Ashton, Carter

AHL Game Night: 12-17-11 Admirals at Penguins

Norfolk's biggest win of the season thus far.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the win. He snaps a brief 2 game personal skid in a spot where his club absolutely needed a win.

First Period
NOR Fornataro, (2) (Smith, Devos), 0:53 (PP)
NOR Ashton, (14) (Gudas, Jackson), 4:32
WBS Street, (10) (Henningson, Merth), 10:41

Second Period
WBS Lerg, (11) (Walker, McDonald), 1:42
NOR Johnson, (11) (Cote, Tokarski), 7:06
NOR Conacher, (18) (Smith, Jackson), 13:31
NOR Ouellet, (7) (Ashton, Angelidis), 19:40

Third Period

Carter Ashton, Tyler Johnson, and Scott Jackson were the game's three stars.

For Norfolk, this was a huge game. They did not want to go into Hershey tomorrow trying to stave off the divisional sweep. That's a bad spot to be in on your 3rd game in 3 nights in one of the toughest buildings in the league to earn points in. They absolutely needed tonight's win to keep contact in the divisional hunt, and if they can steal a win from the Bears tomorrow, well that's just a bonus present in this holiday season. With the win, Norfolk is 2 points back of the Bears and Pens for the top spot in the East Division.

Carter Ashton (pictured) played well last night, but was Holtby'ed off the scoresheet on more than one occasion. He's starting to get active again, and that bodes well. Meanwhile, Johnson has 5 goals and 7 points in his last 8 games. That leads to an interesting question. Nate Thompson went out early in tonight's Lightning game and speculation is a forward may be recalled at some point. Is it Ashton? Is it Johnson? Trevor Smith?

Norfolk draws Hershey tomorrow at 5 pm. My guess is that Oberg rides the shuttle back for that game. When that game is over, the Admirals are off until 12/28. So, anyone's fair game for a call up from a manpower standpoint. The Lightning don't play again until Wednesday, when they start a 2 game swing through San Jose and Colorado. The question then is whether Matt Gilroy and/or Nate Thompson will be healthy, and whether Oberg and/or a forward will need to make the trip with the team and possible spend Christmas in Tampa.

No pressure, kids, but I suspect there will be some Tampa execs with eyes on the Hershey game.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 12-2-11



Jaroslav Janus allowed 4 goals on 22 shots for the loss. He's dropped 4 of his last 5 and his save percentage has fallen to .890. Considering Dustin Tokarski has won 4 of his last 5, there's some separation between the two that is being established.

First Period
ADK McGinn, (3) (Holmstrom, Akeson), 5:49 (PP)
NOR Ashton, (13) (Johnson, Jackson), 6:18

Second Period
ADK Holmstrom, (5) (Testwuide, Hamel), 7:23
ADK McGinn, (4) , 13:02

Third Period
ADK Jancevski, (2) (Harper, Kessel), 4:09
ADK Hamel, (10) , 14:50 (EN)

At least Carter Ashton broke his 5 game scoreless streak.

New Admirals Mike Kostka and Evan Oberg were not in the lineup for the Ads.

Box score from

NHL Game Night: 11-22-11 Maple Leafs at Lightning

Nope, THAT was probably rock bottom.


Dwayne Roloson allowed 6 goals on 21 shots for the loss before Mathieu Garon allowed 1 on 5 shots the rest of the way. 7 goals on 26 shots is pitiful. Was goaltending the reason for the loss? No. But you can't win with a save percentage that's an eyelash above .750. Can't do it.

I'm tired of puckhandling mistakes ending up in the back of the net. I'm tired of play acting leading to pucks ending up in the back of the net. These guys need to be playing a very stripped down very focused style right now, and not circus hockey. It's a zoo between the pipes every other game right now.

First Period
TOR Macarthur (7), (Gardiner, Connolly), 00:41
TB Lecavalier (9), (Stamkos, Malone)(PP), 8:38
TOR Connolly (3), (Kulemin, Franson)(PP), 17:56
TOR Bozak (3), (Kessel, Connolly)(PP), 19:22

Second Period
TOR Colborne (1), (Frattin, Liles), 17:45

Third Period
TOR Bozak (4), (unassisted), 3:07
TOR Lupul (11), (Bozek, Phaneuf), 4:28
TOR Crabb (3), (Frattin, Gardiner), 14:28

It was pretty pitiful to allow a goal right off the bat. Then the team responded and looked as good on the forecheck and on the power play as I think I've seen them this season up until Victor Hedman whiffed on what probably should've been a goal off a Marty St. Louis feed, and then took an unlucky 4 minute minor, and the wheels came off. And then the wheels came off again when Roloson once again showed why he should never stray from his net. It's embarrassing. I felt like I was watching a Brian Lawton/Rick Tocchet team, not a Steve Yzerman/Guy Boucher team.

