Admirals Power Past Penguins, Clinch #1 Seed in Eastern Conference
NORFOLK, Va. Mark Barberio's power play goal midway through the third period broke a 1-1 tie as the Norfolk Admirals (50-18-1-2) defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (41-23-2-5), 2-1, on Tuesday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. With the victory, Norfolk clinched the #1 seed in the AHL's Eastern Conference, tied its franchise record of 50 wins in a season and extended their professional hockey record winning streak to 23 consecutive wins.
The Admirals conclude the home portion of the 2011-12 regular season schedule on Friday and Saturday nights against the Binghamton Senators.
Michel Ouellet also scored on the power play. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski (30-11-0) earned his 30th win of the season and 11th consecutive win by stopping 25 of 26 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shots.
The Admirals took a 1-0 lead 8:08 into the game on the power play. Barberio started the play behind his own net with an outlet pass that Richard Panik tipped at the center ice faceoff circle right onto the stick blade of Ouellet. The veteran forward then cut through the left wing before sending a shot over a diving defender and the left shoulder of Penguins goaltender Scott Munroe for his fifteenth goal of the season.
The Penguins tied the game at 1-1 late in the second period. Alex Grant corralled a Norfolk clearing attempt at the left point. He then sent a wrist shot that deflected off the heel of Bryan Lergs outstretched stick in the left circle and eluded Tokarski at 14:23.
Barberio's goal came on Norfolk's sixth power play of the game 12:23 into the third period. As Tyler Johnson won a faceoff in the left circle, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton center's stick broke. Johnson tipped the puck back to Barberio, who then isolated on the defender with the broken stick. Barberio faked a shot before sending a high wrist shot through traffic and past Munroe for his twelfth goal of the season and a 2-1 Norfolk lead.
The Admirals defense, led by Tokarski, shut the door on the Penguins the rest of the way despite several scoring chances after the visitors pulled Munroe in favor of the extra attacker.
Munroe (18-9-3) ended the game with 21 saves on 23 shots.
Norfolk was 2-for-7 on the power play while stopping both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton man advantage opportunities.
The Admirals conclude the home portion of the 2011-12 regular season schedule on Friday and Saturday nights against the Binghamton Senators at Scope. The puck drops on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m.
On Saturday night, the Admirals will conclude the home portion of the regular season by thanking the most important members of the team the fans with Fan Appreciation Night. Come out for an exciting night of hockey and you may leave with exciting prizes! Beginning at 4:30 p.m., Admirals fans are invited to a pre-game party outside on the plaza at Scope, including music and games for the whole family. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
In addition, all fans on Saturday night will receive an Admirals team poster, courtesy of SUPERCUTS.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Reserve your 2012-13 season tickets with a deposit of as little as $100 per seat today. Current season ticket holders may also reserve 2012 Calder Cup Playoff Packages now. Stop by the Admirals Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!
1. Mark Barberio NOR
2. Dustin Tokarski NOR
3. Michel Ouellet NOR
NOTES The Admirals clinched their first AHL conference title in team history tonight The Admirals can clinch the MacGregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's regular season points champion on Friday with a win vs. Binghamton or an Oklahoma City regulation loss at home against the Peoria Rivermen Norfolk has now won 17 consecutive games in regulation, besting the 1984-85 Baltimore Skipjacks' AHL record of 16 straight wins in regulation/overtime Prior to the inception of the shootout in 2004-05, games tied after overtime finished as ties The Admirals have won 22 of 23 games during the winning streak in regulation The 2011-12 Admirals (50-18-1-2, 103 points in 71 games) join the 2006-07 Admirals (50-22-6-2, 108 points in 80 games) as the only 50-win and 100-point teams in the 12-season AHL history of the Admirals Norfolk has not lost since Feb. 5th a 4-2 defeat in Springfield Norfolk has outscored its opponents 88-35 during their 22-game winning streak Norfolk won its seventh game of the 22-game winning streak when tied or trailing after two periods The Admirals, the AHL's best home team (25-9-1-1), defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the AHL's best road team (26-8-0-3) Norfolk has given Wilkes-Barre/Scranton three of their eight road losses in regulation this season Norfolk has not lost on home ice since Jan 28th against Hershey, winning 13 straight home games Ondrej Palat's seven-game point streak (4g, 5a) ended Did not play: Richard Petiot, Alex Hutchings, Mike Angelidis, Jon Kalinski.