In July 1941, Joe DiMaggio tied and set a new Major League Baseball record for consecutive games with a hit, on his way to 56 straight overall. He accomplished both feats against the same team: The Boston Red Sox.
After their loss to the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday, the Charlotte Checkers now know the feeling.
The Admirals tied the AHL record for consecutive wins, set by the 2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms, on Friday night with a 7-2 win at Charlotte. On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s affiliate established a new League record with their 18th straight win, defeating Charlotte, 5-0.
As Coach Jon Cooper said before the game: “I think I barely need to walk into the room right now. The Knute Rockne speeches I can save for another time because they know what’s at stake.”
The streak began back on Feb. 10 with a 2-0 win over Adirondack. Eleven of the 18 wins were on the road. Among the other notables from the streak.
• The Admirals outscored their opponents 75-29 during the streak.
• Leading scorer Cory Conacher had three game-winning goals in the 18 games. Michel Ouellet had two. Carter Ashton, who was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the streak, also had a GWG.
• Goalie Dustin Tokarski had eight wins during the streak before he was called up by the Lightning. Backup Jaroslav Janus won the last six games and set a franchise record with 10 straight wins overall. Wrote Janus on Twitter after the record-setting win: “Another great week boys!!! 18 wins in a row?! you gotta be kidding me…great job !!! WE ARE NOT DONE YET !!!” OK then.
• For our fellow purists out there, only one victory in the 18 games came via the shootout: Feb. 18 against Syracuse, a 3-2 win.
Congrats to Norfolk on an incredible run. The Admirals have 10 games left this season. They’ve already beaten the AHL — and, incidentally, they’ve eclipsed the NHL record of 17 set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins, too. How much longer can the streak endure?