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March 24, 2012

Tokarski Breaks Career Wins Mark as Admirals Reach 20 Straight Wins


NORFOLK, Va. – Dustin Tokarski made 34 saves to earn his Admirals-record 76th career win as the Norfolk Admirals (47-18-1-2) defeated the Albany Devils (28-28-6-5), 4-3, on Saturday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. With the victory, Norfolk built on their professional hockey record with their 20th consecutive win.

The Admirals continue their final homestand of the season on Wednesday and Friday nights against the St. John’s IceCaps at Scope.

Norfolk has now won 20 consecutive games since February 10, 2012, vaulting into first place in the entire American Hockey League. The Admirals have not lost a game since a 4-2 road setback to the Springfield Falcons on Super Bowl Sunday on February 5, 2012.

Dustin Tokarski (28-11-0) stopped 34 of 37 shots as he stretched his personal winning streak to nine games and recorded his 76th career victory as an Admiral. The win moved Tokarski (76-56-7) past Michael Leighton (75-52-17) for first place on the Admirals' all-time wins list.

Alex Killorn scored his first professional goal while Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Alexandre Picard also scored in the contest.

Palat’s seventh goal of the season gave the Admirals a 1-0 lead exactly one minute after the opening faceoff. After a failed clearing attempt by Albany, Palat gathered the loose puck and skated out from the right half boards. From just inside the high slot, Palat sent a shot over the glove of Devils’ netminder Keith Kinkaid.

Albany answered back later in the first period to even the game at 1-1 with a goal by Vladimir Zharkov. In the midst of a Norfolk power play, Zharkov caused a turnover at the Devils’ blue line and broke in alone on Tokarski. Zharkov sent a shot from the slot that trickled past Tokarski at 13:29.

The visitors opened a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Mattias Tedenby just before the midway point of regulation. With less than a minute remaining on an Admirals penalty kill, Tedenby fired a slap shot from inside the right faceoff circle past a screened Tokarski at 8:42 of the second period.

Norfolk knotted the game at 2-2 on Killorn’s first professional goal. With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, Conacher sent a feed from the left corner to Killorn in the left circle. Killorn then skated around Kinkaid and sent a backhander over the netminder's glove at 15:02.

The Admirals took the lead for good 1:06 into the final frame on a power play. Mark Barberio sent a pass from the left point to Richard Panik in the slot. Panik then bumped the pass over to Johnson in the bottom of the left circle, and Johnson buried a slap shot into the top-left corner of the net for his 29th goal of the season and a 3-2 lead.

Norfolk’s lead doubled with just over six minutes remaining in the third. From the left faceoff circle, a pass from Palat split a pair of Devils’ defensemen on its way toward the goalmouth to Kinkaid's left. Picard tapped the back-door pass behind Kinkaid for his sixth goal of the season at 13:55.

In the final minutes with Kinkaid pulled in favor of an extra attacker, Albany’s Matt Anderson capped off the scoring with a six-on-five goal at 18:39. However, that would be the only one of Albany's 13 third-period shots that solved Tokarski, as Norfolk held on for the 4-3 win.

Kinkaid (15-17-3) stopped 35 of the 39 shots he faced in defeat.

Norfolk was 1-for-4 on the power play. Albany was 1-for-5.

The Admirals return Scope on Wednesday night in the first of two games vs. the St. John’s IceCaps in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. 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. Current season ticket holders may reserve 2012 Calder Cup Playoff Packages now. 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!

Three Stars:
1. Tyler Johnson – NOR
2. Alex Killorn – NOR
3. Ondrej Palat– NOR

NOTES … Norfolk extended their professional hockey record to 20 straight wins … Norfolk's last loss of any kind came on February 5 – a 4-2 defeat at the MassMutual Center by the Springfield Falcons … 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’s ninth consecutive win broke Michael Leighton’s career wins mark in an Admirals’ uniform with his 76th career win … Tyler Johnson has 11 goals and 13 assists in his last 12 games in what continues to be the longest active point streak in the American Hockey League and is the longest point streak this season by a Norfolk player … Johnson also extended his Admirals franchise record with goals in nine straight games (11g) … Johnson leads the Admirals with 14 goals and 33 points during the 20-game winning streak … Killorn scored his first professional goal in just his second professional game. He signed an Amateur Tryout Contract with Norfolk earlier this week … During Norfolk's last 20 games, 26 different skaters have appeared in at least one game: 24 have an even or better plus/minus rating, 22 have points, 20 have goals, 15 have game-winning goals, 11 are rookies, eight have appeared in all 20 games and three are averaging at least one point per game … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Mike Angelidis, Jon Kalinski.

#ARMED AND READY #

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