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April 5, 2010

Admirals Hanging On To Calder Cup Playoff Hopes in Regular Season’s Final Week






NORFOLK, VA – The Norfolk Admirals are two points back of the East Division’s final playoff spot as they enter the final week of the 2009-10 regular season. Norfolk plays its final three regular season games this week at Scope.

Last week, the Admirals went 1-2-0-0 in their final three road games of the regular season. On Friday in Albany, Justin Keller scored twice to lead the Admirals to a 2-1 win over the River Rats. On Saturday in Binghamton, the Admirals fell 5-3 to the Senators despite receiving four players and head coach Jim Johnson back from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last night in Hershey, the Admirals mounted a third period comeback but were unable to pull even as they fell to the Bears 3-2.

This week, the Admirals will host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday before the Hershey Bears come to Scope on Friday and Saturday. Wednesday is another value night with Family Fun Packs and Student Rush Night tickets available. On Friday, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals hat courtesy of Bank of the Commonwealth and WTKR NewsChannel3. Friday is also LifeNet Health Foundation Night and Team WAAR Night. On Saturday, the first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Admirals mini stick courtesy of Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. Saturday is also Fan Appreciation Night with hundreds of prizes being given away to say “thank you” to Admirals fans.

Click here to visit AHL Live!

ADMIRALS PLAYOFF PICTURE
Typically the top four teams from each of the four divisions in the AHL advance to the Calder Cup Playoffs. The first round of the playoffs is the division semifinals, as each division’s fourth-place team plays it’s own division’s first-place team while the second-place team plays the third-place team. Higher seeds receive home ice advantage in the best-of-seven series.

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 will cross over and compete in the East Division playoffs, thereby knocking the regular season’s fourth-place finisher in the East Division out of the Calder Cup Playoffs. This rule was implemented for the 2009-10 season because there are eight teams in the Atlantic Division and only seven teams in the East Division.

At 37-34-3-3 (80 points with three games remaining), the Admirals are in fourth place in the American Hockey League’s East Division. However, they are currently two points behind the Atlantic Division’s fifth-place team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (36-31-4-6, 82 points with three games remaining). In order to make the playoffs, the Admirals will have to pass either the Sound Tigers or the East Division’s third place team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (39-32-2-3, 83 points with four games remaining). The Penguins lead Norfolk by three points and have a game in hand. The Penguins and Admirals square off at Scope on Wednesday.

There are also three other teams the Admirals will have to be mindful of in their quest to make the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs. The red-hot fifth-place Binghamton Senators (34-34-5-3, 76 points with four games remaining) now trail Norfolk by only four points and have a game in hand. The Senators are 7-3-0-0 in their past ten games and are the final East Division team still in playoff contention. The Admirals should also keep an eye on two other teams in the Atlantic Division. The Lowell Devils (37-30-4-6, 84 points with three games remaining) currently sit in fourth place in the Atlantic Division but are only two points ahead of fifth-place Bridgeport. If the Devils fall to fifth place, the Admirals would need to re-focus their sights on passing Lowell instead of the Sound Tigers. Also, the Atlantic Division’s sixth-place Hartford Wolf Pack (33-32-6-5, 77 points with four games remaining) are five points back of Bridgeport for fifth place and have a game in hand on the Devils, Sound Tigers and Admirals.

Elsewhere in the East Division, the Hershey Bears (59-15-0-3, 121 points with three games remaining) have clinched home ice advantage throughout the Calder Cup Playoffs and have set a new American Hockey League record for wins in a single season. The Albany River Rats (42-28-3-5, 92 points with two games remaining) have clinched second place in the East Division. The sixth-place Syracuse Crunch (32-39-3-3, 70 points with three games remaining) and seventh-place Adirondack Phantoms (31-39-3-4, 69 points with three games remaining) are both mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

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

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THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD
Wed., Apr. 7 … vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS
Fr., Apr. 9 … vs. Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS
Sat., Apr. 10 … vs. Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS


ADMIRALS’ LOG
  • On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning sent head coach Jim Johnson, right wing Mark Parrish, center Paul Szczechura, defenseman Vladimir Mihalik and defenseman Matt Lashoff back to the Admirals.
  • The Admirals finished the regular season with a 20-17-3-0 road record, good for the second-most road wins in AHL Admirals history, trailing only the 21 wins in 2005-06.
  • Goaltender Dustin Tokarski has set a new AHL Admirals record by starting in 12 consecutive games. He is two games from tying the AHL Admirals record for consecutive games appeared in by a goaltender, which was set by Corey Crawford when he appeared in 14 straight games from October 21 – November 22, 2006. During that stretch, Crawford started 13 of the 14 games.
  • Tokarski is now tied for the second most games played (52, Michael Leighton in 2001-02) in a single season in AHL Admirals history and has played the second-most minutes (3140) in a single season in AHL Admirals history. Corey Crawford will retain the AHL Admirals single-season records for games played and minutes played after he appeared in 60 games and played 3467 minutes in 2006-07.
  • Tokarski’s 25 wins rank third in a single season in AHL Admirals history, trailing Crawford’s 38 in 2006-07 and Leighton’s 27 in 2001-02.
  • Norfolk held the AHL’s #1 power play at bay by killing all five Hershey man advantage opportunities on Sunday evening. The Admirals penalty kill is ranked second in the AHL at 86.5%.
WEDNESDAY IS VALUE NIGHT AT SCOPE!
Wednesday will be the final Family Fun Pack Night and Student Rush Night of 2009-10. Family Fun Packs include four discounted Red Level Tickets for just $48 plus four free hot dogs, four free popcorns and four free sodas. Fans get all of that for just $48 – that’s a savings of $37! Click here for more information.

