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January 18, 2010

Blair Jones Shines in Ducks Unlimited AHL All-Star Skills Competition


PORTLAND, Me. Ė Norfolk Admirals forward Blair Jones won the Reebok Hardest Shot Competition and scored a goal in the EA Sports NHL 10 Breakaway Relay to help the Canadian AHL All-Stars defeat the PlanetUSA AHL All-Stars 18-12 on Monday night at the Ducks Unlimited AHL All-Star Skills Competition at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.

Jones became the fourth Norfolk Admiral to win the hardest shot competition with shot measuring 100.7 miles-per-hour Ė the third-fastest shot in AHL All-Star Skills Competition history. He joins Anton Babchuk (2004), Rene Bourque (2005) and Dustin Byfuglien (2007) as Admirals who have won the hardest shot competition.

Jones then scored a goal in the EA Sports NHL 10 Breakaway Relay. The goal plus Jonesí victory in the hardest shot competition contributed two goals to the Canadian AHL All-Star teamís score.

Jones, 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, has six goals and 16 assists in 29 games for the Admirals in 2009-10. Currently he tied for the team lead in assists and tied for second in points (22). The fourth-year pro has also played in 14 games with Tampa Bay this season, recording ten penalty minutes and averaging 12:50 in ice time per game.

Last season, Jones set career highs with 20 goals, 34 assists and 54 points in all 80 games with Norfolk. He ranked second in scoring, fourth in goals, second in assists and tied for second in power play goals (8) with Norfolk in 2008-09. He also established a new AHL Admirals franchise record with 271 shots on goal, ranking third in the American Hockey League.

Jones, 23, has appeared in 184 games with the Admirals over the past three seasons, tallying 40 goals and 77 assists for 117 points. He ranks ninth all-time in AHL Admirals points, seventh in assists and ninth in games played. Jones has appeared in 229 career AHL contests between Norfolk and the Springfield Falcons, recording 45 goals and 138 points.

Jones has appeared in 38 career NHL games with the Lightning, recording a goal and three points. He was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the fourth round (102nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Prior to turning pro, Jones played in 249 career games in the Western Hockey League with the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Red Deer Rebels. He scored 61 goals and handed out 112 assists during his junior career. He appeared in 56 playoff games and scored 13 goals while tallying 35 points. His team made the postseason in each of his four WHL seasons.

The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic features the top talent in the American Hockey League. The AHL All-Star Game takes place tomorrow night and will air on a tape delay basis in Hampton Roads on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) at 11:30 p.m.

Of the 492 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 94 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including former Admirals Tyler Arnason, Anton Babchuk, Rene Bourque, Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien, Michael Leighton, Josef Marha, Mike Peluso, Brandon Segal and Martin St. Pierre and such NHL stars Patrice Bergeron, Dan Boyle, Zdeno Chara, Miikka Kiprusoff, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza and Eric Staal.

The Admirals will embark on a seven-game road trip through the Northeast beginning on Friday in Springfield, Saturday in Manchester and Sunday in Lowell next weekend. All games are broadcast on STAR 1310-AM, star1310.com and ahllive.com.

The Admirals will return to Scope on Wednesday, February 3, to face the Hershey Bears.

To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com. Donít miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 season tickets today. Stop by the Admiralsí Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!

To purchase tickets to any Admirals game, you may visit the Scope Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visit any Ticketmaster outlet, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster online at ticketmaster.com. Donít miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2009-10 season tickets today. Stop by the Admiralsí Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!

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