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March 16, 2010

Admirals Playoff Push Continues with Pivotal Games






NORFOLK, VA – The third-place Norfolk Admirals will look to rebound from a pair of shootout losses last week with three critical East Division showdowns this week.

Last week, the Admirals fell to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday and Saturday at Scope by identical 3-2 scores in shootouts. Both shootouts ended with the Sound Tigers scoring once and the Admirals failing to convert. Despite the losses, the Admirals picked up two valuable points in the East Division Standings last week.

Tomorrow, the Admirals will travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for a pivotal matchup against the fourth-place Penguins, who trail Norfolk by only three points. The Admirals then return home on Friday and Saturday nights to square off against the fifth-place Adirondack Phantoms. Friday is team poster giveaway and Cheesy Noisemaker Night; Saturday is Admirals pennant giveaway, Admirals Puck Crawl Night, Virginia Beach City Public Schools Night and Mystery Puck Night. For more details on all the upcoming promotions, please see below.

EAST DIVISION STANDINGS
At 34-28-3-3 (74 points in 68 games), the Admirals are in third place in the American Hockey League’s East Division. Only four weeks remain in the American Hockey League’s regular season and Norfolk has just 12 games remaining on its schedule.

The East is led by the Hershey Bears (50-13-0-3, 103 points in 66 games). The Albany River Rats (37-24-3-5, 82 points in 69 games) are eight points ahead of the Admirals for second place, but the Admirals have one game in hand. The Admirals lead the fourth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (33-29-2-3, 71 points in 67 games) by three points, but the Penguins have one game in hand. The fifth-place Adirondack Phantoms (30-32-3-2, 65 points in 67 games) trail the Admirals by nine points with one game in hand. Tied for sixth-place are the Syracuse Crunch (29-32-3-3, 64 points in 67 games) and the Binghamton Senators (28-31-5-3, 64 points in 67 games), who both trail Norfolk by ten points with one game in hand.

Typically the top four teams from each division in the AHL advance to the Calder Cup Playoffs. The first round of the playoffs is the division semifinals, as the fourth-place team plays the first-place team while the second-place team plays the third-place team. There is one possible exception to the qualification rules in 2009-10: if the fifth-place team in the Atlantic Division finishes with more points than the fourth-place team in the East Division, it would cross over and compete in the East Division playoffs. Currently, that rule would come in to effect, as the Atlantic Division’s fifth-place team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (32-27-3-6, 73 points in 68 games), have three more points than the fourth-place Penguins.

Click here for the complete, up-to-the-minute AHL standings.

THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD
Wed., Mar. 17 … at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) … 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 19 … vs. Adirondack Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS
Sat., Mar. 20 … vs. Adirondack Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS


ADMIRALS’ LOG
  • The third-place Admirals are now eight points back of the second-place Albany River Rats with one game in hand.
  • Fourth-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is now just three points behind Norfolk with one game in hand. The Admirals visit the Penguins on Wednesday before the Penguins visit Scope on March 24 and 26 and April 7.
  • Norfolk is 17-5-1-3 since the All-Star Break
  • The Admirals have points in eight of their last nine games at Norfolk Scope Arena and have eight home games in their last 12 regular season games.
  • Norfolk has out-shot its opponents in 20 of its last 26 games and 11 of its last 12 games.
  • Rookie forward Dana Tyrell has points in six straight games (2G, 6A) and in 12 of his last 15 games (4G, 14A).
  • Tyrell now leads the Admirals in assists with 23.
  • Tyrell’s linemates Adam Hall (3G, 2A) and Ryan Craig (1G, 3A) each had four-game point streaks snapped on Saturday.
  • Forwards Tim Marks and Kai Kantola both made their professional debuts on Friday after being signed to Amateur Tryout Contracts following the end of their collegiate hockey careers.
  • Marks registered an assist for his first pro point on Saturday.
  • Earlier today, top Tampa Bay Lightning prospect forward Carter Ashton and Richard Panik joined the Admirals roster.
ADMIRALS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dana Tyrell: 2 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 PTS

Rookie forward Dana Tyrell paced Norfolk with three points in two games last week. On Friday versus Bridgeport, Tyrell assisted on both Norfolk goals in a 3-2 shootout loss at Scope. In the Saturday rematch, Tyrell assisted on a go-ahead goal in the third period. However, the Admirals fell once again 3-2 in a shootout to the Sound Tigers.

