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Stanley Cup Final

Norfolk wins 24th straight, clinches AHL points title

Friday, 04.06.2012 / 10:33 PM / AHL Update

NHL.com

The Norfolk Admirals extended their professional hockey record by winning their 24th consecutive game, beating the Binghamton Senators 3-1 in Norfolk, Va., on Friday night to wrap up the AHL regular-season championship.

The Admirals (51-18-1-2, 105 points) earned the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy, given to the top finisher in the overall regular-season standings. The Tampa Bay Lightning's top affiliate will have home-ice advantage for as far as they go in the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs, which begin following the conclusion of the regular season on Apr. 15.

Under second-year coach Jon Cooper, the Admirals have demolished the record books -- they haven't lost since Feb. 5. Norfolk’s 24-game winning streak, including the last 18 in regulation, is the longest ever by a professional hockey team. The previous AHL record was 18 consecutive wins; the NHL record is 17, set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93.

Norfolk, which has won a division title for the first time since 2003, has set franchise records for wins and points in a season while claiming its first regular-season championship.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round