Keller, Justin

Keller To Get AHL All-Star Nod

Our Sports Central is reporting the Lightning prospect Justin Keller will represent the Norfolk Admirals at the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic. The honor falls to Keller after Kyle Wanvig is unable to play due his current recall to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Keller, Tampa's 8th round selection in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, is a second year pro and has scored 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 25 games since November 21.

AHL Game Night 1/12: Wolf Pack at Admirals

A heroic comeback effort falls short.

HFD-3
NOR-2

Marc Denis allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the loss. Gosh that sounds familiar too.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
HFD Korpikoski, (8) (Sauer, Ouellette), 2:33 (SH)
HFD Callahan, (2) (Hutchinson, Pock), 15:47 (PP)

Third Period
HFD Pyatt, (4) (Parenteau, Dupont), 1:28
NOR Milley, (12) (Schneider, Jancevski), 6:53 (PP)
NOR Schneider, (3) (Keller, Jancevski), 15:46 (PP)

Justin Keller has now pulled within one point of Blair Jones in the young prospects scoring race in Norfolk. Keller's an interesting case. Athletically, there's no way this guy should be an NHL player and yet he quietly continues to be one of Steve Stirling's better young forwards in the AHL. If and when the Lightning do have to pull the plug on the season, I suspect Keller will get a cup of coffee and I will be very interested to see if he continues to defy expectations. Some players are just heady enough to overcome physical limitations.

Also, although some of the things he's said in the media pointing the finger at the team's youth didn't sit well with me, the play of captain Dan Jancevski has really picked up of late. As a whole, this team is finally starting to give a solid, honest, competitive effort on most nights and I know that's the foundation Claude Loiselle and Steve Stirling want to lay in Norfolk this year. I think they knew going in that they were thin on talent and that the playoffs would've taken an extraordinary amount of luck with injuries, callups, promotions etc but if they can establish a culture in Norfolk where work ethic is the core of the team philosophically then in the next few years as more young forward talent comes to Norfolk they can build something on that foundation.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 1/11: Wolf Pack at Admirals

Slow start does in the Admirals.

HFD-4
NOR-2

Marc Denis allowed 4 goals on 26 shots in the loss. Sounds familiar.

First Period
HFD Byers, (6) (Taylor, Baranka), 3:21
HFD Potter, (2) (Callahan, Byers), 3:54
HFD Hutchinson, (6) (Potter, Parenteau), 9:39
NOR Milley, (11) (Keller, Jancevski), 12:18 (PP)

Second Period
HFD Callahan, (1) (Byers, Anisimov), 4:21 (PP)
NOR Klinkhammer, (5) (Stewart, Keller), 12:19

Third Period
NO SCORING

Don't look now but Justin Keller has creapt to within 2 points of Blair Jones.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 1/4: Sound Tigers at Admirals

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

BRI-4
NOR-3 (SO)

Marc Denis allowed 3 goals on 33 shots in regulation and overtime before getting tuned up in the penalty shot session allowing 3 of 4 shooters to convert for the loss.

First Period
NOR Jones, (7) (Milley, Schneider), 2:55 (PP)

Second Period
BRI Tambellini, (20) (Nielsen, Walter), 1:03 (PP)
NOR Jancevski, (4) (Kearns, Wanvig), 11:42

Third Period
NOR Keller, (8) (Wanvig, Jancevski), 2:28 (PP)
BRI Nielsen, (6) (Tambellini, Wotton), 7:45
BRI Sertich, (1) (Tambellini, Wotton), 11:31

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
BRI-Nielsen, Smith, Tambellini
NOR-Wanvig

Dan Jancevski was named the game's second star. Justin Keller had a goal and a game high 6 shots on goal.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/8: Penguins at Admirals

Where was this Adam Henrich two years ago?

WBS-3
NOR-5

Karri Ramo stopped 28 of 31 shots for the win to even his record at 2-2-0 on the season. It does not escape notice that the decision to play Karri back to back nights after facing a barrage in Philadelphia smacks of an organization rushing Karri back into game condition for a possible recall to Tampa.

