Giliati, Stefano

AHL Playoff Game Day: 4/19/11 Penguins at Admirals

A brave effort by the Admirals comes an eyelash short.

WBS-2
NOR-1

Norfolk Leads the Series 2-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Veilleux, (2) , 17:58

Second Period
NOR Giliati, (1) (Roy, Vernace), 15:40 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Lerg, (1) (Hutchinson, Thiessen), 10:20 (PP)

Stefano Giliati and Tokarski were the game's second and third stars. Giliati played a heck of a game and was arguably the team's most dangerous forward.

Due to injuries, the Admirals were already without the services of Alex Berry and Mike Angelidis going into the week. They lost 2/3 of arguably the best line in the AHL to recall when Mattias Ritola and Blair Jones were moved up to Tampa Bay earlier in the day. Captain Chris Durno then went out very early in the game with an injury and never returned, and was soon followed to the locker room by Paul Szczechura, who was injured by Brian Strait after the whistle in a very questionable play. So, the Admirals played the Penguins to a stalemate with no less than 6 of their best forwards out of the lineup until a Pierre-Cedric Labrie double minor for high-sticking gave the Pens the opportunity to get the go-ahead goal.

The difficulty for the Admirals now is that Ritola and Jones won't return for Game Four tomorrow night, and Durno and Szczechura's injuries are obviously serious to have missed the remainder of the game when the team was so shorthanded. The Admirals do have a healthy Alex Hutchings on the roster, but Hutchings was not listed on the team's Clear Day roster as a player in residence. So the team may be very shorthanded again in Game Four. Tonight might have been the Admirals' best chance to get to a third win before Friday. You knew things were dire when Admirals radio voice Pete Michaud let a Freudian slip that the Pens were about to tie up the series if they could hold off Norfolk in the final few minutes of the game.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 3/13/11 Admirals at Bears

Tic puts the forcefield up in the shootout.

NOR-3
HER-2 (SO)

Dustin Tokarski stopped 23 of 25 shots before beating all 5 Hershey shooters in the shootout for the victory. Tokarski improved to 19-15-4 on the season with 2 shutouts, a 2.41 GAA and .910 save percentage. It's expected that Cedrick Desjardins will see his first action back next weekend, but it should be kept in mind that Tokarski's GAA and save percentage are actually better than Desjardins' 2.56 GAA and .906 save percentage. Two good goaltenders = a good problem for Norfolk to have.

First Period
HER McNeill, (5) (Fahey, Perreault), 12:07 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Berry, (13) (Giliati, Barberio), 8:19 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Wright, (15) (Giliati, Barberio), 8:22 (PP)
HER Greentree, (25) (Kozek, Willsie), 9:29

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NOR- Harju
HER- NONE

Tokarski and Stefano Giliati were the game's first and second stars. Giliati made two great power play assists in the contest, and Mark Barberio also assisted on both power play goals. Barberio now has 2 goals and 4 points in the last 3 and has 26 points on the season. If he could get to 30 points this year, that'd be nice output for a rookie campaign. James Wright became the 8th Admiral to hit the 15 goal plateau this season with his goal. 8 forwards who can put the puck in the back of the net = another good problem for Norfolk to have. It'll be interesting to see how many Admirals can get to 20 goals by the end of the regular season.

Norfolk cashes in a game in hand a leaps 1 point ahead of Charlotte for 3rd place in the East Division with 1 game still in hand on the Checkers. They're also now 7 points back of Hershey with 3 games in hand and 2 more head-to-head matchups against the Bears at Scope left on the schedule. So, 2nd place remains in reach. Norfolk also expanded their lead over 5th place Binghamton back to 6 points and a 7 point lead over Worcester and Connecticut in the crossover. So, whereas the Lightning are fading a bit right now, Norfolk is starting to surge.

There are 14 games left in the regular season. Norfolk is off until next Friday and Saturday when Albany comes to town. Albany sits in 6th in the East Division at 6 games under .500, and it is expected Cedrick Desjardins will return to the crease in one of those games.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2/4/11 Senators at Admirals

Norfolk escapes after blowing another lead late.

BNG-3
NOR-4 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Bergeron, (1) (Vernace, Jones), 7:22 (PP)
BNG Butler, (22) (Greening, Locke), 10:13
NOR Harju, (18) (Giliati, Pouliot), 16:56
NOR Giliati, (6) (Pouliot, Bergeron), 19:11

Third Period
BNG Wiercioch, (3) (O'Brien, Smith), 7:59 (PP)
BNG Daugavins, (11) (Condra, Locke), 18:55

Overtime
NOR Bergeron, (2) (Pouliot, Quick), 3:03 (PP)

Marc-Andre Bergeron and Stefano Giliati were the game's first and second stars.

