Norfolk Admirals

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-22-12 Admirals at IceCaps Game Four

AHL Eastern Conference Champions.


Norfolk Wins the Series 4-0

Dustin Tokarski turned away all 28 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout. When you go 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals with a GAA that is sub 0.50, that's pretty good. Norfolk played great defense in front of Tic, but when stops needed to be made he was in position to make the routine look routine. Heading into the Calder Cup Finals, he's 7-2-0 with 2 shutouts, a 1.65 GAA, and a .939 save percentage. Even Riku Helenius is envious of those numbers.

First Period
NOR Oberg, (2) (Picard, Angelidis), 15:15
NOR Johnson, (3) (Palat, Barberio), 17:47 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Smith, (4) (Labrie, Aulie), 1:41

Third Period
NOR Segal, (3) (Johnson), 9:28 (PP)

Norfolk put its killer instinct on full display tonight, outshooting St. John's 18-7 in the First Period en route to the 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Nothing against Newfoundland, but the Ads clearly had no intention of sticking around for a Game Five on Saturday.

Tokarski and Trevor Smith were the game's first and second stars.

Brandon Segal made sure that St. John's championship hopes stayed Submerged with a capping insurance goal.

And now, as the great Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. With Toronto leading the Western Conference Finals 2-1, the earliest that series could be over is Game Five on Friday. Ideally, that series would go the distance, ending next week on Wednesday in Oklahoma City, meaning the winner would have to fly halfway across the country to play a well rested, healthy, hungry Admirals team. Whenever the Finals start know this: banners are nice, and the Admirals have already won two of them, but this sport is played for Cups. Period. They've come too far on this odyssey to settle for the silver medal. I've said it over and over this season, and every time they've answered the bell. Admirals: finish the drill.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-21-12 Admirals at IceCaps Game Three


STJ-0 (OT)

Norfolk Leads the Series 3-0

Dustin Tokarski stopped all 25 shots he faced for the shutout win. That's Dustin's second career playoff shutout as a pro. He had one last year against the Penguins. He really only had to stare down a couple of really good chances all night, as Norfolk's defense was suffocating all game long.

First Period

Second Period

Third Period

NOR Labrie, (4) , 1:37

Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Tokarski were the game's second and third stars. Labrie became the hero after blocking a St. John's point shot, collecting the puck, steaming down left wing, and depositing a wrist shot in the back of the net for the Overtime winner.

Defenseman Scott Jackson left the game early and did not return after taking a shot to the side of the head.

Norfolk goes for the sweep in Game Four tomorrow. Keep in mind the early Newfoundland start time of 6:00 pm Eastern Time. Toronto bested Oklahoma City 5-3 earlier in the day to take a 2-1 series lead in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals, and their Game Four is Wednesday. It would behoove Norfolk to finish the drill tomorrow night and try to gain a big rest/health advantage heading into the Calder Cup Finals.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-19-12 IceCaps at Admirals Game Two

Half way to the Calder Cup Finals.


Norfolk Leads the Series 2-0

Dustin Tokarski was cooler than the other side of the pillow with 30 saves on 31 shots. The numbers look great after two pretty good performances to start the Eastern Conference Finals: 6-2-0, 0 SO, 2.06 GAA, .924 save percentage. Nice.

First Period
NOR Panik, (3) (Oberg, Smith), 0:51

Second Period
STJ Albert, (3) (Postma, Murray), 1:51
NOR Picard, (7) (Kostka, Angelidis), 15:38

Third Period
NOR Picard, (8) (Cote), 19:07 (EN)

Alexandre Picard and Tokarski were the game's first and second stars. Picard moves out ahead in the race for playoff MVP, now sporting 8 goals and 14 points in 12 games.

Panik attack, y'all.

Trevor Smith has the quietest 12 points in 12 games I've ever seen.

After a sloppy defensive performance in Game Four of the Connecticut series, the Admirals have really put the forcefield up. They've allowed just 3 goals in the past 4 games, and with the offensive weapons they have, no team is beating them in a seven game series if they continue to play this well in their own end. Now it's getting really exciting.

