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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.

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday