The Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League have recently capped an amazing accomplishment, finishing the 2011-12 season with a 28 game winning streak. The streak is a new professional hockey record. The Admirals finished first overall in the AHL with 55 wins and 113 points over 76 games. Norfolk is the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. The team was an expansion franchise in 2000-01 and originally was affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks. The team has been aided in 2011-12 by four Ontario Hockey League grads.
Richard Panik completed his first year of pro hockey, playing 63 games for the Admirals. Panik played two years in the OHL, 2009-10 and 2010-11, with the Windsor Spitfires, Belleville Bulls and Guelph Storm. A member of Team Slovakia at the IIHF World Juniors on three occasions, Richard was a second round pick of the Lightning at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He has yet to play a regular season game with Tampa Bay.
Mike Angelidis (An updated article featuring this player is available here: Mike Angelidis) wore the ‘A’ on his jersey in his second season with Norfolk. Angelidis played four years with the Owen Sound Attack fro 2002-03 to 2005-06. Undrafted, he spent his first four years of pro hockey with the AHL’s Albany River Rats before switching to the Admirals. He was called up to Tampa Bay for six games in 2011-12.
Alex Hutchings played in eleven games with the Admirals in 2011-12. Over the past two seasons, Alex has split his time between Norfolk and the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. Hutchings played for the Barrie Colts for four years from 2006-07 to 2009-10. He was fourth round pick of the Lightning at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, 93rd overall.
Jaroslav Janus posted a 2.37 goals against average over 32 games with the Admirals this season. Janus played three years with the Erie Otters from 2007-08 to 2009-10. He was a sixth round pick of the Lightning at the 2009 draft, 162nd overall. Jaroslav was a teammate of Richard Panik’s on the 2008-09 Slovakian World Juniors team that finished fourth in Ottawa.