The Admirals return the favor for late game comebacks and post-regulation losses in Norfolk.
Cedrick Desjardins stopped 36 of 39 shots and all five shooters he faced in the shootout for the victory. That's more like it.
POR Byron, (6) (Gragnani, Tropp), 9:25
POR Brennan, (3) (Legault, McCauley), 14:08
POR Byron, (7) (Gragnani, Tropp), 16:25
NOR Jones, (9) (Pouliot), 0:33
NOR Durno, (8) (Barberio, Szczechura), 16:54 (PP)
NOR Angelidis, (8) (Barberio, Fornataro), 19:27
Durno and Angelidis scored two goals in the last 3:06 of regulation to spoil Jhonas Enroth's bid for a victory. Mark Barberio had primary assists on both goals, giving Barberio the first multi-point game of his pro career.
Norfolk head to Springfield tomorrow to play the Falcons. Norfolk remains in second place in the East Division, 8 points back of the Penguins.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Goaltending coming together at the right time.
Dustin Tokarski allowed just 1 goal on 22 shots for the win. Tokarski also stopped a third period penalty shot by Denis Hamel, to boot. That snaps a streak of three straight games where he recorded a loss and had a sub-.900 save percentage. Between this start and Desjardins' win last night, the Admirals have to be hoping they're going to now start to get the goaltending they thought they'd get at the start of this year when, on paper, it appeared they had one of the best tandems in the AHL.
ADK Laliberte, (3) (Wellwood, Hamel), 8:05 (PP)
NOR Berry, (4) (Simek, Barberio), 19:16
NOR Berry, (5) (Pouliot, Wishart), 18:19
NOR Angelidis, (3) (Giliati, Gudas), 2:20
It was a pretty good night for the Lightning's two rookie d-men, too. Mark Barberio now has 5 assists and is +4 in 12 games. Radko Gudas also collected his 5th assist of the season and is +10(!) in 14 games. Not too bad for a couple of greenhorns.
And, Stefano Giliati, who I've adopted as a BP favorite, got an assist that is his 3rd point in 8 games. I like me some Stefano Giliati. He's a quick little sparkplug who's a nice mix of skill and jam.
It's a nice win for Norfolk considering that their two best shooters, arguably, (Harju and Jones) are up in Tampa right now. Yes, Adirondack is terrible, but they also beat Norfolk in OT last time out. There's nothing wrong with taking care of business.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
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.
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.
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.