Norfolk got the two points, which is the big thing, but it continues to be a recurring problem for the Admirals when it comes to protecting leads late. They were outshot 14-3 in the third period and allowed 2 goals to the Senators in the frame. They capped a bad period by allowing the equalizer with 1:05 left to go in the period, and thereby surrendered a point to the division rival they currently have in their rear view mirror. Not good. The Admirals still look in line to be a playoff club, but they may be an early out if they can't get better defensively. Getting Mathieu Roy back yesterday was probably an excellent start to solving that puzzle.

With 2 goals and 1 assist tonight, Marc-Andre Bergeron is signaling that he's starting to round into form. After posting just 1 point in his first 6 games as an Admiral, Bergeron has 7 points in his last 7.

Johan Harju's goal tonight marked the first time he's scored goals in back-to-back games since late November. One wonders if Harju is enjoying an All-Star bounce or if possibly a certain GM or Assistant GM had a heart-to-heart with Big Joe after reports surfaced in the Swedish papers he was unhappy.

Norfolk holds a 2 point lead over Charlotte for 3rd in the East Division and a 7 point lead over 5th place Binghamton. A win tomorrow night (in regulation) could really put Bingo in a bad way, and can help Norfolk try to close the gap on surging second place Hershey.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 1/8/11 Whale at Admirals

The Whale strikes back.

CT-3
NOR-2 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 26 shots for the overtime loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
CT Dupont, (7) , 1:31
NOR Marks, (2) (Pouliot, Labrie), 13:24
CT Tessier, (7) (White), 17:50

Third Period
NOR Giliati, (5) (Gudas, Berry), 18:21

Overtime
CT Williams, (20) (Del Zotto, Williams), 4:22

My boy, Stefano Giliati, was named the game's second star for scoring the tying goal with less than two minutes left.

Norfolk moved back into a tie with Charlotte for second place in the division with the point, and hold a game in hand on the Checkers, but they dropped a full 13 points behind the Penguins with a game in hand. Hershey lurks just 2 points back with a game in hand, and are currently down to Manitoba 3-2 after two periods.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11/27/10 Admirals at Falcons

Norfolk's third line runs wild.

NOR-5
SPR-2

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 15 shots for the win. He continues to lap up the sweet nectar of seemingly unlimited goal support. Goalies everywhere in the AHL must be envious.

First Period
NOR Angelidis, (4) (Giliati, Jackson), 1:57
SPR Kubalik, (7) (Guite, Calvert), 6:18
NOR Labrie, (3) (Wishart, Gudas), 14:29

Second Period
NOR Harju, (13) , 14:45

Third Period
NOR Angelidis, (5) (Labrie), 2:15
NOR Giliati, (3) (Labrie, Angelidis), 6:59
SPR Tarnasky, (3) (Regner), 13:37

Mike Angelidis, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, and (my boy) Stefano Giliati were the game's three stars. Labrie and Giliati are quickly becoming BoltProspects favorites for their ability to provide both grit and lower line scoring for the Admirals. Labrie has 3 goals and 5 points in his last 3 games and Giliati has 2 goals and 6 points in his last 5 games. Keep and eye on these two players. Labrie has a little bit of a funky first step to his skating stride he needs to work out, but he has good size, hits everything that moves, isn't afraid to drop the mitts, and will chip in offensively. At some point, Julien BriseBois and the Lightning need to give serious consideration to giving Labrie either a full AHL ride, or possibly even an NHL entry-level deal. Giliati, despite being small in stature, is pesky and tough on the forecheck, with good speed and skill level.

Johan Harju is now tied with Linus Omark and several others at 23 points for 5th in the AHL in scoring. His 13 goals are third in the league, two back of leader Andrew Gordon of Hershey.

Chris Durno is now tied for the league lead in plus-minus at +14, one plus ahead of Radko Gudas, who improved to +13 and had a helper tonight.

Norfolk closes out the weekend tomorrow afternoon in Bridgeport. They remain 4 points back of the Pens for first in the East Division, with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton still holding a game in hand. Norfolk's 85 goals is tops in the AHL, 5 ahead of Hershey.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11/26/10 Admirals at Phantoms

Big Joe is now 7th in the league in scoring.

NOR-6
ADK-3

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 28 shots for the win. How spoiled are these netminders, with all the goal support they're getting?

