CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Paul Szczechura and Mike Angelidis each netted their 19th goals of the season, but the Norfolk Admirals (37-21-8-6) fell to the Charlotte Checkers (41-25-2-7), 8-2, at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday evening. The Admirals will begin their final homestand of the regular season when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins visit Norfolk Scope Arena on Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m.
The Admirals now trail the Checkers by three points for third place in the AHL’s East Division. In addition, Norfolk’s lead over the Binghamton Senators for fourth place dropped to one point after the Senators defeated the Springfield Falcons earlier today.
Zac Dalpe gave the Checkers a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals before eleven minutes had expired in the opening period.
Szczechura pulled the Admirals within one at 2-1 just three minutes later. Blair Jones, in his first game back from a NHL stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning, fed a pass to Szczechura on the glove side of Charlotte netminder Justin Pogge. Szczechura found an opening and snuck the puck behind Pogge with 6:17 remaining in the opening period.
The Checkers, however, scored the game’s next six goals. Chris Terry made it 3-1 late in the first period. Matthew Pistilli, Cedric McNicoll, Riley Nash and Zach Boychuk added goals in the second period. Cody Blanchard tallied a shorthanded goal on Charlotte’s only shot in the third period.
Angelidis capped off the scoring 7:39 into the final frame when he tipped in a shot by Chris Durno.
Dustin Tokarski (14 shots, 10 saves) fell to 21-17-4 after starting the game and playing 20:32. Jaroslav Janus (9 shots, 5 saves) did not receive a decision in 39:28 of relief. Justin Pogge (41 shots, 39 saves) improved to 20-16-4 with the victory.
Norfolk was 1 for 4 on the power play while Charlotte was 2 for 5 with the man advantage.
The Admirals return to Scope on Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. to battle the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the final Admirals Value Night of the season, featuring Admirals Family Fun Packs and Student Rush Nights. Family Fun Packs, presented by SunTrust, 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 provide $8 White Level Tickets (normally $12) for students with a valid current high school or college ID.
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 when purchased in advance. Family Fun Packs are only available at the Scope Box Office on the day of the game. Student Rush Night Tickets are available ONLY at the Scope Box Office after 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game.
Individual tickets for all regular season games start at just $12. Tickets are available now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! Low monthly payments 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!
1. Zac Dalpe – CHA
2. Zach Boychuk – CHA
3. Justin Pogge – CHA
EAST DIVISION PLAYOFF CHASE ... Norfolk's magic number to clinch a playoff spot remains five points over the Worcester Sharks. Any combination of five standings points gained by Norfolk or lost by Worcester will clinch a berth in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs for the Admirals … With eight games remaining in the regular season, Norfolk has 88 points and is in fourth place in the AHL's East Division. The fifth-place Binghamton Senators (87 points, 6 games remaining) is now only one point back of Norfolk after defeating Springfield earlier today. Norfolk holds two games in hand on Binghamton … The Worcester Sharks (80 points, 6 games remaining) defeated Adirondack earlier today and cut their deficit to the Admirals to eight points should the "Crossover Rule" come into effect … The Charlotte Checkers (91 points, 5 games remaining) extends its lead to three points over Norfolk after winning at Portland tonight. The Admirals hold three games in hand on the Checkers … Norfolk is six points behind the second-place Hershey Bears (94 points, 5 games remaining) after Hershey lost in overtime to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tonight. The Admirals also have three games in hand on the Bears ... The top four spots in the East Division are guaranteed to qualify for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" is in effect where if the fifth place team in the East Division has more points than the fourth place team in the Atlantic Division, that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals.
NOTES ... Blair Jones was reassigned to Norfolk by the Tampa Bay Lightning prior to game … After registering an assist tonight, Jones is now only four points away from tying Ajay Baines as the all-time leading scorer in AHL Admirals history. He has recorded 63 goals and 108 assists for 171 points in 266 games with Norfolk from the 2007-08 season to the present. Baines recorded 68 goals and 107 assists for 175 points in 409 games with Norfolk from 2000-01 – 2005-06 ... Tonight the Admirals recorded the most goals allowed (8) and the worst margin of defeat (6) in the 2010-11 season … The Admirals are now 4-4-2-1 through 11 of 12 games of the season series with the Checkers, which ends on April 4 in Charlotte ... Scratches: Kevin Quick, Levi Nelson, Tim Marks, Mitch Fritz, Cedrick Desjardins.