First Period
NOR Milley, (7) (Henrich, Jancevski), 6:23
WBS Stone, (2) (Smith, Ardelan), 18:48

Second Period
NOR Klinkhammer, (3) (Henrich, Wanvig), 6:34
WBS Taffe, (12) (Filewich), 19:22

Third Period
NOR Keller, (5) (Jancevski, Henrich), 0:24 (PP)
NOR Henrich, (5) (Leach, Keller), 8:23
WBS Bonvie, (1) (James, Taffe), 12:25
NOR Stewart, (6) (Milley), 19:59 (EN)

What the hell has gotten into Adam Henrich? Adding his ridiculous 1 goal and 3 assist night tonight in with the rest of his production since getting called up from Wheeling of the ECHL and the former 2002 2nd round pick is now sitting with 5 goals and 11 points in 6 games this season. Are you kidding?

Also picking up his production of late is diminutive Justin Keller who dropped 1 goal and 1 assist tonight. In his past 9 games, Keller has 4 goals and 10 points. That may not be Adam Henrich type production (are you kidding!?!?), but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.

Seriously, if Adam Henrich really comes off the scrap heap to finally fulfill his potential Steve Stirling ought to be named not just AHL Coach of the Year, but Coach of the Galaxy for Infinity. I would've never entertained the notion of Henrich earning another contract in a million years, but how can the organization ignore this kind of production right now? At bare minimum you'd have to think Henrich is in line to get his PTO formalized into a full AHL contract with the Ads.

The Admirals improved to 10-13-3 on the season and while their 23 points put them at second to last in the division, they are just 3 points behind Binghamton for the final playoff spot in the division.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/1: Admirals at Senators

Ramo returns. Norfolk's defense and PK evaporates.

NOR-5
BIN-8

Karri Ramo started well stopping 17 of 18 shots in the first period but wore down in the second half of the game allowing 6 goals on the final 15 shots he faced. He finished the game with a total of 7 goals allowed on 33 shots faced. Tough way to come back.

First Period
NOR Stewart, (4) (Milley), 4:08
NOR Henrich, (2) (Keller, Scalzo), 9:30 (PP)
BNG Hamel, (15) (Carkner, Nikulin), 17:52 (PP)

Second Period
BNG Bois, (5) (Zubov, Nycholat), 2:56 (PP)
BNG Carkner, (2) (Nycholat, Hennessy), 12:59 (PP)
BNG Zubov, (3) (Yablonski, Hennessy), 15:07
NOR Jancevski, (1) (Jones, Wanvig), 16:35 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Jancevski, (2) (Scalzo, Stewart), 6:12 (PP)
NOR Keller, (3) , 9:47 (PP)
BNG Hennessy, (5) (Dimitrakos, Mauldin), 11:40
BNG Hamel, (16) (Dimitrakos, Nycholat), 14:14 (PP)
BNG Nycholat, (2) (Dimitrakos), 16:35
BNG Yablonski, (3) , 19:54 (EN)

The Admirals did a great job rallying to take the lead in the third period only to completely self destruct in the final 10 minutes of the contest.

The scoring could have been even higher had a premature whistle in the first period not nullified a goal that trickled through Binghamton's netminder that would've made it 3-0 Norfolk.

In any event, the positives to take away are the continued strong play of prospect Justin Keller and PTO Adam Henrich. Henrich had 1 goal and 7 shots on goal while Keller finished with 1 goal, 1 assist and 8 shots on goal.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 11/24: Falcons at Admirals

Remember when I said maybe this wasn't the week the Admirals would make their move after all when Darche and Jancevski were called up? Shows how much I know. My only real regret: not being able to see the look on Springfield Republican writer Fran Sypek's face as the Lightning's "suspects" dismantled the Falcons.

SPR-2
NOR-6

Jonathan Boutin stopped 24 of 26 shots faced tonight to run his record to 6-2-2 this season. When you get at least a point in 80% of your starts, that's pretty darn good in my book.