Now Norfolk is playing with house money heading to St. John's for three games. All they have to do is win one of three up north to give themselves a great chance to take this series, and if they can manufacture a win in Game Three on Monday, they've got a chance to shorten this series and get themselves a big health and rest advantage on whoever is the Western Conference representative. Oklahoma City and Toronto split the first two games of their series, and could be in for a long struggle.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-17-12 IceCaps at Admirals Game One

Norfolk passes the midpoint on their way up the mountain, but there's still a lot of climbing left to do.


Norfolk Leads the Series 1-0

Dustin Tokarski stopped 29 of 30 for the win as Jon Cooper again flexes his superior coaching instincts.

First Period
NOR Kostka, (2) (Oberg, Smith), 18:55 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Ouellet, (1) (Johnson, Barberio), 3:08 (PP)
NOR Kostka, (3) (Devos, Angelidis), 11:04
NOR Cote, (1) (Smith, Labrie), 13:42

Third Period
NOR Palat, (4) (Johnson, Conacher), 1:28
STJ Redmond, (1) (Trotter, Postma), 2:11 (PP)
NOR Aulie, (1) (Palat, Conacher), 7:21

Mike Kostka, Cory Conacher, and Tokarski were the game's three stars. Ondrej Palat, Trevor Smith, and Tyler Johnson also contributed multi-point performances.

Alex Killorn was a scratch for, presumably, health reasons.

Norfolk's players can enjoy this win for another 2-3 hours tonight, and then they need to erase it from the memory banks. The danger after a win like this is complacency. Norfolk's good, but they're not 5 goals better than the IceCaps on any given night, and they have to be ready to go Saturday night in Game Two. The IceCaps won't lick their wounds long, because they've got the shot for redemption on Saturday and they can be right in the spot they want to be with a 1-1 split, so Norfolk can't go into that game overconfident. They have to bring their lunch buckets and make sure they give themselves the best chance to get that 2-0 lead before heading north.

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Prospect of the Week (5.16.12)

This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions.

We wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospect’s achievement on the ice.

This week’s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to … Jaroslav Janus, G, Norfolk Admirals (AHL).

The Norfolk Admirals are in the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in their history, and third-year pro Jaroslav Janus has a lot to do with that.

AHL Eastern Conference Finals Set

St. John's held off a Third Period rally by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to defeat the Penguins 3-2 in Game Seven of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. That means the #2 seed IceCaps will face the #1 seed Norfolk Admirals in the Eastern Conference Finals.

From the Norfolk Admrials' press release:

Norfolk’s Complete Third Round Playoff Schedule (All Times EDT):
Game 1 - Thursday, May 17, 7:15 p.m., Norfolk Scope Arena (Game H)
Game 2 - Saturday, May 19, 8:00 p.m., Norfolk Scope Arena (Game I)
Game 3 - Monday, May 21, 6:00 p.m., Mile One Centre
Game 4 - Tuesday, May 22, 6:00 p.m., Mile One Centre
*Game 5 - Saturday, May 26, 6:00 p.m., Mile One Centre
*Game 6 - Tuesday, May 29, 7:15 p.m., Norfolk Scope Arena (Game J)
*Game 7 - Wednesday, May 30, 7:15 p.m., Norfolk Scope Arena (Game K)
*If necessary

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-11-12 Whale at Admirals Game Six


NOR-2 (OT)

Norfolk Wins the Series 4-2

Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 31 shots for the victory. The one goal he allowed was on a weak rebound that ended up ping-ponging behind him, but he was perfect from thereon out. His 30 saves included a penalty shot stop on Connecticut's best scorer, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, who did Janus a favor by taking his attempt at the pace of a snail's crawl. Easy money for a goaltender as quick and athletic as Janus.

