Tokarski, Dustin

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4/20/11 Penguins at Admirals

Shorthanded Admirals can't quite get over the hump.


Series Tied at 2-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 33 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Potter, (1) (Sill, Wagner), 4:48
NOR Harju, (1) (Pouliot, Fornataro), 16:04

Second Period
WBS Strait, (1) (Sterling, Vitale), 2:38
NOR Pouliot, (3) (Mihalik, Fornataro), 13:25
WBS Craig, (1) (Lerg, Sterling), 18:17 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Vitale, (1) (Collins, Potter), 15:38

Marc-Antoine Pouliot was named the game's second star.

Norfolk was allowed to insert Alex Hutchings in the lineup and they added Charles Landry, but they were still without 6 of their best forwards due to injuries and recalls. They may get one or both of Mattias Ritola and/or Blair Jones back for Game Five and with Tri-City being eliminated last night, there's the possibility of adding Carter Ashton to the lineup. Maybe they can get Angelidis or Berry back too? We'll see.

Game Five seems like a must-win, and the Admirals need as many hands on deck as possible.

Box score from

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

A brave effort by the Admirals comes an eyelash short.


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

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4/16/11 Admirals at Penguins

Shock and awe in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


Norfolk Leads the Series 2-0

Dustin Tokarski stopped all 27 shots he faced for the shutout victory. That's a man who has only allowed 1 goal so far in this series. He had a reputation of being a big game, money goaltender in the playoffs as a junior, and it's translated so far in his first playoff run as a pro. He's 59/60 so far, for a .983 save percentage.

First Period

Second Period
NOR Szczechura, (1) (Labrie, Fornataro), 19:52

Third Period
NOR Pouliot, (2) (Mihalik), 19:56 (EN)

Tokarski and Paul Szczechura were the game's first and second stars.

That just happened. Norfolk followed the road game script to perfection en route to a big win that now makes them the prohibitive favorite to make it out of this round to face the winner of the Hershey/Charlotte series. The AHL follows a 2-3-2 playoff format, so Norfolk now just needs to win 2 out of 3 at Scope to close out the series. As with tonight, though, they need to be prepared for a surging, desperate Penguins team during the first 20 minutes of Game Three on Tuesday night. The Admirals probably wish they could play Game Three tomorrow night so the Penguins would have less time to regroup, because right now Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is in stunned disbelief of what has happened in the series so far.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4/15/11 Admirals at Penguins

Norfolk stuns Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Now they have a tiger by the tail.


Norfolk Leads the Series 1-0

Dustin Tokarski allowed just 1 goal on 33 shots for the victory in his first professional playoff game. For Norfolk, if they get goaltending, they're capable of beating anyone, and they got goaltending from Tic tonight.

First Period

Second Period
NOR Ritola, (1) (Milam), 5:23
NOR Pouliot, (1) (Ritola), 18:27

Third Period
WBS Veilleux, (1) (Walker, Potter), 17:13

Tokarski, Mattias Ritola, and Marc-Antoine Pouliot were the game's three stars. The like of Ritola/Pouliot/Jones is as good as any in the AHL right now, and there isn't a hotter player in the league than Mattias Ritola. Mind you, the rest of the Admirals forwards haven't been as stellar over the past month, but that line gives the Admirals enough firepower to win games with competent defense and goaltending. The Penguins learned that tonight.

So, Norfolk has accomplished what they set out to accomplish in the first two games of the series, which was to steal home ice before heading back to Norfolk in the 2-3-2 format. However, the challenge becomes very different in Game Two. The Admirals now need to recognize they've got a tiger by the tail. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is now going to be desperate to win Game Two, because a loss may be a death sentence for the Penguins. So, Norfolk is going to face a higher level of intensity than they've seen all year, particularly in the first 20 minutes of Game Two. If they're not careful, they'll be blown out and momentum will reside on the Penguins' bus headed down to Virginia. However, if they handle the surge from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton early and can keep the game within a goal heading into the final frame, the Ritola line and special teams can deliver the big time upset. Make no mistake, WBS should be favored heavily in Game Two, but Norfolk has enough, on paper, to pull the stunner off again. At the very least, if Norfolk is competitive in Game Two, momentum will still be on the Admirals' side going into Game Three, Four, and Five, having already accomplished what they needed to in Pennsylvania.

Box score from

AHL Game Day: 4/10/11 Admirals at Whale

It's an organization-wide Lightning vs. Penguins playoff matchup.


Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 20 shots for the victory.

First Period
NOR Pouliot, (25) (Ritola), 9:26
NOR Szczechura, (21) (Milam, Barberio), 15:46 (PP)
NOR Jones, (24) (Pouliot, Ritola), 19:22 (PP)

Second Period
CT Mitchell, (8) (Couture, Valentenko), 1:02
NOR Ritola, (9) (Jones), 3:15
NOR Szczechura, (22) (Wright, Harju), 5:34
CT Valentenko, (5) (Yogan, Dupont), 13:10

Third Period
CT Niemi, (3) (Grachev, Couture), 11:56 (PP)
NOR Angelidis, (20) , 17:36

Paul Szczechura and Mattias Ritola were the game's first and second stars. With his 3 point effort, Ritola finishes the regular season with 9 goals and 27 points in 17 AHL games.

