Norfolk's weekend has the sour taste of a two point weekend that should have been a four point weekend.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 7 goals on 29 shots for the overtime loss. Rebound control was the culprit. With the exception of the last goal, he was making the first stop and his positioning wasn't bad. But, he was kicking rebounds up the slot and the Admirals defense was not clearing them out. I thought he played better than Desjardins did last night, but neither was acceptable, obviously.
POR Mancari, (7) (Byron), 3:27
NOR Szczechura, (5) (Giliati, Mihalik), 5:36
NOR Roy, (2) (Barberio, Szczechura), 13:27
POR Whitmore, (4) (Turnbull), 2:01
NOR Simek, (3) (Pouliot, Harju), 6:30
NOR Fornataro, (3) (Szczechura, Wright), 13:47
POR Whitmore, (5) (Crawford, Turnbull), 9:36
NOR Wright, (3) (Szczechura, Fornataro), 10:03 (PP)
POR Stuart, (3) (Brennan, Biega), 10:29
NOR Harju, (5) (Simek, Pouliot), 11:28 (PP)
POR Turnbull, (1) (Roloff, Whitmore), 12:59
POR Schiestel, (2) (Roloff, Turnbull), 14:54
POR Gragnani, (3) (Mancari, Biega), 1:05
Paul Szczechura was the game's second star. Juraj Simek was, in my opinion, the best Admiral tonight. He showed excellent hand-eye coordination batting a puck out of air for his goal, and that line he has with Pouliot and Harju in one of the best in the league right now.
Through two periods, the defense was much improved tonight. I don't know if that's a function of Mike Flanagan being back to run the defense after Steve Thomas did it last night, but they were better at taking care of details within five feet of their own blueline, with the exception of Portland's first goal. The last period was just the intersection of a team letting its foot off the gas once Harju scored on a semi-soft goal to make it 6-4 and some bad luck with rebounds going right onto Pirates' sticks. The biggest play of the game was the 2-on-1 goal Portland scored to make it 6-5, where Michael Vernace got completely lost. I'm not surprised he was -3 tonight. He's struggling with his positioning and the way he surrenders the blueline on the rush, they might need to start calling him Versailles.
My revalation of the night was Stefano Giliati, who is a speedy little sparkplug who was either generating scoring chances or popping people all night long. He got his first point as an Admiral tonight, and I was impressed. I'm surprised they don't play him more.
I liked the way rookies Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas played. Barberio ended up a team high +2 along with Mihalik, and although his skating is mediocre, he's outstanding at reading the play in the offensive end. He's a very crafty player. He has a ways to go, but I enjoyed what I saw. Gudas appeared in both games this weekend, and he was quiet for most of five periods of hockey, but he was very visible in the third period tonight. He and Wishart are the only two Admirals who routinely step up at their blueline and give a pop, but what surprised me about Radko was how he carried the puck offensively a couple of times. The skill set is there, and it's real. Like Barberio, he's a couple of years off, but there's something to work with there, and he and Mihalik make a decent little pairing. The reunification of Czechoslovakia going on with that pairing.
It makes me puke that a goaltender as bad as Leggio managed to backdoor his way into two wins this weekend. That's annoying.
I'll be leaving Norfolk tomorrow morning, but I just wanted to close by encouraging Lightning fans to make the trip if you're looking for a weekend trip. This is an entertaining team, with the highest scoring offense in the league, and this is a good town. I enjoy coming to Norfolk because it reminds me a lot of Tampa, and I think you'll feel the same way to if you come up here.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
3/6 on the power play tends to equal a win.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 22 shots for the win.
NOR Wishart, (3) (Pouliot, Jones), 5:41 (PP)
NOR Jones, (4) (Wishart, Pouliot), 2:54 (PP)
ALB Perkovich, (2) (Anderson), 12:40
ALB Mills, (2) (Davis), 15:08
NOR Szczechura, (4) (Roy, Jones), 14:55 (PP)
Norfolk improves to 5-1-0-0 on the season. They close out their road trip tomorrow afternoon in Worcester, who they swept last weekend. Next weekend, the Admirals draw the Atlantic Division's first place team, the Portland Pirates, in a two game set at Scope that should be a good early season test for the club.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Norfolk Admirals have announced the re-assignment of goaltender Jaroslav Janus and forward Alex Hutchings to Florida of the ECHL. The two Lightning prospects join Mitch Fadden in the Everblades lineup.
Enjoy the free wings, Admirals fans.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 36 shots for the victory. He's gotten seven goals of support in each of his two starts this season. It's damned hard to lose when your team is lighting the lamp for you like that.
NOR Szczechura, (2) (Fornataro), 0:27
NOR Harju, (1) (Jones, Wishart), 3:47
NOR Durno, (1) (Wishart), 4:11
WOR Ferriero, (3) (Marcou), 10:58
WOR Marcou, (2) (Irwin, Hutton), 13:59 (PP)
NOR Szczechura, (3) (Wright, Roy), 2:39
NOR Pouliot, (1) (Jones, Harju), 3:46 (PP)
NOR Harju, (2) (Roy, Pouliot), 7:11 (PP)
NOR Durno, (2) (Simek, Barberio), 12:44
Norfolk came out and threw a haymaker in the form of three quick early goals, but the Sharks came back with a couple of goals of their own to make it look like this was going to be a contest. However, credit to the Admirals, they outshot Worcester 23-8 in the second period, and the rout was on. They finished the game with a 56-36 edge in shots and another seven goals on the scoreboard.
Congratulations to Johan Harju on his first two AHL goals, and he added an assist, as well. Congratulations also go to Mark Barberio on his first professional point, an assist on Chris Durno's second goal.
