Mihalik, Vladimir

AHL Game Night 3/15: Pirates at Admirals

Unfortunately, injuries on the backline may finally be catching up to Norfolk.

POR-5
NOR-3

Marc Denis allowed 5 goals on 23 shots for the loss before being pulled for Jonathan Boutin who stopped all 4 shots he faced.

First Period
POR Bouck, (7) (St. Jacques, Ebbett), 5:35 (PP)
NOR Henrich, (14) (Keller, Wanvig), 17:11

Second Period
POR King, (26) (Bouck, Festerling), 12:58
POR Birner, (7) (Ferguson), 13:38
NOR Wanvig, (20) (Henrich, Mihalik), 14:44

Third Period
POR St. Jacques, (7) (Miller, Bootland), 1:14
POR Bouck, (8) (Ebbett, Ferguson), 7:05
NOR Keller, (12) (Jones, Lawrence), 17:45

Justin Keller and Adam Henrich each checked in with 1 goal and 1 assist in the game. Kyle Wanvig and Henrich were named the game's second and third stars.

Keller now has 12 goals and 33 points in 60 games with a +5 rating. A season ago in Springfield, Keller played exactly 60 games but only managed 24 points and had a -11 rating. The improvement is obvious.

Prior to this season Henrich had just 13 goals and 38 points in his entire AHL career of three seasons and 102 games. This season Henrich already has 14 goals and 31 points in 40 games, and there is still a chance he will double his career statistical output by the end of the year. Again, the improvement is obvious.

A year ago, as a rookie, Blair Jones had 5 goals and 21 points in 45 games (.467 PPG). This season, Blair Jones has 13 goals and 35 points in 63 games (.556 PPG). Again, the improvement is obvious.

A season ago, as a rookie, Radek Smolenak had just 1 point in 20 games. This season, the big winger has 11 goals and 21 points in 45 games. Again, the improvement is obvious.

Coupled with a strong rookie campaign by Vladimir Mihalik (now a team leading +9 among defensemen), the organization is looking less and less like the disaster the local and national media was making it out to be just a month or two ago. In fact, I dare say, it's difficult to claim that there isn't progress being made in Norfolk, even with the defeat tonight.

Eventually, some of that progress will find its way onto NHL ice.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 3/7: Phantoms at Admirals

Home sweet home.

PHI-2
NOR-4

Marc Denis stopped 42 of 44 shots faced for the win, and is playing really well of late.

First Period
NOR Segal, (6) (Kearns, Smolenak), 6:17
NOR Henrich, (11) (Wanvig, Keller), 13:11 (PP)

Second Period
NOR Jones, (13) , 4:37
PHI Matsumoto, (17) (Laliberte, Gauthier), 8:23 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Smolenak, (10) (Jones, Scalzo), 3:18 (PP)
PHI Laliberte, (3) (Matsumoto, Powe), 14:34

Denis, Blair Jones, and Radek Smolenak were the game's three stars.

Tonight was the Ads' first game back at The Scope after the annual marathon known as the circus road trip. The road trip was modestly successful, considering the team lost 2/3 of its top line to a call up and an injury. Still, there's no doubt that the Admirals are a much better team at home and the team put a really good first period together tonight to jump out to a 2-0 lead and Denis helped make it stick. Denis pulled his save percentage for the AHL season up above .900 tonight, which is a welcome sign.

A night like tonight also gives you a lot of hope that the youngsters on this team are starting to get it. Jones and Smolenak each chipped in 1 goal and 1 assist, Adam Henrich potted a goal, and Justin Keller added a helper. With Junior Lessard in Tampa and Paul Szczechura on the shelf injured it would be easy for the Ads to pack it in right now. But, the kids are stepping up a little here and taking more reponsibility on their shoulders. Good.

Don't look now, but Vladimir Mihalik is sitting on a +7 rating, which is somewhat phenomenal for a guy who plays 20 minutes a night on a team that's 11 games under .500 and has been outscored by 38 goals this season. This young man is going to be a beast in two or three years.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 2/16: Sharks at Admirals

Maybe the game that gets Marc Denis back to the NHL?

WOR-2
NOR-4

Marc Denis stopped a preposterous 48 of 50 shots faced for the victory.

First Period
NOR Milley, (15) (Jones, Schneider), 7:25
NOR Rosehill, (2) (Mihalik, Milley), 12:22
WOR Setoguchi, (5) (Kaspar, Raduns), 16:49 (PP)
WOR Setoguchi, (6) (Traverse, Cavanagh), 17:39 (SH)

Second Period
NOR Szczechura, (12) (Wanvig, Smolenak), 6:18

Third Period
NOR Wanvig, (17) (Milley, Jones), 19:39 (EN)

Denis was named first star of the game while Norm Milley earned third star of the game honors. There are rumors the Lightning may put Denis through re-entry waivers in the next week or two in the hope another team will take him. And effort like tonight coupled with a great relief appearance last night will go a long way toward making that happen.

Blair Jones now has two multi-point games in a row after a long drought while Radek Smolenak broke his short scoring slump with a helper on the game winning goal.

Don't look now but Vladimir Mihalik, favorite target of the Norfolk fan base, improved his +/- to even on the season with a +3 night and had an assist.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/31: Admirals at Penguins

Marc Denis definitely not Norfolk's savior.

NOR-3
WBS-6

Marc Denis allowed 6 goals on 26 shots for the loss in his Norfolk debut. He did manage to stop a Connor James penalty shot in the second period.

First Period
WBS Brent, (6) (McLean, Goligoski), 4:38
WBS Minard, (12) (Goligoski, Brent), 17:06

Second Period
WBS Smith, (10) (Goligoski, James), 4:21
NOR Milley, (9) (Kearns), 9:41
WBS James, (7) (Ardelan), 16:34

Third Period
NOR Klinkhammer, (4) (Smolenak, Mihalik), 3:31
NOR Jancevski, (3) (Smolenak), 4:35 (PP)
WBS Minard, (13) (McLean, Brent), 8:45 (PP)
WBS Filewich, (6) (Goligoski), 16:42

Silver linings: 1.) Vladimir Mihalik returns to the lineup from injury. 2.) We have another Radek Smolenak sighting.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Ramo is Back

Quick note from the pregame in Binghamton: the rumors about Karri Ramo returning tonight were true. The young netminder is in net. That's the good news. Vladimir Mihalik out with a non-serious groin strain.

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