Mike Angelidis became the 5th and final Admiral to hit 20 goals this season. Chris Durno finished 1 shy at 19 and Matt Fornataro and James Wright had 17 and 16 a piece.

In 56 games, Blair Jones set a new career high in points with 55. His previous high was 54 in 80 games two seasons ago.

Johan Harju finishes his rookie AHL campaign with 23 goals and 52 points in 63 games, and a +15 rating.

With the victory, Norfolk leapfrogged Binghamton into 4th place in the East Division. That means Norfolk will draw the top team in the Eastern Conference, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, in the first round. The Pens have the stingiest goaltending and defense in the conference, allowing just 183 goals (2.29 GAA). It'll also be an interesting meeting of old friends, as a key member of the Pens is BoltProspects alumni Ryan Craig. Craig had 19 goals and 48 points to finish 2nd on the Pens in scoring this season.

It's a brutally tough matchup. The key will be for Norfolk to focus on getting a win in the first two on the road. Get that win, settle into the grind of the series, and let the chips fall where they may. On paper, Norfolk is as talented as anyone in the conference, although there's a question mark in net with Dustin Tokarski recovering from getting slashed with a skate. If they get goaltending, though, they have a chance.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4/9/11 Admirals at Crunch

Well, at least Harju got off the schnide.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 31 shots in his first game back from his date with a skate blade for the loss. He did stop a penalty shot in the game.

First Period
NOR Harju, (22) (Szczechura), 11:04

Second Period
SYR Palmieri, (29) (Schofield), 2:17 (PP)
NOR Berry, (14) (Roy), 7:39
SYR Macenauer, (13) (Green, Clark), 7:55
SYR Green, (15) (Deschamps), 10:05 (SH)
SYR Deschamps, (15) (Green), 11:45 (SH)

Third Period
NOR Harju, (23) (Jones, Barberio), 6:52
SYR Maroon, (26) (Holland, Guenin), 10:48 (PP)
NOR Vernace, (7) (Milam, Harju), 14:46

Johan Harju was the game's second star.

With an assist tonight, Mark Barberio made it to the 30 point plateau. Not a bad rookie season for the young man.

Good news/bad news: Charlotte won, so 3rd place in the East Division is out of the question. Binghamton lost, though, so if Norfolk wins tomorrow, they can climb to 4th in the East Division. More interesting, Connecticut lost, so Norfolk has clinched not worse than the #3 seed in the Atlantic Division via the crossover. They play Connecticut tomorrow night, and they now have two potential matchups: win and they get the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (and their .728 winning percentage). Lose and they draw the Manchester Monarchs (and their .620 winning percentage). Yes, the crossover rule is the dumbest in professional sports, and the only reason it's not an outrage to me is that I consider it only fair seeing how Norfolk was jobbed out of playoff spot last season by it. Not to be a conspiracy theorist, and Manchester is certainly no pushover, but perhaps the egg the Admirals laid in Syracuse over the past three nights had a silver lining?

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4/6/11 Admirals at Senators

Norfolk clings to 4th in the East Division by the slimmest of margins.

BNG-2 (OT)

Jaroslav Janus shined making 42 saves in the overtime loss. He's allowed just 5 goals on 86 shots (.953 sv%) since spelling Dustin Tokarski against Hershey when Tic got cut with a skate. All of a sudden, he's playing under control and serving notice to the new organization why the old organization was so high on him. He's also finally justifying that #11 ranking he currently holds here on BoltProspects.

First Period
BNG Benoit, (11) (Daugavins, Smith), 11:46 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Ritola, (8) (Jones, Mihalik), 16:01

Third Period

BNG O'Brien, (24) (Condra, Greening), 3:48

Janus was the game's third star.

Blair Jones has points in 9 straight games. Mattias Ritola has points in 7 straight and 8 goals and 17 points over that span, including 6 multi-point games. Tonight was the first time since 2/26/11 that Ritola didn't have a multi-point effort.

Norfolk climbs to within 2 points of 3rd place Charlotte with 1 game in hand on the Checkers. They also now hold a slim 1 point lead over the 5th place Senators with 1 game in hand on Binghamton. If a crossover scenario were to occur, Norfolk could get the 3rd seed in the Atlantic Division if they finish with more points than the 3rd place Connecticut Whale. They now have a 5 point lead on Connecticut with 3 games left to go for each club, so they could easily clinch no worse than the 3 seed in the Atlantic in their upcoming games against the East Division's 6th place team, Syracuse.

Norfolk draws Syracuse tomorrow night and again on Saturday night before closing out the regular season on Sunday in Hartford against the Whale. Charlotte draws the now eliminated Worcester Sharks on Friday and again on Saturday. Binghamton goes to Rochester (7th in the North Division) on Friday and finishes at home against Adirondack (7th in the East Division) on Saturday. So, Norfolk likely will need 4 out of 6 possible points to hold off Binghamton for 4th, and they may need to run the table and hope Worcester can take at least a point away from Charlotte to get to 3rd place. 2 more points earned or lost by Connecticut will clinch no worse than the 3 seed in the Atlantic via the crossover. In that scenario, Norfolk would face Manchester. Unfortunately for Norfolk, their three most likely matchups (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hershey, or Manchester) happen to be the 3 best defensive teams in the Eastern Conference in terms of goals allowed. Great.