First Period
CT Audy-Marchessault, (4) (Hrivik, Wellman), 14:49

Second Period

Third Period
NOR Johnson, (2) (Palat), 10:52

NOR Panik, (2) (Killorn, Oberg), 17:01

Richard Panik and Janus were the game's first and second stars. Panik is made of steel. He took a slapshot to the face in the Third Period and looked tough as nails immediately popping up and skating to the locker room for his medical care. No nonsense. Stitch me up. He gets back out midway through Overtime, and on his first shift he absolutely dejocked Cameron Talbot on a backhand-forehand deke for the breakaway winner in Overtime. He was ineffective the final month of the regular season, but what has impressed me in these playoffs is that although the points haven't come in droves, he's been very strong on the puck on the forecheck and he's contributed in other areas. I felt so good for the young man to get the winner.

What a stretch pass by the already immortal Alex Killorn to get Panik that breakaway. Good Lord. I hope Norfolk's trainer did up Panik's face with that kind of laser-like surgical precision.

Other than Alexandre Picard, I don't know if there's been any Admirals player who has been as consistently strong as Ondrej Palat in these playoffs. That guy was a playmaking demon tonight. I'm not surprised Norfolk won it in Overtime. I am surprised Palat didn't set up or score the winner. It seemed like he set up at least a half dozen dangerous chances in the game, including Tyler Johnson's key tying goal in the Third Period. I'm really starting to love me some Ondrej Palat.

It really is a game of (less than) inches. Marek Hrivik had a shot in the Third Period that hit the underside of the crossbar and was waved off that would've given Connecticut a 2-0 lead and likely the game. With Cameron Talbot looking like a wall in net and the Whale defense looking stifling through the first 40 minutes of play, it really did look like the Admirals were going to have to play Game Seven late Sunday afternoon. 1/4 inch lower and Norfolk probably loses. Instead, the Admirals mashed down on the gas pedal and ended up outshooting the Whale 34-7 in the Third and Overtime, after getting outshot 24-12 in the first two frames.

Norfolk awaits the winner of Game Seven between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and St. John's tomorrow night in the Eastern Conference Finals after the Penguins took Game Six from the IceCaps earlier tonight 4-2. Norfolk should resolve that whoever makes it out of that series, the Admirals jump on them immediately in Game One. Whoever survives that Game Seven will be emotionally drained and have to travel from St. John's all the way to Norfolk. Jump on them and don't look back. In the West, Oklahoma City finished out their series tonight and they'll face Toronto in the Western Conference Finals.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-9-12 Admirals at Whale (In Bridgeport) Game Five

The line must be drawn here!


Norfolk Leads the Series 3-2

Jaroslav Janus stopped all 22 shots he faced for the victory. Remind me never to play poker against Jon Cooper, because he's obviously a gambler with impeccable instincts to switch back to Janus between the pipes. In fact, I'd have to say Cooper pressed all the right buttons team-wide to get them ready for this critical game.

First Period
NOR Picard, (5) (Labrie), 15:15

Second Period
NOR Picard, (6) (Jackson, Palat), 2:43

Third Period
NOR Palat, (3) (Johnson, Cote), 14:06
NOR Labrie, (3) (Angelidis, Segal), 19:54

Alexandre Picard, Janus, and Ondrej Palat were the game's three stars.

Picard continues to play like a man possessed. He had just 6 goals in 42 regular season games, but his pair of tallies tonight got him to 6 in just 9 postseason contests. He was dominant tonight, and was definitely the leader of a focused Norfolk attack. In fact, we have an exclusive transcript of Picard's emotional pre-game speech to the team below (not really):

Palat, for his part, continues to obliterate all expectations with a well-rounded game that has made him, consistently, one of the Admirals' best performers to this point in the playoffs. Not only did he have a goal and an assist tonight, but he also knocked Andre Deveaux, who is built like a tank, off the ice for a good portion of play with a hit. He's strong offensively. He's strong defensively. He's killing penalties. He's even hitting people. What a great late round pickup by the Lightning's scouts.

Tyler Johnson returned from injury and assisted on Palat's goal.