First Period
ADK Syvret, (2) (Kalinski), 0:56
ADK Syvret, (3) (Rowe, Holmstrom), 7:07

Second Period
NOR Harju, (10) (Vernace), 4:27
ADK Pither, (2) (Clackson), 7:34
NOR Berry, (6) (Harju, Gudas), 9:30
NOR Harju, (11) (Quick, Giliati), 11:29
NOR Marks, (1) , 12:34

Third Period
NOR Harju, (12) (Durno), 11:00
NOR Wright, (6) (Szczechura, Fornataro), 19:45

Johan Harju and Tim Marks were the game's first and third stars. "Big Joe" Harju is now tied for 7th in the AHL in scoring, after his 4 point, hat trick effort tonight. For those wondering, he's one point shy of his lifelong teammate, Linus Omark, who has 23 points so far for Oklahoma City. Harju is also tied for third in goals, as well. Again, you have to give credit to Harju for playing so well since being sent back down from Tampa Bay. A lot of young players would have pouted. Harju's running wild with 5 goals and 6 points in 3 games since the demotion. I am beginning to wonder what Johan has left to learn in Norfolk. To me, the holes in his game are his inexperience with Boucher's system and a lack of upper-body strength. Both of those probably would be fixed more quickly in Tampa Bay. That's a good problem to have.

As of this posting, the Admirals have three players in the AHL's top-ten in plus-minus. Chris Durno is tied for first at +14. Radko Gudas is tied for third at +12. Kevin Quick is tied for tenth at +10. Defenseman Scott Jackson is steadily climbing the charts to join his teammates. He is +4 in 4 games since returning from injury on 11/20 and is +8 in 10 games this season.

Stefano Giliati now has 1 goal and 4 points in the last 4 games.

Norfolk jumps back into second place in the East Division, 4 points back of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, with the Pens holding a game in hand. Continuing the trend from last season, Norfolk has been rude houseguests when they travel away from Scope. They are 8-3-2-0 in 13 road games so far this season. They've also played six more road games than home games, which means they'll have a repeat of last year's scenario where they should have a ton of home games in the second half of the year. If they can start winning home games at the same clip as they do on the road, they will be in outstanding shape.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11/22/10 Admirals at Checkers

Norfolk takes Charlotte to the woodshed.

NOR-7
CHA-3

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the win. It was another sub-.900 performance, but he did shut the door in the final two periods, so there's still positives to take away.

First Period
NOR Durno, (6) (Quick, Milam), 1:05
CHA Dalpe, (7) (Bowman, Rodney), 3:30 (PP)
CHA Micflikier, (9) (Boychuk, Carson), 4:37 (PP)
NOR Durno, (7) (Giliati), 8:31
CHA Samson, (12) (Nash, Boychuk), 14:07
NOR Harju, (8) (Berry, Fritz), 16:48

Second Period
NOR Vernace, (3) (Durno), 11:09
NOR Harju, (9) (Angelidis), 16:40

Third Period
NOR Wright, (5) , 1:00 (SH)
NOR Giliati, (2) (Vernace), 5:16

Chris Durno, Johan Harju, and Michael Vernace were the game's three stars. It's great to see a pair of goals by Harju. You always wonder how a player is going to respond the first time they get sent back down to the minors, especially a European player. Harju appears to have responded well. Same thing with James Wright, who had a shorty tonight in garbage time.

Stefano Giliati had 1 goal and 1 assist tonight. That's my guy. Don't look now, but the Montreal native has 5 points in 11 games this season.

As of this posting, Chris Durno and Radko Gudas are tied for second in the AHL with a +12 rating, one back of Portland's Drew Schiestel.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11/20/10 Phantoms at Admirals

Goaltending coming together at the right time.

ADK-1
NOR-3

Dustin Tokarski allowed just 1 goal on 22 shots for the win. Tokarski also stopped a third period penalty shot by Denis Hamel, to boot. That snaps a streak of three straight games where he recorded a loss and had a sub-.900 save percentage. Between this start and Desjardins' win last night, the Admirals have to be hoping they're going to now start to get the goaltending they thought they'd get at the start of this year when, on paper, it appeared they had one of the best tandems in the AHL.

First Period
ADK Laliberte, (3) (Wellwood, Hamel), 8:05 (PP)
NOR Berry, (4) (Simek, Barberio), 19:16

Second Period
NOR Berry, (5) (Pouliot, Wishart), 18:19

Third Period
NOR Angelidis, (3) (Giliati, Gudas), 2:20

Alex Berry, Mike Angelidis, and Marc-Antoine Pouliot were the game's three stars. Don't look now, but Alex Berry has 4 goals in his last 4 games. Who'd have thunk it.

