Jones Becomes AHL Admirals Career Scoring Leader as Admirals Top Checkers 5-2
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Blair Jones scored two goals and added an assist to become the leading point scorer in AHL Admirals history as the Norfolk Admirals (38-24-8-6) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Charlotte Checkers (42-27-2-7) on Monday night at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The Admirals can now clinch a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs with a single point in the standings in any of their final four games.
Norfolk will continue its regular season-ending five-game road trip Wednesday night with a critical matchup against the Binghamton Senators at 7:05 p.m. Norfolk leads Binghamton by two points for fourth place in the AHL's East Division.
In his fourth season as an Admiral, Jones now has 66 goals and 111 assists for 177 points in 270 career games with Norfolk. Jones surpassed longtime Admirals captain Ajay Baines for the record. Baines recorded 68 goals and 107 assists for 175 points in 409 games with Norfolk from 2000-01 through 2005-06.
Mattias Ritola also registered two goals and an assist in the game while Marc-Antoine Pouliot had three assists. Jaroslav Janus stopped 24 of 26 shots for his first win of 2010-11 with the Admirals. Norfolk utilized power play goals late in the second period and early in the third period to break a 2-2 tie.
The Admirals and Checkers exchanged power play goals in the first period. Norfolk opened scoring 7:54 into the game on Ritola's sixth goal of the season. Pouliot sent a pass from the left circle to Ritola in the right circle. Ritola one-timed the puck past goaltender Justin Pogge for a 1-0 Admirals lead.
Charlotte's Chris Terry tied the game at 1-1 less than five minutes later. His slap shot from the right point eluded a screened Janus blocker-side at 12:30 of the first period.
The Admirals reclaimed the lead 7:56 into the second period on Pierre-Cedric Labrie's sixth goal of the season. Labrie intercepted a Charlotte pass in the right circle and sent a snap shot over the glove of Pogge to give Norfolk a 2-1 lead.
The Checkers used another power play goal to level the game at 2-2 just over five minutes later. Bobby Sanguinetti's wrist shot from the right point deflected off an Admirals defender and snuck past Janus at 13:18.
Jones tied Baines' scoring record with his 175th point in a Norfolk uniform at 18:49 of the second period. While the Admirals enjoyed a five-on-three power play goal, Pouliot sent a feed from the left circle toward the slot. Jones held the blade of his stick on the ice at an angle to redirect the pass through the legs of Pogge and into the goal for a 3-2 Norfolk lead.
Jones passed Baines for the record just 36 seconds into the final frame on the third Norfolk power play goal of the game. He collected record-setting point number 176 by sending a pass from the left circle across the slot to Ritola, who scored his second goal of the game and seventh of the season with a quick shot past Pogge's left leg.
Jones then added a second goal of his own just over seven minutes later. He cut through traffic in the right circle and sent a backhand shot through the legs of Pogge at 7:40 for his 23rd goal of the season.
Jaroslav Janus (26 shots, 24 saves) earned the victory. Justin Pogge (26 shots, 21 saves) took the loss through 47:21. Bobby Goepfert stopped all ten shots he faced in 12:39 of relief.
Norfolk was 3-7 on the power play. Charlotte was 2-5.
Norfolk will continue its regular season-ending five-game road trip Wednesday night with a critical matchup against the Binghamton Senators at 7:05 p.m. Norfolk leads Binghamton by two points for fourth place in the East Division. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021TheGame.com and ahllive.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! Low monthly payments available for a limited time only. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Blair Jones - NOR
2. Mattias Ritola - NOR
3. Marc-Antoine Pouliot - NOR
EAST DIVISION PLAYOFF RACE ... Norfolk's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now only one point over the Worcester Sharks. Any single standings point earned by Norfolk or lost by Worcester will clinch a berth in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs for the Admirals. Norfolk could clinch a playoff berth as early as tomorrow night if Worcester loses to the Portland Pirates (regulation, overtime or shootout) ... With four games remaining in the regular season, Norfolk has 90 points and is in fourth place in the AHL's East Division. The fifth-place Binghamton Senators (88 points, 3 games remaining) are two points back of Norfolk. The Admirals have one game in hand on the Senators ... The Worcester Sharks (84 points, 3 games remaining) are six points back of the Admirals should the "Crossover Rule" come into effect. Norfolk has one game in hand on Worcester ... The Charlotte Checkers (93 points, 2 games remaining) are three points ahead of Norfolk. The Admirals hold two games in hand on the Checkers ... The top four spots in the East Division are guaranteed to qualify for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" is in effect where if the fifth place team in the East Division has more points than the fourth place team in the Atlantic Division, that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals. For complete standings and an explanation of the qualification rules for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, please visit theahl.com.
NOTES ... Norfolk snapped a season-long four-game losing streak ... The Admirals have scored on five of their last ten power play opportunities ... Since rejoining the Admirals from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mattias Ritola has multiple points in all four games with Norfolk (5G, 6A) ... Ritola has seven goals and 22 points in only 13 games with the Admirals this season ... Blair Jones had eight shots on net in tonight's game and now has 787 shots in his AHL Admirals career. He is now just eight shots away from tying Shawn Thornton for the most shots taken in an AHL Admirals career (795) ... Jaroslav Janus earned his first win of 2010-11 with Norfolk ... With the game tied at one goal apiece 5:39 into the second period, Janus stopped Brett Sutter on a penalty shot ... Paul Szczechura missed his first game of 2010-11. Only Mike Angelidis and James Wright have played every game for Norfolk this season ... Szczechura missed the game due to illness ... Did not play: Kevin Quick, Paul Szczechura, Levi Nelson, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins, Dustin Tokarski, Matt Fornataro.
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