NORFOLK, Va. – Tyler Johnson posted a goal and two assists and Jaroslav Janus tied a two-week-old franchise record with his eighth win in a row as the Norfolk Admirals (43-18-1-2) defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (26-20-2-5), 4-1, at Norfolk Scope Arena on Wednesday night. With 16 wins in a row, the Admirals have now tied the second-longest winning streak contained in a single season in American Hockey League history. They will try to tie the record on Friday night on the road against the Charlotte Checkers.
Richard Panik scored a goal and an assist, while defensemen Radko Gudas and Evan Oberg also scored in the contest. Janus made 12 saves for his sixteenth win of 2011-12.
The visitors jumped out to an early lead just as a Norfolk power play expired. Bryan Lerg sent a wrist shot through a screen that deflected off the glove of Janus and into the far corner of the net to give the visitors the 1-0 lead at 8:47.
However, Norfolk responded with four unanswered goals the rest of the way. Just over three minutes after Lerg's goal, the Admirals knotted the game at 1-1. As the home team skated on a power play, Barberio slipped a shot through the Penguins’ defense to Panik on the far post. Panik tipped the feed behind Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Scott Munroe for his 16th goal of the season at 11:28.
Thirty-one seconds later, the Admirals struck once again to open up a 2-1 lead. As the Penguins’ defense was treading backwards, Gudas fired a shot from the blue line. The shot snuck through traffic and over Munroe for Gudas’ seventh tally of the season at 11:59.
Norfolk opened a three-goal lead just ten seconds into the middle frame on a power play. After Panik tipped a Picard pass over the blue line, Johnson broke in all alone on Munroe. From just beneath the hash marks, Johnson went top shelf over Munroe to give the Admirals a 3-1 lead with his 25th of the season.
The Admirals capped off the scoring just three minutes into the final period. Just seconds after he exited the penalty box, Oberg tripled the home team's lead with his sixth goal of the season. From just inside the zone, Oberg sent a slap shot over the right pad of Munroe at 2:37 for the 4-1 final score.
Jaroslav Janus (16-8-2) turned aside 12 of 13 shots he faced for his franchise-record tying eighth straight win. Scott Munroe (15-6-3) stopped 29 of 33 shots in the loss.
Norfolk was 2-for-8 on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 0-for-4.
The Admirals now travel to Charlotte for the final two games of the GEICO Challenge Cup, beginning Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The two teams reunite on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in Charlotte. Norfolk (3-3-0-0, 6 points) currently trails Charlotte (3-3-1-0, 7 points) by one point in the race for the GEICO Challenge Cup, which will be awarded to the team with the most standings points in the 2011-12 season series.
Friday's game will be shown at Big Woody's Bar and Grill at Chesapeake Square Mall. Big Woody's is located at 123 Battlefield Boulevard North in Chesapeake. Their phone number is (757) 436-1919.
Both games against the Checkers can also 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 commence their last homestand of the regular season when they return to Scope to battle the Albany Devils in a pair of games, beginning Friday, March 23rd. Friday night’s contest is Mascot Mania night at Scope. Saturday night, March 24th, is the annual MDA Jersey Auction and Ticket Fundraiser, presented by PAPCO. For details on these and all promotions, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.
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. Richard Panik – NOR
3. Radko Gudas – NOR
NOTES … Norfolk’s 16-game winning streak is tied for the second-longest winning streak contained within a single season in AHL history (Baltimore Skipjacks, 16 wins from February 23 – March 23, 1984) … The longest AHL winning streak contained within a single season was accomplished by the Philadelphia Phantoms when they won 17 consecutive games from October 22 – November 27, 2004. Norfolk can tie that mark with a win on Friday in Charlotte … The Syracuse Crunch won 18 straight regular season games over the course of two seasons from March 9 – October 17, 2008. During their streak, the Crunch won 15 games to conclude the 2007-08 regular season and the first three games to open the 2008-09 regular season … Admirals forward Alexandre Picard was on that Crunch team, along with former Admirals captain Zenon Konopka … Norfolk's last loss of any kind came on February 5 – a 4-2 defeat at the MassMutual Center by the Springfield Falcons …Prior to this winning streak, the longest winning streak by a goaltender in AHL Admirals history was seven games by Michael Leighton from January 30 – February 18, 2004. Eight years later, two different Norfolk netminders hold simultaneous eight-game winning streaks at the same time, with Janus earning his eighth straight win tonight and Dustin Tokarski having done so on March 3 vs. Springfield … Tokarski won his first career NHL game yesterday by stopping 33 shots in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 6-1 victory over the Boston Bruins … 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 …Tyler Johnson has seven goals and 11 assists in his last eight games in what continues to be the longest active point streak in the American Hockey League … Johnson has also tied an Admirals season high with goals in five straight games (7g), and he also has recorded five consecutive multiple-point games (7g, 6a) … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Mike Angelidis, Jon Kalinski.