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January 31, 2010

Victory Gives Admirals Most Successful Trip in Seven Years


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – After a seven-game road trip over a ten-day period, the last thing the Norfolk Admirals wanted to see was an overtime game. However, they pushed through a franchise-record 13-round shootout and improved their season record to 23-23-3-0 with a 2-1 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (22-21-2-6) on Sunday afternoon at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

The Admirals finished their seven game road trip with six wins and one overtime loss, gaining 13 of a possible 14 points and vaulting from seventh place to third place in the American Hockey League’s East Division. The Admirals return to Scope to drop the puck on a six-game homestand on Wednesday with another battle against the division-leading Hershey Bears.

Norfolk got on the board with a power play marker with 5:02 remaining in the first period. Ty Wishart sent a pass from the right point to Matt Fornataro at the left point. Fornataro skated to the top of the left circle before sending a wrist shot through traffic and past Bridgeport goaltender Scott Munroe for his fifth goal of the season.

The Sound Tigers knotted the score at 1-1 late in the second period. Micheal Haley sent a shot from the slot that bounced off Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski. Haley found his own rebound on the edge of the left circle and fired it top shelf just under the crossbar at 16:11.

Neither team found the back of the net in the third period or overtime despite each team firing nine shots in the third period and four shots in the extra session. Both goaltenders were sharp with Tokarski stopping 36 shots and Munroe shopping 38 shots heading into the shootout.

The epic 13-round shootout saw each team score four times through 11 rounds with Blair Jones, Mitch Fadden, Juraj Simek and Ryan Cruthers scoring for Norfolk and Trevor Smith, Greg Mauldin, Greg Moore and Tyler Haskins scoring for Bridgeport.

After a scoreless round 12, Ty Wishart scored with a shot past the glove of Munroe in the top of round 13. Sound Tigers tough guy Pascal Morency lost control of the puck on his attempt and Tokarski poke-checked it away to seal the victory for Norfolk in the bottom of round 13.

Dustin Tokarski (37 shots, 36 saves) earned the victory and stopped nine of 13 Bridgeport shooters in the shootout. Scott Munroe (39 shots, 38 saves) was saddled with the shootout loss despite making eight saves in the shootout.

Norfolk was 1-5 on the power play. Bridgeport was 0-3.

The Admirals will return to Norfolk Scope Arena to kick off a six-game homestand on Wednesday against the Hershey Bears. That game will be another Family Fun Pack Night and Student Rush Night. 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!

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 right across the street from Scope) on the day of the game.

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.

For a complete schedule and details of the promotions, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212.

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 2009-10 season tickets today. 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!

Three Stars:
1. Ty Wishart – NOR
2. Scott Munroe – BRI
3. Dustin Tokarski – NOR

NOTES … The Admirals (23-23-3-0, 49 points in 49 games) have moved into third place alone in the AHL’s East Division pending the outcome of the Adirondack Phantoms’ (22-21-2-1, 47 points in 46 games) game this evening against the Rochester Americans … Including a 5-4 victory at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 6, the Admirals have points in eight consecutive road games (7-0-1-0) – the second-longest road point streak in AHL Admirals history … The longest point streak in AHL Admirals history was a nine-game stretch from December 29, 2002 – February 9, 2003 when Norfolk won seven games in a row and tied their next two games after that … Matt Fornataro has goals in three straight games (3G) and in five of seven games (5) while showing points in six of the seven games on the road trip (5G, 2A) … Ty Wishart has points in six of his last nine games (3G, 6A) ... Earlier today, the Admirals’ NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, assigned forward Paul Szczechura to the Admirals on a conditioning assignment … Also earlier today, the Admirals signed defenseman Ryan McGinnis to a Professional Tryout Contract … Scratches: David Hale, Adam Hall, Mitch Fritz … Attendance: 6,129.

# THE HEARTBEAT OF HAMPTON ROADS #

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