CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Seven different players scored goals and Jaroslav Janus made 30 saves as the Norfolk Admirals (44-18-1-2) defeated the Charlotte Checkers (32-21-3-5), 7-2, on Friday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena. With 17 wins in a row, the Admirals have now tied the longest winning streak contained in a single season in American Hockey League history. They will try to set a new record on Sunday night in a rematch against the Checkers in North Carolina.
In addition, the Admirals became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs by virtue of their victory over Charlotte and a 5-1 loss by the Portland Pirates at Springfield tonight.
Janus (17-8-2) earned his AHL Admirals franchise record-setting ninth straight win, surpassing the previous record of eight straight wins that Dustin Tokarski had set just 13 days earlier before being recalled by Norfolk’s NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Admirals received goals from Cory Conacher, Jean-Philippe Cote, Jeff Dimmen, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Alex Hutchings and Richard Panik. Six of Norfolk’s goals came from rookies – including the first career AHL goal for Hutchings.
With a goal and an assist, Johnson extended his point streak to nine straight games and his goal-scoring streak to six consecutive games. Conacher is once again tied for the AHL lead in goals with 32 markers this season.
Zach Boychuk scored twice for the Checkers.
Both teams were 1-for-2 on the power play.
The Admirals and Checkers will square off once again on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in the final game of the GEICO Challenge Cup. Norfolk (4-3-0-0, 8 points) currently leads Charlotte (3-3-1-0, 7 points) by one point in the race for the GEICO Challenge Cup, which will be awarded to the team with the most standings points in the 2011-12 season series.
Sunday’s game will be shown at Big Woody’s Bar and Grill at Chesapeake Square Mall. Big Woody’s is located at 4200 Portsmouth Boulevard North in Chesapeake. Their phone number is (757) 436-1919.
The game can also be heard at 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and 1021TheGame.com. You can also watch on a pay-per-view basis at AHLLive.com.
1. Ondrej Palat – NOR
2. Tyler Johnson – NOR
3. Zach Boychuk – NOR
NOTES … Norfolk’s 17-game winning streak trails only the the Syracuse Crunch’s 18-game winning streak, which was set over the course of two seasons from March 9 – October 17, 2008. During their streak, the Crunch won 15 games to conclude the 2007-08 regular season and the first three games to open the 2008-09 regular season … Admirals forward Alexandre Picard was on that Crunch team, along with former Admirals captain Zenon Konopka … Norfolk’s last loss of any kind came on February 5 – a 4-2 defeat at the MassMutual Center by the Springfield Falcons … The last time Norfolk was in first place overall in the American Hockey League this late in the season was March 31, 2007, when they held a one-point lead over the Hershey Bears … The win was also Norfolk’s ninth in a row on the road, extending their franchise record for a road winning streak … Tyler Johnson has eight goals and 12 assists in his last nine games in what continues to be the longest active point streak in the American Hockey League and is tied for the longest point streak this season by a Norfolk player … Johnson has also set an Admirals season high with goals in six straight games (8g), and he also has recorded six consecutive multiple-point games (7g, 7a) … Johnson leads the Admirals with 11 goals and 29 points during the 17-game winning streak … Did not play: Richard Petiot, Mike Angelidis, Jon Kalinski.
Norfolk Admirals 7 at Charlotte Checkers 2 – Status: Final
Friday, March 16, 2012 – Time Warner Cable Arena
Norfolk 2 5 0 – 7
Charlotte 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Conacher 32 (Smith, Labrie), 7:07. 2, Norfolk, Cote 2 (Devos), 8:59. 3, Charlotte, Boychuk 15 (Terry, Sutter), 13:42 (PP). Penalties-Cote Nor (high-sticking), 13:01.
2nd Period-4, Norfolk, Dimmen 3 (Ouellet, Gudas), 1:55. 5, Norfolk, Johnson 26 (Oberg), 6:26. 6, Norfolk, Palat 6 (Johnson), 7:35. 7, Norfolk, Hutchings 1 (Palat, Oberg), 15:02 (PP). 8, Norfolk, Panik 17 (Smith), 16:45. Penalties-Labrie Nor (delay of game), 5:59; Jenks Cha (delay of game), 5:59; Janus Nor (interference), 9:29; Rissanen Cha (high-sticking), 13:12.
3rd Period-9, Charlotte, Boychuk 16 (Dalpe, Sanguinetti), 14:33. Penalties-Terry Cha (roughing), 16:06; Gudas Nor (fighting), 18:24; Jenks Cha (fighting), 18:24.
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 11-15-6-32. Charlotte 7-7-18-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 1 / 2; Charlotte 1 / 2.
Goalies-Norfolk, Janus 17-8-2 (32 shots-30 saves). Charlotte, Murphy 16-12-2 (17 shots-13 saves); Peters 6-8-1 (15 shots-12 saves).
Referees-Jeff Smith (49).
Linesmen-Ben Shiley (21), Mark Hamlett (81).