Janus, Jaroslav

AHL Game Night: 3-16-12 Admirals at Checkers

Sunday. Sunday. Sunday!

NOR-7
CHA-2

Jaroslav Janus allowed 2 goals on 32 shots for his 9th consecutive victory, besting tandem mate Dustin Tokarski's previous Admirals record of 8 set just a couple of weeks ago. He now has raised his save percentage to .906, which matches Tokarski's AHL save percentage, and his 17 wins ties him with several others for a spot in the AHL's top-20 in that statistical category.

First Period
NOR Conacher, (32) (Smith, Labrie), 7:07
NOR Cote, (2) (Devos), 8:59
CHA Boychuk, (15) (Terry, Sanguinetti), 13:42 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Dimmen, (3) (Ouellet, Gudas), 1:55
NOR Johnson, (26) (Oberg), 6:26
NOR Palat, (6) (Johnson), 7:35
NOR Hutchings, (1) (Palat, Oberg), 15:02 (PP)
NOR Panik, (17) (Smith), 16:45

Third Period
CHA Boychuk, (16) (Dalpe, Sanguinetti), 14:33

Ondej Palat (pictured) and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars.

Tonight's box score should be the yard sign for Jon Cooper's candidacy for AHL Coach of the Year. Not only did Norfolk match the AHL single-season winning streak record with the win, but look at the scorers in this game. 7 different goal scorers. 6 of the goal scorers are AHL rookies. 7 rookies contributed points tonight. This is not a veteran-heavy team, nor is it being carried by 1 or 2 players. This team is young, athletic, and deep, but none of that means anything without a coach who builds a program and gets his young athletes to buy into the system.

Panik attack, y'all.

Oh yeah, and with Springfield's victory over Portland tonight, Norfolk also clinched a playoff spot, too. Norfolk now has 91 points (they only had 93 points all of last season, and that was a good team), which puts them 8 up on St. John's in the conference and 12 up on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the division. What stuns me the most, though, is that they've run their cushion on Hershey up to 19 points. Wow. What that all means is that, if they can finish strong and win the conference, the Admirals will very likely get a first round opponent with a negative goal differential for the season. Advantage Norfolk, which leads the league now with a ludicrous goal differential of +70. +37 (Toronto) is the next closest mark in the league, for reference. What that hopefully means is the Admirals can get out of the first round quickly. As any hockey fan knows, the playoffs are as much about attrition as they are about anything else. The Lightning's '04 Cup win would likely not have happened had they not disposed of the Islanders and Canadiens quickly in the first two rounds, giving them the gas to outlast the Flyers and Flames in a pair of 7-game series at the finish line. Conversely, the Lightning having to go 7 games against the Penguins in the first round in the 2011 playoffs likely led to them being out of gas by Game 7 against the Bruins. Norfolk is putting themselves in a position to potentially win the attrition war, and if they do, we know they have everything else to make a serious championship run.

History will be made, as the commercials say, Sunday at 3 pm against this same Charlotte team. A victory gives Norfolk the all-time, single-season AHL win streak mark. As Herb Brooks said to Team USA before they played the Finns in the Gold Medal match in 1980 after their legendary upset of the Russians, "If you lose this game you'll take it to your (expletive) graves... YOUR (EXPLETIVE) GRAVES!"

Finish the drill, Admirals. Make us proud.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-14-12 Penguins at Admirals

Norfolk has a date with history this weekend.

WBS-1
NOR-4

Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 13 shots (no, not a typo) for the win. Janus is now 16-8-2 on the season, which puts him at the door step of the top-20 in the league in wins. Dustin Tokarski still rules the roost with 27 wins despite being out of the league for the last week. Two good young goaltenders = good problem to have.

First Period
WBS Lerg, (23) (O'Reilly, Strait), 8:47
NOR Panik, (16) (Barberio, Johnson), 11:28 (PP)
NOR Gudas, (7) (Jackson, Hutchings), 11:59

Second Period
NOR Johnson, (25) (Panik, Picard), 0:10 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Oberg, (6) (Palat, Johnson), 2:37

Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik, and Radko Gudas were the game's three stars.

Halfway through the month of March, Johnson's got to be the runaway favorite to win the league's Player of the Month award. He has 7 goals and 14 points in 6 games, which already matches what he put up in February. That's pretty amazing considering last month was no slouch for TJ, who put up 14 points in 13 games. He's now tied with Gustav Nyqvist at 55 points for 2nd among league rookies in points, and he's moved into a tie for 9th in the AHL in points, overall.

Johnson's linemate, Richard Panik, continues to quietly ramp up his play after a quiet first half of the year. He's within 1 point now of breaking into the top-20 in the league in rookie scoring himself, and the Panik attack shows no signs of letting up.

Mark Barberio is 5th in the AHL in assists. Discuss.