First Period
NOR Klinkhammer, (2) (Stewart, Jones), 1:55
SPR McDonald, (4) (Thoresen, Reddox), 4:42

Second Period
SPR Schremp, (4) (Kemp, Reddox), 1:01 (PP)
NOR Milley, (4) (Schneider, Fletcher), 7:58
NOR Milley, (5) (MacDonald, Wanvig), 9:50
NOR Keller, (2) (Mihalik, Jones), 18:41 (PP)

Third Period
NOR MacDonald, (3) (Wanvig, Milley), 3:07
NOR Leach, (3) (Stewart, Jones), 14:10

Norm Milley, Craig MacDonald, and Kyle Wanvig were the three stars of the game.

But it's not just the veterans who were chipping in this week. Blair Jones is now riding a three game point streak posting 2 goals and 7 points over that span. Justin Keller is also riding a three game point streak with 1 goal and 4 points over that span. Further adding support offensively: Vladimir Mihalik with 3 assists in the last two games and Rob Klinkhammer with 1 goal and 4 points over the same span.

Norfolk now improves their record to 8-10-2 on the season and sets itself up well for a critical road trip through the division. With 18 points the Admirals are now in a three way tie with Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 4th and final playoff spot in the division, 2 points back of 3rd place Binghamton and 3 points back of 2nd place Albany. Norfolk draws Albany on Wednesday and Friday nights before facing Bighamton next Saturday and Hershey next Sunday. 4 road games in 5 nights. The math isn't complicated, and the stakes are high. The good news is word on the street is Karri Ramo might be ready by next weekend to spell Boutin, who has almost exclusively carried the load for Norfolk over the past couple of weeks.

If the Ads play their cards right, they could be sitting at .500 or better by the end of next weekend and occupying a potential playoff spot. Not bad for a team that was close to being given up for dead just two weeks ago.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 11/7: Bears at Admirals

Ryan Craig is back!

HER-3
NOR-5

Jonathan Boutin stopped 36 of 39 shots faced in the win. The more work he gets, the better he plays.

First Period
HER Motzko, (2) (McNeill, Pollock), 12:05 (PP)
NOR Lampman, (2) (Jones, Wanvig), 13:52 (PP)
NOR Milley, (2) (Stewart), 14:32

Second Period
HER Motzko, (3) (Robitaille, Pokulok), 10:36
HER Motzko, (4) (Klepis, Potulny), 14:24 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Keller, (1) (Mihalik, Jancevski), 8:14 (PP)
NOR Craig, (1) (Lawrence, Schneider), 11:23
NOR Rooneem, (1) (Craig, Jancevski), 18:52 (PP) [/b]

Craig and Norm Milley were the first and third stars of the game, respectively.

Justin Keller finally breaks through for his first goal of the season. At least 19 more of those would be nice.

Game sheet from TheAHL.com.

AHL Preseason Game Day 9/30: Admirals at Phantoms

The Admirals got some great goaltending from Karri Ramo and Ryan Munce and it made all the difference.

NOR-3
PHI-2 (SO)

Ramo stopped 10 of 11 shots he faced before giving way to Munce who stopped 28 of 29 and went on for the shootout victory.

Tryout player Ron Klinkhammer led the way with 1 goal and 1 assist. Jay Rosehill had the other Norfolk goal. Blair Jones, Marek Kvapil, and Shawn Collymore added helpers.

Justin Keller and Radek Smolenak scored for Norfolk in the shootout.

Box score from norfolkadmirals.com.

Ramo Assigned to Norfolk

Tampabaylightning.com is reporting a goaltending decision has been made in Tampa and prospect Karri Ramo is the odd man out. Ramo and winger Justin Keller have been assigned to Norfolk.

Quote:
Karri Ramo and left wing Justin Keller were returned to Norfolk of the American Hockey League today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced. After today’s cuts there are 26 players remaining in camp.

Ramo, 6-foot-2, 201-pounds, played in one game this preseason and earned a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings. He posted a 3.00 goals-against average and a .870 save percentage. The sixth-round pick also posted a 1.12 goals-against average and a .964 save percentage in four training camp scrimmages.

Keller joined the Lightning from Norfolk on September 26 and played in his first preseason game against the Red Wings on September 27. In his one preseason game he logged 10:17 of ice time, landed two hits and recorded one shot on goal.

Both players will travel to meet the Admirals in Philadelphia as they prepare for a 1 p.m. game against the Phantoms on Sunday.

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