Strong Start Propels Admirals to 12th Straight Win
NORFOLK Va. – Tyler Johnson scored twice and the Norfolk Admirals (39-18-1-2) scored three goals in the first period as they topped the Springfield Falcons (27-27-2-2), 5-1, on Saturday night in front of 7,028 fans at Norfolk Scope Arena. Norfolk has now won 12 straight games and has built a five-point lead over the Oklahoma City Barons for the top record in the American Hockey League. The Admirals will embark on a three-game road trip against Northeast Division teams next weekend.
Dustin Tokarski stopped 17 of 18 shots to set an AHL Admirals franchise record with his eighth consecutive victory. The win was Tokarski's AHL-leading 27th of 2011-12 and his 75th as an Admiral, tying him with Michael Leighton for first place on the Admirals' all-time wins list.
Cory Conacher, Michel Ouellet and Richard Panik also scored for Norfolk.
Norfolk charged out to a 3-0 lead after one period. Conacher netted his 31st goal of the season on a deflection 7:04 into the contest. Radko Gudas sent a shot from the right point. Conacher, stationed between the hashmarks, deflected the shot down and past the right leg of Springfield goaltender Paul Dainton.
The home team’s lead doubled just over a minute later. Ouellet and Mike Angelidis entered the attacking zone on a two-on-one. Ouellet dropped the puck back to Angelidis in the right circle and then skated towards the slot. Angelidis then returned the puck toward Ouellet, who redirected the pass into the net at 8:28 for his 14th goal of the season.
A highlight-reel shorthanded play gave the Admirals a 3-0 lead at 14:32. Angelidis entered the attacking zone and went behind the goal line while attracting the Springfield defense. He then fired the puck the length of the ice back to his defense in the Norfolk zone in an effort to kill time on the Springfield power play. Scott Jackson then fired the puck back to Johnson, who was speeding through the neutral zone through the Falcons’ defense. He wound up on a semi-breakaway and sent a shot over Dainton’s glove for his 19th goal of the season.
After a scoreless second stanza, the Falcons got on the board at 8:15 of the third period. David Savard sent a pass to Brent Regner in the left faceoff dot. Regner sent a slap shot over the glove of Tokarski to cut Norfolk’s lead to 3-1.
However, a Panik power play goal restored the Admirals' three-goal lead just over two minutes later. Conacher sent a shot from the right point that Panik deflected past goaltender Mike Spillane, who had come into the game in relief of Dainton at the beginning of the second period. Panik's 13th goal of the season at 10:19 made the score 4-1 in favor of the Admirals.
Johnson closed out scoring less than a minute later with his second goal of the contest and 20th goal of the 2011-12 campaign. He took a feed from Ondrej Palat and swept the puck into the net before Spillane could recover at 11:00 for a 5-1 Norfolk win.
Dustin Tokarski (27-11-0) made 13 saves on 14 shots for the win. Paul Dainton (9-6-0) stopped 8 of 11 shots for the loss through 20 minutes of play. Mike Spillane (0-0-0) stopped six of eight shots through 40:00 of relief and did not receive a decision.
Norfolk was 1-for-6 on the power play while Springfield was 0-for-4.
The Admirals are next in action on the road Friday night against the Adirondack Phantoms at 7:00 p.m. as they drop the puck on a three-game road trip. All games can be heard at 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and 1021TheGame.com. You can also watch on a pay-per-view basis at AHLLive.com.
The Admirals return to Scope on Wednesday, March 14, for a matchup against their East Division rivals, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. in another Admirals Value Night.
Family Fun Packs include four discounted Red Level Tickets for just $48 plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $48 – that’s a savings of $37!
Student Rush Nights provide $8 White Level Tickets (normally $12) for students with a valid current high school or college ID. In addition, when you buy a Student Rush Night Ticket, you get a buy-one, get-one free offer for the next Student Rush Night.
Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Admirals 10-Packs for the 2011-12 season remain available for as little as $110. You may also reserve your 2012-13 season tickets with a deposit of as little as $100 per seat today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!
1. Tyler Johnson – NOR
2. Mike Angelidis – NOR
3. Cory Conacher – NOR
NOTES … Norfolk's current 12-game winning streak is the longest winning streak in the American Hockey League since the Hershey Bears won 12 straight games from December 12, 2009 through January 9, 2010 ... Norfolk's streak is only the sixth winning streak of 12 or more games in the American Hockey League since the Admirals joined the AHL in the 2000-01 season … Norfolk's last loss came on February 5 – a 4-2 defeat at Springfield by the Falcons … The Admirals (39-18-1-2, 81 points in 60 games) now have the best record in the American Hockey League by five points over the Oklahoma City Barons (35-16-2-4, 76 points in 57 games) … The Admirals lead the St. John's IceCaps (33-15-5-2, 73 points in 55 games) by eight points for the Eastern Conference lead and lead the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (32-18-2-5, 71 points in 57 games) by ten points for the East Division lead … The Barons (3), IceCaps (5) and Penguins (3) each have multiple games in hand on the Admirals … The last time Norfolk was in first place overall in the American Hockey League this late in the season was March 31, 2007, when they held a one-point lead over the Hershey Bears … Dustin Tokarski is now 75-56-7 in 141 career games with the Admirals from 2009-10 to the present. He has tied Leighton for the most wins in Admirals history. Leighton posted a 75-52-17 record in 147 career games with Norfolk from 2001-02 to 2004-05 … Mark Barberio has points in five consecutive games (2g, 4a) … Tyler Johnson has points in four consecutive games (2g, 5a) … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Alex Hutchings, Jonathon Kalinski.