What I take away from tonight's game, given the Admirals outshot their nearest division rivals 33-13, is that they're going for it. And, I'm not talking about winning the division (now a 10 point lead over the Pens), or the conference (6 point lead over the IceCaps). This team wants the record, and they can tie the single-season win streak record of 17 on Friday in Charlotte. The Checkers are no slouches, mind you. They lead the Midwest Division and Norfolk will have to beat them on Friday and Sunday to set the record. And, despite the challenge, Norfolk's going for it. When a team holds another to 13 shots on goal, that's complete team buy-in at playoff level intensity. They just threw the keys to the tractor and the deed to the farm in the middle of the table. They're going for it, and it's going to take a team playing a playoff-level game to stop them.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 3-11-12 Admirals at Sound Tigers

Video game-like.

NOR-6
BRI-3

Jaroslav Janus started his third game in three nights and stopped 27 of 30 for his 7th consecutive victory.

First Period
NOR Smith, (22) , 15:00

Second Period
BRI Frischmon, (8) , 1:17 (SH)
NOR Barberio, (10) (Conacher, Johnson), 17:16 (PP)
NOR Panik, (14) (Smith, Johnson), 19:28 (PP)

Third Period
BRI Mouillierat, (7) (Riley, Oleksy), 7:50
BRI McNeely, (7) (Sinkewich, Rakhshani), 11:14
NOR Barberio, (11) (Johnson, Ouellet), 13:12 (PP)
NOR Panik, (15) (Labrie), 15:52
NOR Johnson, (24) (Panik, Ouellet), 17:32 (PP)

Mark Barberio, Tyler Johnson, and Richard Panik were the game's three stars.

Barberio's 2 goals moved him to 11 on the season, which is 2 better than his rookie campaign last year. He holds an 11 point advantage on St. John's defenseman Paul Postma for the league lead in scorers amongst blueliners.

Tyler Johnson has moved into 3rd amongst all AHL rookies in scoring, 3 points back of Gustav Nyqvist of Grand Rapids and 16 points back of teammate Cory Conacher.

Panik is enjoying the month of March so far with 3 goals and 8 points in 5 games. Today's Panik attack was his first 3-point game of his career.

Wednesday night in Norfolk becomes a big game for two reasons now. It was always going to be a big game with the rival Pens in town lurking 8 points back with a game in hand. But, now, it becomes even bigger with the Admirals' ridiculous, video game-like winning streak hitting 15 with a chance to run to 16. If the Admirals pull of the win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, they hop a bus to Charlotte on Friday with the opportunity to tie the all-time AHL record for consecutive victories at 17. If they pull that off, the rematch is in Charlotte at 3 pm on Sunday, with a chance to make history. It will not be easy. The Pens currently are the 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Checkers are the 3 seed in the West. But, at least its not another 3 games in 3 nights marathon like this weekend was.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-10-12 Admirals at Whale

Norfolk harpoons its 14th win in a row.

NOR-3
CT-1

Jaroslav Janus stopped 26 of 27 shots for the win. Janus has now reeled off 6 straight wins and moved his save percentage to .905, just 1 point back of Dustin Tokarski's .906 save percentage before he Oberg'ed off to join the Lightning.

First Period
CT Grant, (8) (Tanski), 8:11

Second Period
NOR Angelidis, (14) (Hutchings, Devos), 12:17

Third Period
NOR Kostka, (9) (Johnson), 1:56
NOR Johnson, (23) (Conacher), 19:18

Janus and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars, as TJ continues to progress toward becoming an AHL superstar.

Now, as the Admirals attempt to chase down history, they have a big challenge tomorrow afternoon in Bridgeport. We may well see the season debut of Pat Nagle with a shot at a page in the record books on the line. Bridgeport currently leads the Northeast Division, so they're no pushovers and the Admirals may well see them in the playoffs. Now it gets even more interesting.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 3-9-12 Admirals at Phantoms

Lucky number 13.

NOR-3
ADK-1

Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 24 shots for the victory. He picked up his 5th consecutive victory tonight, and don't look now but the save percentage has creeped up to .903.

First Period
NOR Johnson, (21) (Panik), 8:54
NOR Picard, (5) (Palat, Smith), 10:31 (PP)
NOR Johnson, (22) (Panik, Cote), 19:30

Second Period
ADK Hamel, (17) (Kessel, Akeson), 13:19 (PP)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik were the game's first and second stars. Johnson's been on a hellacious tear the past dozen games, posting 7 goals and 18 points over that span. He's also had back-to-back 2 goal games, for that matter. The Panik attack has meshed well on TJ's line recently and on the power play with back-to-back multi point games of his own.

Quote:
Does a baker's dozen wins during the stretch run of a season and becoming the first AHL team to hit 40 wins make you the frontrunner for AHL coach of the year? We think it does. Only one coach in the AHL can claim to have a winning streak that matches the number of donuts that Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau eats on an average morning, and only one coach runs big surpluses with a +57 goal differential. Only one man in the AHL builds a bridge to the future as he wins in the present, with 6 rookies in his lineup tonight. That man is Jon Cooper. A bold vision: less goals against, more goals for, more wins. The American Hockey League needs Jon Cooper. Now, more than ever.

(This message was paid for by the American Coaches Winning Tomorrow Today PAC.)

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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