Panik, Richard

AHL Game Night: 1-21-12 Admirals at Whale

When Slovakians attack...

CT-4 (SO)

Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 26 shots and stopped 9 of 10 in the penalty shot session for the win. He came into the game in relief of Dustin Tokarski who unceremoniously allowed all 3 shots he faced into the net before getting the hook.

First Period
NOR Johnson, (14) (Ashton, Conacher), 0:39
CT Deveaux, (12) (Newbury, Christensen), 1:26 (PP)
CT Tanski, (3) (Tessier), 3:49
CT Bourque, (3) (Tessier, Parlett), 6:33

Second Period
NOR Palat, (3) , 3:58

Third Period
NOR Ashton, (16) (Panik, Jackson), 6:10
NOR Conacher, (24) (Kostka), 6:28 (PP)
CT Tanski, (4) (Grant, Owens), 8:13

Richard Panik was the first star of the game. He assisted Carter Ashton on the goal to tie the game at 3-3, got cheap shotted by Aaron Voros shortly thereafter, but got his revenge with the tenth round shootout winner. I'm rather shocked Janus didn't get a star, but both he and his countryman Panik were very worthy tonight. In his last 10 games, the AHL is feeling the Panik attack to the tune of 5 goals and 9 points.

For those wondering, although not 100%, Mark Barberio did dress and play tonight. I'm not the official BP Tweetmeister, but if I were: #goodnewsforachange

Norfolk's trip to the pay window moves them to within 2 points of Hershey in the division with the Bears holding a game in hand. Norfolk draws Charlotte at Scope on Tuesday night. The Checkers have been one of the best teams in the Western Conference (don't ask) this season, so Norfolk will have their work cut out for them.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-14-12 Whale at Admirals

The Pink Panik!


Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 26 shots for the victory. He earned his 16th win of the season and is now clearly in workhorse mode after playing both ends of the back-to-back this weekend.

First Period
NOR Panik, (7) (Oberg, Johnson), 13:45

Second Period
NOR Panik, (8) , 10:20
CT Tessier, (7) (Klassen), 15:32
CT Voros, (4) (Avery), 16:21

Third Period
NOR Fornataro, (5) (Kostka, Conacher), 4:14
NOR Angelidis, (7) (Barberio), 17:21

Richard Panik, Matt Fornataro, and Mike Kostka were the game's three stars. Panik now has 4 goals and 7 points in his last 7 games. The thought that Panik may finally be putting it together in his rookie season of pro hockey has to make the Lightning absolutely giddy. It's already an embarrassment of riches in Norfolk considering how well the team's other rookies have played.

Tonight was Norfolk's annual "Pink the Rink" promotion.

With both Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton winning today, the Admirals managed to maintain position in 2nd in the division, 6 points back of the Bears. Norfolk draws Albany in Albany on Wednesday with a chance to exorcise the demons from a couple of weekends back when the team went on a mini-tailspin.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-10-12 Penguins at Admirals

Norfolk shakes off its Albany hangover 1 period too late.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 23 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Thompson, (4) (Street), 5:09
WBS Thompson, (5) (Chupp, Rust), 5:25
WBS Street, (12) (Walker, Grant), 16:34 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Ouellet, (8) (Dimmen, Devos), 0:53

Third Period
NOR Gudas, (6) (Barberio, Kostka), 6:09

Radko Gudas was the game's third star and had a goal on the rare scoring play where 3 natural d-men figure in the scoring.

Richard Panik had his scoring streak snapped at 3 games.

You take solace from the fact the Admirals outshot the Pens 18-10 in the final two periods. They seemed to be absolutely shell shocked for about 5+ periods of play going back to the collapse in the opening game of the set against Albany. Unfortunately, Norfolk has dropped 4 points behind Hershey and are now tied with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the division.

Norfolk has a 2-game set against Connecticut on Friday and Saturday. The Whale sit atop the Northeast Division, so it's no easy draw for the Admirals.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-7-12 Devils at Admirals

Ads lose weekend, division lead.


Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 23 shots for the loss.

First Period
ALB Gelinas, (7) (Zajac, Sislo), 17:05

Second Period
ALB Veilleux, (5) (Anderson, Zajac), 1:07 (PP)
ALB Berube, (1) (Mills, Gelinas), 10:38

Third Period
NOR Panik, (6) (Barberio, Smith), 7:43 (PP)

The Panik Attack has now lasted 4 games. Richard Panik has 2 goals and 5 points over that span.

