NORFOLK, Va. – Tyler Johnson broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period as the Norfolk Admirals (51-18-1-2) defeated the Binghamton Senators (28-39-4-2), 3-1, on Friday night at Norfolk Scope Arena. With the win – Norfolk's 24th straight – the Admirals clinched the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL's regular season points champion, ensuring home ice throughout the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs, while setting a new franchise record with their 51st win.
The same two teams square off tomorrow night at Scope in Fan Appreciation Night.
Mark Barberio and Trevor Smith joined Johnson on the scoresheet. Goaltender Jaroslav Janus (21-8-2) earned his 13th straight win by turning aside 27 of 28 shots.
Barberio opened the scoring with a blast from the high slot midway through the first period. After Johnson won a faceoff in the left circle, he found Evan Oberg at the left point. Oberg immediately passed to Barberio, who notched his 13th goal of the year by one-timing the puck past Senators goalie Robin Lehner at 18:15.
Both teams went scoreless for the majority of the second period. However, at 16:34 Binghamton broke through and tied the game at 1-1. Jack Downing took a pass from Tim Conboy and sent a slap shot past Janus. Downing streaked into the Norfolk zone along the right wing and took the shot just past the blue line, which hit off the skate of an Admirals defender before it found the net.
Unlike the first two periods, it didn’t take long for a goal in the third period, as Johnson netted the eventual game-winning tally just 2:51 into the final frame. After a keep-in by Scott Jackson at the left point, Radko Gudas sent a shot from the right point. The puck hit the shaft of Johnson’s stick in the right faceoff circle and popped up and over an unsuspecting Lehner on its way into the goal. The score was Johnson’s 30th of the season.
The scoring wouldn’t end there, as Smith made it 3-1 at 16:46. Jean-Philippe Cote was behind the Binghamton net and left the puck to Brandon Segal, who picked it up and passed to Smith near the right post. Smith one-timed it past into the top-left corner of the net for his 23rd goal of the season.
Janus turned aside all 11 third period shots he faced to preserve the 3-1 victory.
Lehner (12-22-1) stopped 32 of 35 shots for the loss.
Norfolk was 0-for-2 on the power play while stopping all five Binghamton man advantage opportunities.
The same two teams meet tomorrow night once again at Norfolk Scope Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m.
The Admirals will conclude the home portion of the regular season tomorrow night by thanking the most important members of the team – the fans – with Fan Appreciation Night. All fans will have the chance to win great prizes throughout the game. Plus, beginning at 4:30 p.m., 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.
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.
Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2011-12 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $350 while 10-Packs are available for as little as $110. 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. Tyler Johnson – NOR
2. Jaroslav Janus – NOR
3. Jean-Philippe Cote – NOR
NOTES … The Admirals clinched their first ever Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy, awarded to the AHL’s regular season points champion …The Admirals clinched home ice advantage throughout the playoffs …The Admirals have now won 24 games in a row, the longest streak for any active professional league in North American hockey history …Norfolk has not lost since Feb. 5th - a 4-2 defeat in Springfield … Norfolk extended their regulation winning streak to 18 games, an AHL record …The Admirals have won 23 of 24 games during the winning streak in regulation and only one game in a shootout (Feb. 18 vs. Syracuse) …Jaroslav Janus has won 13 games in a row, extending his franchise record … Norfolk also won its 14th consecutive home game, tying its franchise record … For the first time since 2006-07, Norfolk boasts two 30-goal scorers in Tyler Johnson (30) and Cory Conacher (34). The last pair of Admirals to accomplish that feat were Troy Brouwer (41) and Brandon Bochenski (33) in 2006-07 … Johnson leads the Admirals with 15 goals and 38 points during the 24-game winning streak, posting at least one point in 20 of 24 games of the streak and posting multiple points in 14 of the 24 games … Mark Barberio scored his 13th goal of the season, and has scored in back-to back games after hitting the game-winner on Tuesday’s victory vs. Wilkes/Barre Scranton …Trevor Smith continued his success against Binghamton with his goal tonight, giving him six goals and 12 points against the Senators for the season.