Norfolk Admirals

AHL Game Night: 11-9-11 Penguins at Admirals

Admirals flub their first crack at the Penguins this year.

WBS-4
NOR-2

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

First Period
WBS Tangradi, (6) (Street, Despres), 4:46 (PP)
NOR Conacher, (5) (Johnson, Vernace), 8:35 (PP)
WBS Street, (1) , 13:27
WBS Despres, (2) (Street, Craig), 16:48

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
NOR Labrie, (3) (Ashton, Smith), 16:41
WBS Tangradi, (7) , 19:38 (EN)

Pierre-Cedric Labrie (Real Canadian Hero) was the game's third star.

Norfolk put themselves in a bad spot falling behind 3-1 with 2 quick goals late in the first period, and you can't do that against quality opposition like the Penguins.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Prospect of the Week (11.6.11)

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. There are no trophies or plaques or blue sports jackets involved, but we’re fairly certain this award will be tattooed on someone at some time.

Quite simply, 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 … Dustin Tokarski, Norfolk (AHL).

In his first two starts of the year, Dustin Tokarski, the Lightning’s top goaltending prospect, allowed 11 goals. In his next five games, he’s given up a total of five goals.

Tokarski earned our First Star of the Week for a 37-save shutout on Sunday in Providence, and a 20-save performance in a 1-0 loss in Albany on Friday. His 0.50 GAA and .983 save percentage for the week has helped solidify Tokarski as the Lightning’s No.3 goaltender and Norfolk’s unquestioned starter. Don’t be surprised if Admirals Head Coach Jon Cooper gives “The Tik” extra starts in the coming days and weeks as Tokarski has a history of month-long streaks like this where he is nearly impossible to beat.

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

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

NOR-3
PRO-0

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
NO SCORING

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 TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 11-5-11 Admirals at Sound Tigers

Norfolk needs some Ritola...

NOR-2
BRI-3

Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 32 shots for the loss.

First Period
BRI Donovan, (2) (Ullstrom, Niederreiter), 10:29
NOR Smith, (6) (Picard, Labrie), 18:48

Second Period
BRI Frischmon, (1) (Ness), 14:52

Third Period
BRI Ullstrom, (6) (Donovan, Nilsson), 7:50 (PP)
NOR Ashton, (10) (Conacher, Angelidis), 17:09

That's a very talented team that Bridgeport has. You see a lot of high draft picks and a smattering of veterans like Tim Wallace on that roster. They outshot Norfolk slightly by a 32-29 margin, and you get the feeling this may be a team the Admirals see in the playoffs.

Now, after two straight losses, it appears this is a good time to get Mattias Ritola into the fold. He didn't play tonight, but I would hope he gets in the lineup tomorrow at Providence.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Bolts Send Ritola to Norfolk

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned forward Mattias Ritola (RIH-toh-lah, mat-TEE-uhs) to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Ritola, 6-foot, 192 pounds, has played in five games with the Lightning this season, recording 14 shots on goal while averaging 10:50 in ice time per game. He had season-highs for shots on goal with eight and time on ice with 15:11 on October 13 at the New York Islanders.

A native of Borlange, Sweden, Ritola has played in 43 career NHL games with the Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings, recording four goals and nine points. He appeared in 31 games with Tampa Bay in 2010-11, notching four goals and eight points. Ritola has played in 228 career AHL games with Norfolk and the Grand Rapids Griffins. During that time he has registered 50 goals and 133 points. Ritola has also played in 12 Calder Cup Playoff games, recording a goal and seven points.

Ritola was claimed off waivers by the Lightning from Detroit on October 5, 2010. He was drafted by the Red Wings in the fourth round, 103rd overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

AHL Game Night: 11-4-11 Admirals at Devils

Norfolk shut down for the first time this year.

NOR-0
ALB-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed just 1 goal on 21 shots, but took the hard luck loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
ALB Taormina, (2) (Gionta, Zharkov), 5:20

Norfolk outshot Albany 34-21 in the game. Not too complicated, though: you have to score goals to win game.

Norfolk rolls into Bridgeport tomorrow.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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.

Ritola On Waivers

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported via Twitter today that Lightning prospect Mattias Ritola has been placed on waivers.

Ritola has spent most of the season in the press box as a healthy scratch for the Lightning. He's been in the middle of a forward rotation with Tom Pyatt and Blair Jones for playing time. Ritola had no points in his five games of action.

If Ritola clears waivers and is assigned to AHL Norfolk, it will be like when Michael Knight hit KITT's turbo boost button. Norfolk already leads the AHL in offense and Ritola had 27 points (9 goals) in 17 games with the Admirals last season.

He has until noon Thursday to be claimed.

Ritola has another year left on his contract, which he signed with the Red Wings before being claimed by Tampa Bay on waivers prior to last season. Although it's for a minimal amount of money, that extra year could scare teams away.

Stay tuned.

AHL Game Night: 10-29-11 Admirals at Crunch

Norfolk smacks a good team square across the mouth.

NOR-6
SYR-2

Jaroslav Janus (pictured) allowed 2 goals on 31 shots for the win.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (9) (Landry, Conacher), 13:13
NOR Tyrell, (3) , 18:01
NOR Smith, (5) (Vernace, Palat), 19:27

Second Period
NOR Panik, (2) (Smith, Vernace), 1:58 (PP)
SYR Smith, (1) (Schaus, O'Hanley), 6:34 (PP)

Third Period
SYR Bell, (3) (Carle, O'Hanley), 6:58
NOR Wyman, (3) (Tyrell, Dimmen), 7:24
NOR Barberio, (2) (Picard, Vernace), 10:54 (PP)

Mark Barberio, and Trevor Smith were the game's first and second stars. It's laughable that the Syracuse media had the guts to give one of theirs a star at all in a 6-2 drubbing.

This was a Syracuse team that had only lost once in regulation coming into the weekend and Norfolk owned them from the drop of the puck. And, what really is exciting is that, although there are guys like Ashton, Conacher, and Barberio that are riding high amongst the league leaders, everyone on the team is chipping in. That's what makes you believe this team is going to be a force wire-to-wire this season.

Norfolk rolls into Albany on Friday.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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

Dominant, workmanlike win.

NOR-4
PRO-2

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 TheAHL.com.

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