Norfolk drops 2 points behind Hershey for the division lead. They return to action Tuesday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-6-12 Devils at Admirals


NOR-4 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 39 shots in an epic collapse over the final 12 and a half minutes of regulation and overtime. He's got to be better in situations where things are snowballing like they did tonight. Got to.

First Period
NOR Barberio, (4) (Fornataro, Angelidis), 9:04
NOR Ashton, (15) (Devos, Panik), 19:51

Second Period
NOR Smith, (16) (Barberio, Panik), 7:19 (PP)
NOR Oberg, (1) (Gudas, Johnson), 12:47

Third Period
ALB Palmieri, (3) (Zajac, Hoeffel), 7:47
ALB Hoeffel, (3) (Mills, Burlon), 10:06
ALB Anderson, (6) (Veilleux, Gelinas), 10:59
ALB Gelinas, (6) (Mills), 19:34

ALB Whitney, (8) (Harrold, Anderson), 3:31 (PP)

Mark Barberio was the game's second star. He now has 31 points in 33 games to nearly equal the 33 points he posted in 68 games last year as a rookie. That's due partly because he's nearly doubled his amount of shots on goal per game. Last season he had 103 shots on goal all season. He has 95 so far this year. Pucks on net mean rebounds and they mean getting the puck down low in the zone in potentially advantageous positions.

Richard Panik extends the Panik Attack to 3 games. Tonight was his second multi-point game as a pro. The hope is that the adjustment period is starting to fade and he has a really strong second half of the season to set himself up well for 2012-2013.

A 3 goal lead in the third period should be a death sentence in pro hockey for the team that's down. A 4 goal lead with under 13 minutes left absolutely should be 999 out of 1,000 times. And when that 1 in 1,000 times happens to you as the losing club, it stings. Yes, Norfolk was short 2 forwards tonight and having to play d-men up front, but for a 4-0 lead to evaporate in a touch over 12 minutes is unbelievable.

Fortunately, Hershey also lost tonight in overtime in the big outdoor game in Philly against the Phantoms, so the Admirals remain tied for the division lead. But, they'll have to show a lot of resiliency tomorrow against the Devils to regain some of the pride they had ripped from them tonight.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 1-4-12 Admirals at Penguins

Panik attack, y'all!


Dustin Tokarski allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the victory. He runs his record to 14-7-0 with the win, which is not too shabby. A 2.33 GAA doesn't hurt my feelings either.

First Period
NOR Panik, (5) (Cote, Ashton), 3:25
NOR Conacher, (20) (Labrie, Smith), 4:31
NOR Gudas, (5) (Conacher, Smith), 8:25

Second Period
WBS Petersen, (6) (Craig, Samuelsson), 2:16

Third Period
NOR Conacher, (21) (Kostka, Smith), 11:34 (PP)
NOR Angelidis, (6) (Dimmen, Landry), 19:00 (PP)

Cory Conacher, Trevor Smith, and Richard Panik were the game's three stars. Welcome to the first points streak of Panik's professional career.

Congratulations are in order for Conacher, Smith, and Mark Barberio on their selections as AHL All-Stars. Conacher now sits at 4th in the league in scoring with 41 points in 33 games. Smith checks in at 3rd with 42 points in 34 games. Barberio, for his part, is tied for tops amongst defensemen in scoring at 29 points in 32 games.

Norfolk moves back into a tie with Hershey at 44 points for tops in the East Division and opens up a 3 point lead on the Pens. The Admirals have a 2 game set with Albany on Friday and Saturday.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 11-26-11 Bruins at Admirals

It's a Panik attack!


Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the win.

First Period

Second Period
PRO Hennessy, (6) (Arniel, Bartkowski), 11:35
NOR Labrie, (5) (Gudas, Angelidis), 16:32

Third Period
NOR Panik, (3) (Wright, Palat), 9:59
NOR Wright, (1) (Panik, Palat), 12:40
PRO Cunningham, (2) (Bartkowski, Arniel), 19:46

Tokarski, Richard Panik (pictured), and James Wright were the game's three stars.