Student Rush Nights, brought to you by Pit Bull Energy Drink and Baxter’s Sports Lounge, provide $8 White Level Tickets (normally $12) for high school and college students with a valid current high school or college ID. In addition, when you buy a Student Rush Night Ticket, you get a buy-one, get-one free offer for the next Student Rush Night. On top of that, you get discounted food at Baxter’s Sports Lounge (located across the street from Scope) on the day of the game. Click here for more information.

Admirals Family Fun Packs are available at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.

FRIDAY IS ADMIRALS HAT GIVEAWAY NIGHT COURTESY OF BANK OF THE COMMONWEALTH AND NEWSCHANNEL3
On Friday, the first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive an Admirals hat courtesy of Bank of the Commonwealth and WTKR NewsChannel3. Click here to see the hats.

FRIDAY IS LIFENET HEALTH FOUNDATION FUNDRAISER NIGHT
Friday is also LifeNet Health Foundation Fundraiser Night. Fans may purchase discounted fundraising tickets for the game on norfolkadmirals.com with a portion of the ticket cost going back to the LifeNet Health Foundation.

Click here to buy tickets.

FRIDAY IS WAAR KICKBALL NIGHT OUT WITH THE ADMIRALS
On Friday, the Admirals will hold WAAR (World Association of Adult Recreation) Kickball Night Out with the Admirals. Anyone wearing their WAAR tee shirts will receive $10 tickets to the game at the Scope Box Office and will be seated in the same section with other WAAR members. Intermission contests will also take place involving WAAR members.

SATURDAY IS FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT
The Admirals will close out the 2009-10 regular season schedule by thanking the most important members of the team – the fans – with Fan Appreciation Night. Come out for a fun night of hockey and you may leave with exciting prizes!

SATURDAY IS ADMIRALS MINI STICK GIVEAWAY COURTESY OF UNCLE BOB’S SELF STORAGE
On Saturday, the first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive an Admirals mini stick courtesy of Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. Click here to see the sticks.

SCOUTING REPORT
The Admirals will play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the tenth and final time in the 2009-10 regular season on Wednesday night at Scope. The Admirals trail the third-place Penguins (39-32-2-3, 83 points with three games remaining) by three points, but the Penguins have one game in hand. Norfolk is 4-5-0-0 against the Baby Pens this season and lost the last matchup between the clubs on March 26 at Scope. Dustin Jeffrey leads the Penguins in assists and points (23G, 47A, 70PTS). Former Admiral Wyatt Smith is tied for third in assists and is fifth in points (12G, 33A, 45PTS) while former Admiral Wade Brookbank is the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team leader with 166 penalty minutes. The Penguins have lost three of their last four games including a 6-2 loss at Binghamton on Friday in their last game. They do not play again until meeting the Admirals in Norfolk on Wednesday.

The Admirals play the final two games of the 2009-10 regular season on Friday and Saturday evenings at Scope when they host the Hershey Bears for the ninth and tenth of ten meetings in the regular season series. The Bears have won seven of the previous eight games in the season series. AHL leading scorer Keith Aucoin has scored 11 of his league-leading 102 points this season in eight games against Norfolk. Hershey has won six of its last seven games including their 3-2 victory at home over the Admirals yesterday. The Bears visit Syracuse on Tuesday before meeting the Admirals in Norfolk on Friday and Saturday.

NORFOLK LEADERS
Goals: Ryan Craig (23)
Assists: Dana Tyrell (27)
Points: Ryan Craig (43)
Games: Adam Hall (76)
PP goals: Brandon Bochenski, Juraj Simek (7)
SH goals: Several (1)
+/- Rating: Dana Tyrell (+11)
PIM: Mitch Fritz (133)
GAA: Jaroslav Janus (2.07)
Spct: Jaroslav Janus (.922)
Wins: Dustin Tokarski (25)
Losses: Dustin Tokarski (24)
GPI: Dustin Tokarski (52)
Minutes: Dustin Tokarski (3140)

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON LEADERS
Goals: Tim Wallace (26)
Assists: Dustin Jeffrey (47)
Points: Dustin Jeffrey (70)
Games: Chris Lee (75)
PP goals: Luca Caputi (11)
SH goals: Tim Wallace (4)
+/- Rating: Mark Letestu (+22)
PIM: Wade Brookbank (166)
GAA: Brad Thiessen (2.57)
Spct: Brad Thiessen (.911)
Wins: John Curry (23)
Losses: John Curry (18)
GPI: John Curry (45)
Minutes: John Curry (2598)

HERSHEY LEADERS
Goals: Alexandre Giroux (46)
Assists: Keith Aucoin (67)
Points: Keith Aucoin (102)
Games: Andrew Gordon (76)
PP goals: Andrew Gordon (18)
SH goals: Steve Pinizzotto (5)
+/- Rating: Steve Pinizzotto (+39)
PIM: Greg Amadio (167)
GAA: Michal Neuvirth (2.24)
Spct: Michal Neuvirth (.919)
Wins: Braden Holtby (24)
Losses: Braden Holtby (7)
GPI: Braden Holtby (35)
Minutes: Braden Holtby (2026)

TRANSACTIONS OF THE PAST WEEK
April 3, 2010
ADD RW Mark Parrish – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
ADD C Paul Szczechura – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
ADD D Vladimir Mihalik – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
ADD D Matt Lashoff – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
April 1, 2010
ADD D Dave Cowan – Signed to Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO)
March 31, 2010
DELETE D Matt Lashoff – Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)

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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