The situation is not improving to any extent I feel comfortable with. I don't think huge changes have to be made, but I don't think the old, "The answers are in the room," is working. You can't tell me the guys in Norfolk are so bad that they aren't at least worth a look to see if they can inject some fresh blood and enthusiasm into the lineup. This team just looks flat at the start of every game and I honestly wonder how anyone could argue that things would be worse with Carter Ashton or Radko Gudas or Mark Barberio getting an opportunity. You can't tell me that Blair Jones and Bruno Gervais are so much better than those players that it isn't worth even considering, and I don't give a damn how far away the organization thinks Gudas and Barberio are. If you believe they'll bite as dogs they'll bite as puppies. What's the worse that could happen? They'd give up 7 goals to the Maple Leafs?

Brett Connolly had 1 blocked shot in 11:28.

Box score and extended statistics from

AHL Game Night: 11-18-11 Admirals at IceCaps

TJ back to early season form.


Jaroslav Janus made 26 saves on 28 shots for the win.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (12) (Fornataro, Johnson), 5:27
STJ Postma, (3) (Machacek, Klingberg), 16:44 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Smith, (7) (Conacher, Dimmen), 1:22
NOR Smith, (8) (Conacher, Landry), 4:32
NOR Angelidis, (3) (Wyman), 11:11

Third Period
STJ Klingberg, (9) (DeSantis), 2:58 (SH)
NOR Johnson, (5) (Ashton, Conacher), 8:14
NOR Johnson, (6) (Barberio, Vernace), 15:35 (PP)

Tyler Johnson and Carter Ashton were the game's first and second stars.

Remember Tyler Johnson (pictured)? He had 6 points in the first 4 games of the season before cooling off with 3 points in the subsequent 11. And then, boom, 3 point night. There's so much depth on the Admirals and it's truly under-appreciated. Trevor Smith has 20 points in the first 17 games this season, and he's barely figured in the three stars discussions in each game. Heck, he's not even the team's leading scorer, because Cory Conacher has 21 points, and he doesn't even have a contract with the Lightning, yet. There's 4 players on the Ads (Conacher, Smith, Ashton, and Mark Barberio) that are currently over a point-a-game. It's impressive.

Box score from

NHL Game Night: 11-6-11 Lightning at Panthers

Can you imagine how good this team would be if they'd play 60 minutes?

FLA-3 (SO)

Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 12 shots before being lifted for Dwayne Roloson. Roloson bailed him out stopping all 28 shots he faced and all 4 shooters in the penalty shot session for the shootout win.

First Period
FLA Campbell (1), (Versteeg, Fleischmann)(PP), 1:49
FLA Kopecky (2), (Skille, Weaver), 13:05
FLA Santorelli (1), (Kulikov), 15:21

Second Period
TB Malone (4), (Stamkos, Brewer)(PP), 16:20
TB Stamkos (10), (Gilroy, St. Louis), 17:46

Third Period
TB Purcell (5), (Downie, Brewer), 8:11


TB- Moore

Roloson, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcell were the game's three stars.

My three stars would've included Steve Downie, who had the tying goal Kontos'ed from him by Teddy Purcell, and Matt Gilroy, who swooped into the zone late in the second period and then dished the perfect saucer to Stamkos to get the deficit down to 1 goal heading into the final frame.

For those who like to complain about Victor Hedman, I'll refer you to that first period as an example of why you should appreciate the young man. It took 20 minutes for the Lightning to adjust to playing without their bell cow on the backline.

I wish this team would figure out how to play a full 60 minute game. This 30-40 minutes of effort schtick is not going to keep getting them W's. The flat first periods have to stop.

We'll have to see about any potential long-term implications that come from Ryan Malone's injury tonight. The Lightning are off until Wednesday, so I suspect he'll be back, but if not: Carter Ashton?

Brett Connolly had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:37. He showed really good speed cranking up a 3/4 ice rush that ended up in a wraparound attempt in the third period. It'll be interesting to see that part of his game develop where he carries it more.

Blair Jones had 1 hit in 6:41. He's like an awful cacophony of legs and arms that couldn't avoid hitting you on the forecheck if he tried.

Box score and extended statistics from

AHL Game Night: 11-6-11 Admirals at Bruins

Tic throws his hat in the ring for Prospect of the Week.


Dustin Tokarski (pictured) had a 37 save shutout victory. In his 2 starts this weekend, he stopped 47 of 48 shots he faced, and it's only crummy goal support that kept him from going 2-0-0. He's pushed his save percentage back up over .900 (.903) and his GAA has pushed back down to 2.54. Remember, he gave up 11 goals in his first 2 starts this year, so this is significant improvement.