As I mentioned after last night's game, it's hard to beat a team on back-to-back nights when you really beat them badly on the first night. There's a tendency to come out complacent while they come out flying because they don't want to be embarrassed again. That happened tonight, to the tune of a 13-7 shot advantage for the Bruins that was much wider the first 10-15 minutes of play, but Tokarski held the game close and allowed the Admirals to gain their legs.

In the third period, the game was broken open by the line of Palat/Wright/Panik. It's hard to believe that was just Wright's first goal of the season, but perhaps now he has a stable line to run on. He'd be the "Oh Canada!" in the Czech-Oh-Slovakia line.

Norfolk is 2 points back of the Penguins in 2nd place in the East Division and 4th overall in the Eastern Conference. They draw the Pens in a key divisional showdown on Tuesday in Norfolk.

Box score from

Lightning Announce Contract for Prospect Richard Panik

Last night reported Lightning prospect Richard Panik was signed by Tampa Bay to a standard three year entry contract. The Lightning made the signing official today.

Panik, 20, was surprisingly sent back to the Ontario Hockey League after training camp last fall despite being eligible to play for AHL Norfolk. It was later revealed he was sent back with instructions to play at a higher level, and Panik did just that.

The Slovakian native scored a career high 27 goals (many in highlight-reel fashion) and 56 points in 51 games for Belleville and Guelph. As captain of Slovakia's World Junior Championship entry, he led the team with seven goals and nine points in six games. He had five points (two goals) in seven games at the WJCs in 2009.

He again was eligible to join Norfolk after Guelph was eliminated in the OHL playoffs, but the 2009 second round pick of the Bolts chose to return home in an attempt to make the Slovakian World Championship roster for the second year in a row. Since Slovakia was the tournament host, the team loaded up with veterans and Panik was among the last cut from the team. He had two assists in six games played in the men's tournament a year ago as a teenager.

Panik, when driven, can be an offensive force in pro hockey and could flirt with a possible position on the Lightning next fall. He has NHL size (6'1" 218), skating, hockey sense, and shot. He has to put it all together and do it consistently. His mean streak/arrogance could be his most valuable asset, too. His biggest "weakness" is his inconsistent work ethic, which combined with some perceived character issues was why he fell to the second round in 2009.

With Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman's patient approach, one would expect Panik to begin next year in the AHL and work his way into an impact role with the Admirals before being considered for the Lightning.

Here's a few Panik highlights from his junior career:

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4/23/11 Admirals at Penguins

A brave Norfolk Admirals team has nothing to be ashamed about effort-wise in this playoffs.


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wins the Series 4-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, including an unsuccessful third period penalty shot by Joe Vitale in the third period. Considering the winning goal was essentially a 3-on-1, there's not much more Tic could've done tonight. He finishes the playoffs with 1 shutout, a 2.20 GAA, and a .924 save percentage, and he looks like a lock to be Norfolk's starter next season. In all likelihood, Cedrick Desjardins will be the backup in Tampa Bay next season, and Tokarski's play down the stretch seems to indicate he's the type of netminder who wants and needs to be the clear cut #1 in order to be at his best after struggling a bit as a tandem starter with Desjardins. He's regained the title of the Lightning's "Goaltender of the Future" and the priority for next season, his third pro season, will be for Tokarski to prove he can be that consistent #1 goalie before potentially moving up to the NHL in the 4th season of his pro career. At least, that seems to be what the plan is for Tic.

First Period
WBS Wagner, (1) (Walker, Craig), 2:13 (PP)
WBS Wagner, (2) (Potter, Walker), 3:58 (PP)
WBS Wagner, (3) (Wallace, Potter), 18:36

Second Period
NOR Pouliot, (4) (Ritola, Vernace), 14:18
NOR Jones, (1) (Ritola, Milam), 16:03 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Vitale, (2) (Wallace, Collins), 7:23
NOR Wright, (1) (Fornataro, Pouliot), 10:35 (PP)
WBS Wallace, (1) (Vitale, Potter), 18:57 (EN)
WBS Sill, (1) (Strait, Thiessen), 19:21 (EN)

Marc-Antoine Pouliot was the game's third star.

When you consider the Penguins came into this series the best team in the Eastern Conference, and the Admirals had to win their last game just to avoid having to cross over into the Atlantic Division, the Admirals have nothing to feel ashamed of in playing this series so tightly. The hard work and character of this Admirals team is worthy of mention, and the team and organization have come such a long way in 4 seasons since the Lightning started their affiliation with Norfolk.