It was a pretty good night for the Lightning's two rookie d-men, too. Mark Barberio now has 5 assists and is +4 in 12 games. Radko Gudas also collected his 5th assist of the season and is +10(!) in 14 games. Not too bad for a couple of greenhorns.

And, Stefano Giliati, who I've adopted as a BP favorite, got an assist that is his 3rd point in 8 games. I like me some Stefano Giliati. He's a quick little sparkplug who's a nice mix of skill and jam.

It's a nice win for Norfolk considering that their two best shooters, arguably, (Harju and Jones) are up in Tampa right now. Yes, Adirondack is terrible, but they also beat Norfolk in OT last time out. There's nothing wrong with taking care of business.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 10/30/10 Pirates at Admirals

Norfolk's weekend has the sour taste of a two point weekend that should have been a four point weekend.

POR-7
NOR-6

Dustin Tokarski allowed 7 goals on 29 shots for the overtime loss. Rebound control was the culprit. With the exception of the last goal, he was making the first stop and his positioning wasn't bad. But, he was kicking rebounds up the slot and the Admirals defense was not clearing them out. I thought he played better than Desjardins did last night, but neither was acceptable, obviously.

First Period
POR Mancari, (7) (Byron), 3:27
NOR Szczechura, (5) (Giliati, Mihalik), 5:36
NOR Roy, (2) (Barberio, Szczechura), 13:27

Second Period
POR Whitmore, (4) (Turnbull), 2:01
NOR Simek, (3) (Pouliot, Harju), 6:30
NOR Fornataro, (3) (Szczechura, Wright), 13:47

Third Period
POR Whitmore, (5) (Crawford, Turnbull), 9:36
NOR Wright, (3) (Szczechura, Fornataro), 10:03 (PP)
POR Stuart, (3) (Brennan, Biega), 10:29
NOR Harju, (5) (Simek, Pouliot), 11:28 (PP)
POR Turnbull, (1) (Roloff, Whitmore), 12:59
POR Schiestel, (2) (Roloff, Turnbull), 14:54

Overtime
POR Gragnani, (3) (Mancari, Biega), 1:05

Paul Szczechura was the game's second star. Juraj Simek was, in my opinion, the best Admiral tonight. He showed excellent hand-eye coordination batting a puck out of air for his goal, and that line he has with Pouliot and Harju in one of the best in the league right now.

Through two periods, the defense was much improved tonight. I don't know if that's a function of Mike Flanagan being back to run the defense after Steve Thomas did it last night, but they were better at taking care of details within five feet of their own blueline, with the exception of Portland's first goal. The last period was just the intersection of a team letting its foot off the gas once Harju scored on a semi-soft goal to make it 6-4 and some bad luck with rebounds going right onto Pirates' sticks. The biggest play of the game was the 2-on-1 goal Portland scored to make it 6-5, where Michael Vernace got completely lost. I'm not surprised he was -3 tonight. He's struggling with his positioning and the way he surrenders the blueline on the rush, they might need to start calling him Versailles.

My revalation of the night was Stefano Giliati, who is a speedy little sparkplug who was either generating scoring chances or popping people all night long. He got his first point as an Admiral tonight, and I was impressed. I'm surprised they don't play him more.

I liked the way rookies Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas played. Barberio ended up a team high +2 along with Mihalik, and although his skating is mediocre, he's outstanding at reading the play in the offensive end. He's a very crafty player. He has a ways to go, but I enjoyed what I saw. Gudas appeared in both games this weekend, and he was quiet for most of five periods of hockey, but he was very visible in the third period tonight. He and Wishart are the only two Admirals who routinely step up at their blueline and give a pop, but what surprised me about Radko was how he carried the puck offensively a couple of times. The skill set is there, and it's real. Like Barberio, he's a couple of years off, but there's something to work with there, and he and Mihalik make a decent little pairing. The reunification of Czechoslovakia going on with that pairing.

It makes me puke that a goaltender as bad as Leggio managed to backdoor his way into two wins this weekend. That's annoying.

I'll be leaving Norfolk tomorrow morning, but I just wanted to close by encouraging Lightning fans to make the trip if you're looking for a weekend trip. This is an entertaining team, with the highest scoring offense in the league, and this is a good town. I enjoy coming to Norfolk because it reminds me a lot of Tampa, and I think you'll feel the same way to if you come up here.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Preseason Game Night: 10/1/10 Checkers at Admirals

Riley Nash gets a hat trick for Charlotte.

CHA-5
NOR-3

Jaroslav Janus allowed 4 goals on 25 shots for the loss.

Stefano Giliati, Vladimir Mihalik, and Matt Fornataro had the Admirals' goals.

Friday night's AHL roundup from TheAHL.com.

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