Friday, February 19 vs. Springfield Falcons (AHL Affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers)
On January 28, the Norfolk Admirals announced that forwards Dennis McEwen and Rick Kowalsky will be inducted into the Admirals Hall of Fame on Friday, February 19 prior to the Admirals game against the Springfield Falcons.
Known as “The Original Admiral,” Dennis McEwen was one of the first players to skate on the ice at Norfolk Scope Arena in October 1989 during the team’s inaugural season. McEwen spent the better part of the next ten years with the Admirals and was a member of all three championship teams.
A solid two-way forward and a team leader, McEwen was a fan favorite in Hampton Roads for parts of seven seasons. He appeared in 262 regular season games with the Admirals, scoring 76 goals and 126 assists. He is one of just seven players to have recorded more than 200 points in an Admirals career.
Some of McEwen’s greatest Admirals contributions came in his 40 playoff games. On March 17, 1990, McEwen became the first ECHL player to record a playoff hat trick as he netted four goals – including the overtime game-winner – in a 5-4 win over the Erie Panthers. As of 2009, no player in ECHL playoff history has ever topped four goals in a game. In each of the next two seasons, McEwen ranked in the top five of team scoring as the Admirals captured the 1991 and 1992 Riley Cup Championships.
After briefly retiring following the 1991-92 season, McEwen returned for parts of four more seasons with the Admirals from 1993-99 and was briefly a member of the 1997-98 Admirals Kelly Cup Championship squad. McEwen ranks fourth in games played, sixth in goals, eighth in assists and seventh in points in Hampton Roads Admirals history.
If you look at the top ten lists for Hampton Roads Admirals games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes, the name Rick Kowalsky will appear on each list.
A high-scoring forward and a team leader, Kowalsky appeared in 244 games with the Hampton Roads Admirals from 1994 to 2000, registering 98 goals, 142 assists, 240 points and 510 penalty minutes. He recorded better than 20 goals, 50 points and 100 penalty minutes in a season three times for the Admirals and is one of just four players to have accomplished that feat more than once in an Admirals career.
Kowalsky added 12 goals and nine assists in 23 Admirals playoff games. He ranks sixth in games played, fifth in goals, seventh in assists, fifth in points and ninth in penalty minutes in Hampton Roads Admirals history.
A veteran of 12 professional seasons, Kowalsky appeared in 516 ECHL games with the Admirals, Trenton and Roanoke, netting 221 goals and 329 assists for 550 points. Following the 2008-09 season, he ranked in the ECHL’s top 20 of all-time games played, goals, assists and points.
Kowalsky played in 182 career AHL contests with Cornwall and Portland between 1993 and 1999. He also appeared in one game with the Norfolk Admirals in the 2001-02 season, making him one of just five players as of the 2008-09 season to have appeared in games for both the ECHL and AHL Admirals. Kowalsky returned to Norfolk for one season as the Admirals’ assistant coach in 2005-06.
The Admirals Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place in a pre-game, on-ice ceremony prior to the Admirals game against the Springfield Falcons on Friday, February 19. The Admirals Hall of Fame was established during the 2007-08 season with charter members Blake Cullen, John Brophy, Al MacIsaac and Rod Taylor. Last season, Mark Bernard and Victor Gervais became the second class of inductees.