Coincidentally, the East's crossover team, Binghamton, just knocked off Manchester in Game 7 to advance to the Atlantic Division final against Portland. One wonders what shape a Norfolk/Manchester series might have taken if Norfolk hadn't beaten Connecticut to close the regular season.

The big question now is what this Norfolk Admirals team will look like next season, with several of their older players facing contract decisions and several of the Lightning's best young prospects ticketed for Virginia next season.

Will veterans like Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Chris Durno, Mike Vernace, Mathieu Roy, and Troy Milam be back with the team next year? What about long-time pros like Blair Jones, Mike Angelidis, Mattias Ritola, and Vladimir Mihalik? Mihalik and Ritola just finished their 4th years of pro hockey and Jones and Angelidis finished their 5th. Many of these players will surely have opportunities to play in European leagues next season. We know Johan Harju will, for instance, and the question is whether Johan will stay in North America after a disappointing second half. And will Kevin Quick's time in the Lightning organization be over as well?

Conversely, the Admirals will need to free up spots for several of the Lightning's top prospects. Carter Ashton and Charles Landry have already made appearances for the club this season in the playoffs. Richard Panik and Tyler Johnson seem like locks to be in Norfolk next season, too.

Next season could be a big change for the Admirals organization, as the last vestiges of previous regimes pass on. Change is inevitable for a minor league club, but the Admirals seem destined for even more change than is the norm. The good news is that they seem to have good goaltending locked down and even better coaching after a successful inaugural campaign by Head Coach Jon Cooper and assistant Mike Flanagan along with player development consultant Steve Thomas. This group seems to have taken a decent foundation laid by earlier teams and made it even stronger this year, and that foundation can help the new Admirals grow to be even more successful than this year's edition, in time. Look at how well guys like Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas took to the league this season. It portends good things.

Box score from

North American Juniors Game Night: 4/3/11


Western Conference Quarterfinals

No.2 Saginaw Spirit 6 @ No.7 Guelph Storm 5
Saginaw wins best of seven series 4-2

C/W Richard Panik, GUE: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM (check to the head)
Season Totals: 51 GP, 27-29-56, -6, 75 PIM
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 1-2-3, -4, 10 PIM

Guelph had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in Game 6, but needed three late goals just to pull within one score of the higher seeded Spirit. The Storm also had a series lead of 2-1, but couldn’t win Game 4 and eventually lost the series. Panik, who had another check-to the head penalty, can now join the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL again since his team is finished. Panik’s junior career is also over. He is expect to play for Norfolk or Tampa Bay next season. Step 1 is a contract, however.

Western Conference Quarterfinals

No.1 Owen Sound Attack 1 @ No.8 London Knights 0
Owen Sound wins best of seven series 4-2

D Geoffrey Schemitsch, OS: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 45 GP, 1-19-20, +17, 14 PIM
Playoff Totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
G Michael Zador, OS: Win, 23 saves on 23 shots, shutout, *Second Star*
Season Totals: 31 GP, 19-5-1-1, 3.23 GAA, .888 sv%, 0 SO
Playoff Totals: 3 GP, 2-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%, 1 SO

Zador (pictured) is taking the No.1 job and running with it. The former London Knight first rounder stopped 23 of 23 shots Sunday to shut out the Knights and help the Attack advance to the second round of the playoffs. Zador was part of London’s trade that brought John Tavares to the Knights from Oshawa. The Gens traded Zador to Owen Sound this season when the Attack was looking for a backup goaltender. Zador had fallen to No.3 in Oshawa. Owen Sound is the first team from the Western Conference to advance.


Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

No.1 Saskatoon Blades 2 @ No.8 Prince Albert Raiders 1
Saskatoon wins best of seven series 4-2

D Teigan Zahn, SAS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Season Totals: 72 GP, 3-20-23, +39, 133 PIM
Playoff Totals: 6 GP, 0-2-2 +2, 6 PIM

Top-seeded Saskatoon got an overtime goal from Matej Stransky (2011) to finally put away the pesky Raiders. Prince Albert goaltender Jamie Tucker turned the puck over in overtime when a Blades player yelled “Tucks!” Tucker thought it was a teammate and handed the puck to him and before he knew it, the puck was in the net. Saskatoon will play either Kootenay or Brandon in Round 2.

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