First Period
NOR Labrie, (2) (Ashton, Landry), 8:19
NOR Angelidis, (2) (Conacher, Dimmen), 18:15

Second Period

Third Period
NOR Ashton, (11) (Labrie), 14:24

Tokarski, Carter Ashton, and Pierre-Cedric Labrie (A Real Canadian Hero) were the game's three stars.

No player splits opinion on the Bolt Prospects staff like Labrie, whose skating is stiff as a corpse but works his butt off on every shift and hits everything that moves. To me, Labrie is one of those guys like Corey Spring, back-in-the-day, who is a good minor league soldier who gives you so much more than the sum of his parts.

Ashton, ho hum, temporarily moves back into a tie for 3rd in the league in scoring, and first in goals.

Still no Ritola in the lineup. Norfolk returns home Wednesday night to square off with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in their first encounter of the season with the hated Pens.

Box score from

Prospect of the Month (October)

Bolt Prospects would like to acknowledge one monster who has been mashing his way all through October. Some Bolt Prospects readers felt tricked this past week when we didn't name this prospect the Player of the Week, but we were holding a treat in reserve. True, there were several worthy honorable mentions who scared up some excitement along the way. There was the wolf man, Brett Connolly, who came out of nowhere to crack the Lightning's NHL roster. There was the evil genius, Mark Barberio, and his stylish 2 goals and 11 points in 10 games. And, there was the leprechaun, Matthew Peca, who got his own pot o' gold today when he was named the ECAC's Rookie of the Month.

But the nail in the coffin came when the AHL gave a certain power forward (sort of a pale Incredible Hulk) a minor award (hardly worth mention in the same breath as Bolt Prospects' Prospect of the Month).

Ashton Named AHL Rookie of the Month

(Norfolk Admirals press release) The American Hockey League announced today that Norfolk Admirals right wing Carter Ashton has been named the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for October. Ashton scored a league-leading nine goals and paced all AHL rookies with 13 points in 10 games for Norfolk as the Admirals raced out to a 7-2-0-1 start.

Ashton began his first full professional season with a two-goal effort, including the overtime winner, in a 6-5 victory over Charlotte on Oct. 7. He notched a goal and an assist each on Oct. 8 vs. Charlotte and Oct. 21 vs. Binghamton, and authored four multiple-point performances among his first five games of the season. Ashton then scored a goal in four straight games to finish October, netting markers on Oct. 23 at Charlotte, Oct. 26 at Adirondack, Oct. 28 at Providence and Oct. 29 at Syracuse.

AHL Game Night: 10-28-11 Admirals at Bruins

Dominant, workmanlike win.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the win.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (8) (Gudas, Picard), 4:30
NOR Smith, (4) (Labrie, Ashton), 19:26

Second Period
NOR Tyrell, (2) (Wyman), 2:49
PRO Cunningham, (1) (Bartkowski, MacDonald), 17:21

Third Period
PRO Chaput, (2) (Miller, Bodnarchuk), 4:05 (SH)
NOR Dimmen, (1) (Picard, Conacher), 7:01 (PP)

Carter Ashton and Alexandre Picard were the game's first and second stars.

With his 2 point night, Ashton is now tied for 5th in the league in scoring at 13 points, 3 points back of Joe Colborne of Toronto. Teammate Cory Conacher (pictured) is now tied for 8th in the league, 2 points back of Ashton with 11. The two forwards pace all AHL rookies in scoring.

Norfolk outshot Providence 41-22 in the game, and subsequently doubled them up on the scoreboard.

With the win, Norfolk leaps Hershey for the top spot in the league at 13 points after the Bears stubbed their toes in Springfield in overtime tonight. Their 40 goals scored also pace the league. On paper, this is a championship caliber team, if they get the goaltending and if their defense continues to mature as the season churns on.

They roll into Syracuse tomorrow night to face a tough test against a Crunch team that has only lost once, so far, in regulation.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-23-11 Admirals at Checkers

Admirals run into a hot goalie.


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

First Period

Second Period
NOR Ashton, (6) (Barberio, Conacher), 8:19 (PP)
CHA Jordan, (1) (Blanchard, Pistilli), 11:42
CHA McNicoll, (1) (Pistilli, Terry), 19:39 (PP)

Third Period
CHA Bowman, (4) (Matsumoto, Samson), 18:40

Carter Ashton was the game's third star.

Norfolk outshot Charlotte 45-30, but Checkers goaltender Mike Murphy made 44 saves.

Mark Barberio snapped a 3 game scoreless streak with a helper in the contest.

Box score from

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