If I was a Connecticut Whale fan, I'd be pretty upset that Game Five essentially became a neutral site game in Bridgeport, which had to curtail their intensity a little bit in a critical Game Five situation. Fortunately, though, I'm not a Connecticut Whale fan. Stinks for you, Whale fans.

Game Six is Friday in Norfolk and both teams will now make the 8-9 hour bus trek to Scope. The good news is that St. John's failed to close out Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last night in double overtime, so if Norfolk can handle business on Friday, they won't be at any disadvantage from a rest standpoint going into the Eastern Conference Finals. The momentum is all in the Admirals' favor now. They need to finish the drill. The line has been drawn here.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-7-12 Admirals at Whale Game Four

It's a 3 game series now.


Series Tied at 2-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 23 shots for the loss. He'll want that first goal that went through him by Marchessault back. As with most goals like that, it became a big difference in the game.

First Period
CT Audy-Marchessault, (3) (Deveaux, Newbury), 19:05

Second Period
CT Tanski, (1) (Tessier, Grant), 3:56

Third Period
NOR Panik, (1) (Killorn), 7:42
CT Wellman, (4) (Valentenko, Hrivik), 16:48
CT Newbury, (1) (Erixon, Talbot), 17:51 (EN)

The silver lining of the game is the breaking of a month plus long slump by Richard Panik. Norfolk needs more Panik attacks.

Tyler Johnson was scratched after injury led him to be ineffective in Game Three.

The scene shifts to Bridgeport for Game Five on Wednesday. Tonight's attendance was only 1,641, so I'd say the experience won't be altogether different on Wednesday. St. John's can close out their series in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tomorrow, so Norfolk may very well live to regret allowing this series drag on to 6 or 7 games, even if they make it into the Eastern Conference Finals.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 5-6-12 Admirals at Whale Game Three

Norfolk withstands Connecticut's best shot.


Norfolk Leads the Series 2-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the victory. The stat line is ho hum, but he gave the Admirals exactly what they needed. Under siege for much of the first half of the Second Period, Tokarski kept the game close and allowed the Admirals to get their legs underneath them and get a critical victory.

First Period
CT Wellman, (2) , 5:20 (PP)
NOR Palat, (2) , 8:01 (SH)
CT Deveaux, (2) (Hrivik, Newbury), 17:12

Second Period
NOR Killorn, (3) (Kostka, Picard), 11:31 (PP)
NOR Smith, (3) (Barberio, Conacher), 12:16
NOR Angelidis, (1) (Ouellet, Gudas), 17:40

Third Period
CT Wellman, (3) (Newbury, Erixon), 1:06 (PP)

Ondrej Palat and Tokarski were the game's first and third stars. Color me pleasantly surprised with Palat overall this season. He's better along the wall and defensively than advertised. Heck, he even kills penalties. Between Palat and fellow Eastern European Richard Panik, it's really no contest which of the two has played better so far in the playoffs.

Speaking of those from the Czech-or-Slovakia region, Radko Gudas played a ton in the final frame protecting the one goal lead, and played really well.

Alex Killorn is the truth.

Cory Conacher is... touched? Is that the diplomatic way to put it? Heavyweight Andre Deveaux decided to rough up Conacher after the whistle on a play in the Second Period, and Conacher actually chased after him like he wanted to fight him. Cory, brother, you're strong pound-for-pound, but Deveaux eats meals that weigh more than you do. Stick to whipping his behind on the scoreboard, where it really hurts.

Norfolk won tonight despite being outshot for the first time in these playoffs. They'll move on to Game Four tomorrow night with the chance to really put Connecticut behind the eight ball. Yes, they got "home ice" back tonight, but bear in mind Game Five is really a neutral site game in Bridgeport due to a scheduling conflict. The Whale can't afford to lose Game Four. Sweep the leg, Admirals. Sweep the leg.

In the other Eastern Conference Semifinal, St. John's swept the weekend and now hold a 3-1 series lead over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Another reason for Norfolk to get on the gas tomorrow is that they don't want the IceCaps to have a rest advantage heading into any potential Eastern Conference Finals series.

Box score from

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