-2
NOR-4

Marc Denis stopped 42 of 44 shots faced for the win, and is playing really well of late.

First Period
NOR Segal, (6) (Kearns, Smolenak), 6:17
NOR Henrich, (11) (Wanvig, Keller), 13:11 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Jones, (13) , 4:37
PHI Matsumoto, (17) (Laliberte, Gauthier), 8:23 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Smolenak, (10) (Jones, Scalzo), 3:18 (PP)
PHI Laliberte, (3) (Matsumoto, Powe), 14:34

Denis, Blair Jones, and Radek Smolenak were the game's three stars.

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.

AHL Game Day 3/2: Admirals at Sharks

Third period comeback effort falls short.

NOR-4
WOR-5

Jonathan Boutin allowed 5 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
NOR Kvapil, (1) (Scalzo, Henrich), 1:40 (PP)
WOR Iggulden, (20) , 10:02
WOR Mink, (17) (Cavanagh, Iggulden), 15:45 (PP)
WOR Raduns, (12) (Spang, Walsh), 18:47 (PP)

Second Period
WOR Iggulden, (21) (Armstrong, Evans), 2:20
WOR Iggulden, (22) (Evans, Armstrong), 12:26

Third Period
NOR Kearns, (4) , 4:56 (SH)
NOR Henrich, (10) (Lawrence), 11:51
NOR Jones, (11) (Segal, Kearns), 19:27 (PP)

Norfolk allowed 5 unanswered goals after scoring the game's opening marker before scoring 3 of their own in the third period in a failed comeback bid.

Adam Henrich was named the game's third star. Henrich has 2 goals and 7 points in his last 10 games, and appears to have gained a good measure of the momentum he had earlier in the season prior to getting hurt. From the outside looking in, it certainly appears that the former 2002 second round pick has done everything you could ask of him to earn a contract next season.

Blair Jones has 3 goals and 11 points in his last 13 games, which is a hopeful sign for a guy who had gone scoreless in his previous 13 games.

It was also really good to see Chris Lawrence get a helper in his first game back after missing a month and a half with a shoulder injury.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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