There's a really long list of Admirals players who are putting up at least a point a game through the first three games of the season: Pouliot, Wright, Szczechura, Harju, Jones, Wishart, Fornataro, Roy, and Quick. And, there's not a single minus player on the team so far. Just a friendly suggestion to the bubble players in Tampa: don't have a bad game or a bad practice. Heck, don't even have a bad meal. There's a lot of players in Norfolk looking to take your jobs.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Consulting the Cheap and Easy Headline Generator (tm) for this one: "Seven is heaven in the Admirals' opener."
Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 36 shots but found himself awash in seven sweet goals of support to earn the victory.
BNG Keller, (1) (Locke, Butler), 13:20
NOR Milam, (1) (Pouliot), 5:16
BNG O'Brien, (2) (Daugavins, Hale), 8:02
NOR Wishart, (1) (Quick, Fornataro), 9:43 (PP)
NOR Jones, (1) (Pouliot, Quick), 13:56
BNG Butler, (2) (Locke, Keller), 15:31
BNG O'Brien, (3) (Benoit), 15:45
NOR Milam, (2) (Quick), 16:10 (PP)
NOR Jones, (2) (Simek, Pouliot), 16:34
NOR Angelidis, (1) (Mihalik, Harju), 17:47
NOR Fornataro, (1) (Wright, Szczechura), 17:57
Blair Jones and Troy Milam were the game's first and second stars. Milam played in Finland the past couple of years, but before that he put up 37 points in 75 games for Manchester in 2007-2008, so he has legitimate AHL chops (and he's a righty shot, too). That's a very good signing by the Ads.
M.A. Pouliot and Kevin Quick each had assists in triplicate. With the effort, Quick is already three-quarters of the way to matching his point production of all last season. I'm thinking he might like the new coach and system. Matt Fornataro also had multiple points with one goal and one assist.
You know, on paper, this Admirals team should be a low scoring team that leans on their outstanding goaltending. They have depth, but other than maybe Johan Harju they don't have any guys who are Brandon Bochenski-type snipers. But they used that depth to overwhelm Binghamton tonight. You get the sense there are a lot of hungry Admirals players knocking on the door for NHL opportunities. And, the great thing is that while they got the win and established a lot of confidence in their offensive abilities, they made enough mistakes that Coach Cooper should be able to stay on his team and keep them away from the demon that is complacency.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
With 95% of their opening night lineup in, the Admirals handled their business.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 1 goal on 23 shots for the win.
The Admirals outshot Charlotte 39-23 in the match. Norfolk's goals were scored by Matt Fornataro, Mitch Fadden, Mark Barberio, and Juraj Simek. Mike Angelidis had assists in triplicate, with helpers also belonging to Paul Szczechura, Vladimir Mihalik, Kevin Quick, and Alex Berry.
Norfolk begins their regular season on Saturday night at Binghamton against the Senators.
Game story from norfolkadmirals.com.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have trimmed their roster by 21 players today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. The team now has 28 players in camp. All 21 players will report to the Norfolk Admirals training camp, which begins on Tuesday.
The prospects that were reassigned to Norfolk include forwards Mitch Fadden, Stefano Giliati, Alex Hutchings, Juraj Simek, and the barely graduated James Wright and Paul Szczechura; defensemen Mark Barberio, Radko Gudas, Scott Jackson, Vladimir Mihalik, Kevin Quick, and Ty Wishart; and goaltenders Jaroslav Janus and Dustin Tokarski.
Forwards Matt Fornataro and Tim Marks, who were invited to the Tampa camp as try-outs, have AHL contracts with the Admirals and will join the Lightning organizational players for the opening of the Norfolk training camp on Tuesday.
Angelidis, Fritz, Jones, Mihalik, Simek, and Szczechura must all clear waivers before their reassignment to Norfolk is complete.
Richard Panik notched two goals leading Team White in a 6-2 victory over Team Black in Saturday's Training Camp scrimmage. It was an impressive outing for the 2009 2nd round pick, who came to training camp still without a entry-level contract and questions whether his 2010-11 destination is Belleville or Norfolk. Swedish free agent acquisition Niklas Persson also made quite an impression tallying two goals of his own for Team White. James Wright scored a goal and added an assist, building upon his team leading efforts at the recent Traverse City prospects tournament. 2007 draft pick Johan Harju added two assists for White, while first rounders Carter Ashton, Vladimir Mihalik and Brett Connolly also assisted on goals.
James Wright has another multi-point game and moves into a tie for the tournament lead in scoring.
Dustin Tokarski allowed just 1 goal on 36 shots for the win, outdueling 2010 first round pick Jack Campbell. He came within an eyelash of having a shutout after going 59:46 without surrendering a goal.
TB - Wright (PP) (Panik, Schemitsch) 11:51
TB - Vachon (Rogers, Wright) 13:20
TB - Ashton (Vachon) 8:33
DAL - Coyle (PP) (King) 19:46
The Lightning temporarily move into first in their group, pending the outcome of the Detroit/St. Louis game.
Box score from Pointstreak.
The Lightning's 2010 1st round pick Brett Connolly tallied a first period and a third period goal in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the opening game of the 2010 Traverse City prospects tournament Saturday night. Connolly's first period tally was assisted by 2009 1st round pick Carter Ashton, as he and Connolly combined for 10 of Tampa's 26 shots on goal. James Wright and Mark Barberio assisted on Connolly's 3rd period marker with Wright sporting a team high +2 along with 3 shots of his own. 2010 3rd rounder Brock Beukeboom was the only other Lightning plus player in the game.
Dustin Tokarski stopped 31 of 34 shots in the loss. Radko Gudas had a huge hit in the 3rd period, while Teigan Zahn dropped the gloves for a 1st period bout against Cody Beach. Of the free agent invitees, forward Andrew Agozzino rang up 3 shots on goal.
Boxscore provided by Pointstreak