Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning AHL affiliate Norfolk wins league championship

TORONTO — Lightning AHL affiliate Norfolk compiled some impressive numbers this season, among them a 28-game winning streak and 70 wins in 94 regular-season and playoff games.

But the most important number was 1. The Admirals won their first league championship Saturday with a 6-1 victory over Toronto to sweep the Calder Cup final in four games.

Tyler Johnson had two goals and two assists, and Mike Kostka had two goals for the Admirals, who went 15-3 in the playoffs and were 43-3 in their last 46 games going back to the regular season.

Also scoring were Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Richard Panik. Cory Conacher, the league regular-season MVP and rookie of the year, had four assists. Goalie Dustin Tokarski had 18 saves.

Alexandre Picard, who scored nine goals and had a league-leading 16 playoff points, was voted playoff MVP by league coaches.

In the four postseason rounds, Norfolk never trailed in a game after Game 6 of its second-round series against Connecticut.

"We're a hard team to match," coach Jon Cooper said as he celebrated in Ricoh Coliseum. "We have a kid line, the big horses and a team that shuts the door.

"It's one of the happiest days of my life and also the saddest, because these guys will never be together again."

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Published: 05/23/18