Tyrell has six goals and 23 assists in 62 games for the Admirals this season. He has points in six straight games (2G, 6A) and in 12 of his last 15 games (4G, 14A). He leads the Admirals in assist and leads all Admirals rookies in goals, assists, points and plus/minus (+5) and leads all club forwards in plus-minus, as well.

ADMIRALS TEAM POSTER GIVEAWAY COURTESY OF SUPERCUTS AND THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT
On Friday night, the first 3,000 fans through the gates will receive an Admirals team poster courtesy of SUPERCUTS and The Virginian-Pilot.

CHEESY NOISEMAKER NIGHT TO BENEFIT WAVE CITY CARE
Friday is also Cheesy Noisemaker Night to Benefit Wave City Care. Fans are encouraged to bring boxes of non-perishable food to the game. During the game, use the boxes as noisemakers. After the game, drop off the box at designated locations throughout the arena to donate them to those in need in Hampton Roads. As a special part of the event, fans may also purchase discounted fundraising tickets for the game on norfolkadmirals.com with a portion of the ticket cost going back to Wave City Care, a private non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families in Hampton Roads.

ADMIRALS PENNANT GIVEAWAY COURTESY OF GOOD NEIGHBOR PHARMACY
On Saturday night, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive an Admirals pennant courtesy of Good Neighbor Pharmacy.

ADMIRALS PUCK CRAWL NIGHT
Saturday is also Admirals Puck Crawl night. By registering online at norfolkadmirals.com for just $20, fans will receive a package including a ticket to the game, discounted food and/or beverages at area establishments before the game, a tee shirt, promotional items and much more. The Admirals Puck Crawl will benefit ForKids, Inc., a local foundation for helping homeless families.

VIRGINIA BEACH CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS NIGHT
Saturday is also Virginia Beach City Public Schools Night. Discounted tickets are available for all students, teachers and staff at norfolkadmirals.com.

MYSTERY PUCK NIGHT
Finally, Saturday is Mystery Puck night. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase wrapped pucks at the Center Ice Souvenir Stand. Each puck is autographed by a pro hockey player – including National Hockey League players and some of hockey’s top prospects currently playing in the American Hockey League. Each purchase benefits the Admirals Angels program, which provides an enjoyable night of hockey for groups of disadvantaged children, people with disabilities, veterans and other deserving organizations throughout Hampton Roads.

THIS WEEK ON THE ADMIRALS HOUR RADIO SHOW
Please note that this week, the Admirals Hour will air on ESPN Radio 94.1-FM on Wednesday from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

SCOUTING REPORT
The Admirals will visit Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday for their final of five road contests against the Penguins in Pennsylvania this regular season. The fourth-place Penguins (33-29-2-3, 71 points in 67 games) trail the Admirals by three points in the East Division standings but have one game in hand. Norfolk is 4-2-0-0 against the Baby Pens this season but lost the last matchup between the clubs on March 3 in Wilkes-Barre. Dustin Jeffrey leads the Penguins in assists and points (21G, 42A, 63PTS). Former Admiral Wyatt Smith is tied for second in assists and is fifth in points (12G, 30A, 42PTS) while former Admiral Wade Brookbank is the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team leader with 138 penalty minutes. The Penguins have points in four straight games (2-0-1-1) including a 2-1 overtime loss at Adirondack on Sunday. They do not play again before hosting Norfolk on Wednesday.

