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April 2, 2014

Mat Clark Named Norfolk Admirals' 2013-14 IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year


NORFOLK, Va. -- The Norfolk Admirals are proud to announce that Mat Clark has been named the teamís winner of the IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Norfolk community during the 2013-14 season.

Clark helped raise $1.1 million in the area's annual Polar Plunge Winter Festival in early February, which benefits Special Olympics. Participants dive into the chilly Atlantic at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront wearing attire appropriate for a beach day in July to raise money for Special Olympics Virginia.

Mat spent his first week in Norfolk teaming up with a local bakery where he baked 100 cupcakes to generate proceeds for a local ovarian cancer group based in Richmond, VA. He also helped promote the Admirals' Pucks and Paws Night by visiting Norfolk's SPCA, using his stature as an Admiral to secure the adoption of several dogs.

Clark has also immersed himself in the military community that defines Hampton Roads and is the basis for the team name. He toured military bases across the region including Naval Air Station Oceana where he tried his luck in two flight simulators.

His involvement doesn't stop there. Mat appears at local schools to read to children and also dispense his knowledge of nutrition and exercise to encourage healthy habits at a young age. He also found time to meet with students at the New Horizons Center for Autism as well as visit EDMARC (hospice for children) to deliver presents with Santa to children diagnosed with cancer.

Closest to Mat's heart is the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. His grandmother is currently battling ovarian cancer, which led to Clark's creation of his own fundraising website, www.ovariancancer.org/mat. He's spearheaded meet-and-greet events at local restaurants that agree to send 10% of proceeds to the OCNA, which funds research and the dissemination of vital information inside and beyond the ovarian cancer community. Additionally, Mat pledged to donate $10 to the OCNA for each standings point gained by the Admirals throughout the season.

Clark also did numerous radio interviews and spoke publicly about the Admirals' Pink in the Rink Night benefitting Susan G. Komen as well as the American Cancer Society Night at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

Mat Clark has displayed time and time again that he not only cares about the city of Norfolk and the surrounding community, but that he wants to make a substantial difference in peoples' lives. Beyond his willingness to make appearances, Clark has used his own time to discover other ways to use his standing as a Norfolk Admiral to positively affect our community, such as a recent television appearance to promote the Admirals' Muscular Dystrophy Association Night that raised over $67,000 for MDA from its special edition MDA Jersey Auction.

His extensive involvement off the ice has set a shining example for not only his teammates to follow, but for everyone to emulate. As an organization, the Norfolk Admirals are incredibly proud to have Mat Clark as a member of our family and we thank him for his consistent dedication to our fans and the Hampton Roads community.

Mat Clark is now one of 30 finalists for the AHLís 2013-14 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League later this month.

Next Home Game & Promotions: The Admirals conclude their regular season home schedule on Wednesday, April 16, and Friday, April 18, versus East-Division opponent, Hershey, at Scope. Family Fun Packs and $9 Student Rush Night Tickets are available for Wednesday's game at 7:15 p.m. Friday is Fan Appreciation Night and will feature Party on the Plaza before the game. The first 3,000 fans inside the Scope will also receive a 2013-14 Norfolk Admirals Team Poster. It is Girl Scout Night as well and game time set for 7:15 p.m.

Game tickets are now on sale, and are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.

For discounted group tickets stop by the Admiralsí Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com

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