Box score and extended statistics from

Tokarski Was Lucky

Norfolk goaltender Dustin Tokarski was pulled from the Admirals' game against the Hershey Bears on Saturday after being cut on he neck by a skate blade. When you hear a goalie getting cut by a skate blade you immediately think of the Sabres' Clint Malarchuk vs. the St. Louis Blues years ago.

Tokarski was a lot luckier than Malarchuk Saturday as he "only" required nearly 30 stitches to close the wound.

Tokarski's teammate and fellow Lightning prospect Stefano Giliati posted a picture of Tokarski's gash on Twitter Tuesday morning, which Giliati referred to as "badass."

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

Big trouble in Norfolk.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 16 shots before leaving the game with an injury. With Cedrick Desjardins likely shelved for the rest of the season, any kind of injury to Tic is a big, big problem. The early indication is that Tokarski had his chin sliced open with a skate blade. So, you'd think he should be back, but considerably more ugly, for the road trip.

Jaroslav Janus allowed 1 goal on 14 shots for the hard luck loss. It was, by far and away, Janus' best performance of the season, and he may inherit the starter's job if Tokarski is out for any length of time.

First Period
HER Greentree, (29) (McNeill, Fahey), 0:59
NOR Ritola, (5) (Pouliot, Barberio), 3:56
NOR Pouliot, (22) (Jones, Ritola), 6:09 (PP)
NOR Pouliot, (23) (Ritola, Milam), 18:53 (PP)
NOR Durno, (19) , 19:17

Second Period
HER Bouchard, (12) (Souray), 2:33
HER Greentree, (30) (Aucoin, McNeill), 3:08 (PP)
HER McNeill, (7) (Perreault), 6:12
HER Gordon, (26) (Aucoin, Fahey), 17:34

Third Period

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

Mattias Ritola has 19 points in 12 AHL games this season. Classic case of being too good for the AHL but not quite good enough to stick in the NHL?

Radko Gudas is -9 since the calendar turned to 2011 and he has plummeted from a +20 rating to a +11 rating in a little over 3 months. With an assist tonight, the Lightning's other gifted young defenseman, Mark Barberio now has 28 points and is just 2 shy of the 30 point plateau.

Norfolk finishes their season 19-11-10 at home. There have 5 games remaining in the regular season, and all will be on the road.

Norfolk remains in 4th place in the East Division by 1 point thanks to a loss by Binghamton. The Ads still hold 1 game in hand on the Senators. Unfortunately, 3rd place Charlotte won to take a 5 point lead over the Admrials with Norfolk holding 2 games in hand. It's not impossible for Norfolk to catch the Checkers, but they have to win their next game in Charlotte to have any kind of legitimate chance. Honestly, though, I want no part of Hershey. I'd almost rather play Wilkes/Barre-Scranton or take the crossover into the Atlantic Division and play Portland or Manchester.

Norfolk's remaining schedule: at Charlotte on Monday, at Binghamton on Wednesday, at Syracuse next Friday and Saturday, and the season finale at Connecticut next Sunday. It's a brutal stretch of 5 road games in 7 nights, with uncertainty between the pipes because of injuries.

One bit of good news, with Worcester's 4-1 loss to Providence, the gap on the 4th place team in the Atlantic remained at 6 points. The Sharks have just 4 games remaining, so any combination of Norfolk points earned and Sharks points lost equal to 3 will officially clinch a playoff spot for the Admirals. But, right now, it feels like the team is backing into the playoffs, and that's not good.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 4/1/11 Bears at Admirals

The Admirals look like April fools.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 22 shots for the loss.

First Period
HER Gordon, (25) (Aucoin, Holtby), 5:14
HER Bouchard, (11) (Kozek, Orlov), 16:02

Second Period
HER Souray, (4) (Orlov, Gordon), 3:09
HER Perreault, (11) , 16:52
NOR Milam, (15) , 17:08
NOR Ritola, (4) (Milam, Pouliot), 18:17 (PP)

Third Period
HER Aucoin, (18) (Greentree, Willsie), 3:26 (PP)
NOR Pouliot, (21) (Jones, Ritola), 18:23 (PP)
HER Pinizzotto, (17) , 19:31 (EN/SH)

Tory Milam was the game's third star.

Any designs Norfolk had on 2nd place in the East Division were probably wiped out by tonight's loss. The club got very lucky that both Charlotte and Binghamton got waffled by similar scores tonight, but Worcester did win their game in the crossover. Norfolk is 3 points back of the 3rd place Checkers with 2 games in hand and 1 point up on 5th place Binghamton with 1 game in hand. Their lead over the Sharks is down to 6 points with 1 game in hand, though. The team picked a helluva time for a 3 game losing streak.

Box score from

Syndicate content