On Friday and Saturday, the Admirals will host the Adirondack Phantoms for the final two contests between the clubs this regular season. At 30-32-3-2 (65 points in 67 games), the Phantoms rank fifth in the East Division and are nine points back of Norfolk with one game in hand. Norfolk is 2-4-0-0 in the season series with Adirondack with one of the victories coming in overtime. Adirondack defeated Norfolk 3-2 in New York on February 26 in the last meeting between the clubs. Jon Matsumoto leads Adirondack with 50 points (22G, 28A). Stefan Legein leads the club with 23 goals. First-year North American professional goaltender Johan Backlund (21-17-2, 2.79, .906) leads the Phantoms with 21 wins. Adirondack has points in three straight games (2-0-1-0) including a 2-1 overtime win versus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday and hosts the Hamilton Bulldogs on Wednesday before traveling to Norfolk to face the Admirals on Friday and Saturday.

NORFOLK LEADERS
Goals: Brandon Bochenski (21)
Assists: Dana Tyrell (23)
Points: Brandon Bochenski (40)
Games: Adam Hall, Juraj Simek, Ty Wishart (67)
PP goals: Brandon Bochenski, Juraj Simek (7)
SH goals: Several (1)
+/- Rating: Zach Tarkir (+8)
PIM: Mitch Fritz (114)
GAA: Jaroslav Janus (2.07)
Spct: Jaroslav Janus (.922)
Wins: Dustin Tokarski (22)
Losses: Dustin Tokarski (18)
GPI: Dustin Tokarski (43)
Minutes: Dustin Tokarski (2604)

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON LEADERS
Goals: Luca Caputi (23)
Assists: Dustin Jeffrey (42)
Points: Dustin Jeffrey (63)
Games: Chris Lee (66)
PP goals: Luca Caputi (11)
SH goals: Dustin Jeffrey, Tim Wallace (3)
+/- Rating: Nick Johnson, Mark Letestu (+19)
PIM: Wade Brookbank (138)
GAA: Brad Thiessen (2.74)
Spct: Brad Thiessen (.903)
Wins: John Curry (22)
Losses: John Curry (17)
GPI: John Curry (42)
Minutes: John Curry (2459)

ADIRONDACK LEADERS
Goals: Stefan Legein (23)
Assists: Patrick Maroon, Jared Ross (29)
Points: Jon Matsumoto (50)
Games: Jon Matsumoto (67)
PP goals: David Laliberte (7)
SH goals: Stefan Legein (3)
+/- Rating: Mika Pyorala (+7)
PIM: Matt Clackson (169)
GAA: Johan Backlund (2.79)
Spct: Johan Backlund (.906)
Wins: Johan Backlund (21)
Losses: Johan Backlund (17)
GPI: Johan Backlund (41)
Minutes: Johan Backlund (2451)

TRANSACTIONS OF THE PAST WEEK
March 9, 2010
DELETE D Zach Tarkir – Released from Professional Tryout Contract (PTO)
ADD D Zach Tarkir – Signed to AHL Standard Player’s Contract (SPC)
DELETE D Ryan McGinnis – Released from Professional Tryout Contract (PTO)
DELETE F Ryan Cruthers – Released from Professional Tryout Contract (PTO)
March 10, 2010
ADD D Nick St. Pierre – Signed to AHL Standard Player’s Contract (SPC)
ADD D Taylor Vichorek – Signed to AHL Standard Player’s Contract (SPC)
ADD F Kai Kantola – Signed to Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO)
ADD F Tim Marks – Signed to Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO)
March 12, 2010
ADD G Zane Kalemba – Signed to Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO)
March 16, 2010
ADD RW Carter Ashton – Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Regina (WHL)
ADD RW Richard Panik – Signed to Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO)

TICKETS
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. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2010-11 season tickets today. Affordable monthly payment plans are available for a limited time only! Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit norfolkadmirals.com anytime!

ON THE RADIO/INTERNET
All eighty regular season games will air live on STAR 1310-AM and will stream online free of charge at star1310.com. AHL Live will carry online video of every Admirals game on a pay-per-view or season pass basis. Fans can log in to watch or get more information about AHL Live’s online video features at ahllive.com.






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