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October 14, 2008
NORFOLK, VA – The twentieth season of Admirals hockey kicked off last week with a pair of close games against Norfolk’s East Division rivals, the Hershey Bears. The Admirals now hit the road for a five-game trek against Western Conference foes.
Brandon Bochenski, Paul Szczechura and Wyatt Smith each had a goal and an assist, but the Admirals fell to the Hershey Bears 5-3 in their twentieth anniversary season opener on Friday night at Scope. The next night, Admirals Captain Zenon Konopka set the stage for a dramatic finish at Scope with the game-tying goal in the third period. However, his Admirals fell in a shootout to Hershey by a 4-3 final score.
Norfolk will next hit the ice on Friday and Saturday on the road. The Admirals will visit the Cleveland area for the first time since the 2002-03 season with their first ever matchup against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday night. On Saturday night, the Admirals make their first trip onto Canadian soil since the 2001-02 season, as they face off against the Hamilton Bulldogs for the first time in franchise history.
EAST DIVISION STANDINGS At 0-1-0-1, the Admirals are sixth in the East Division with one point. The East is led by the Hershey Bears (3-0-0-0, 6 points). They are followed by the Binghamton Senators (2-0-0-0, 4 points), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-1-0-1, 3 points), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Philadelphia Phantoms (both at 1-1-0-0 and 2 points). The Albany River Rats (0-1-0-0, 0 points) round out the division.
THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD Fri., Oct. 17 … at Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche) … 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 18 …at Hamilton Bulldogs (Montréal Canadiéns) … 7:00 p.m.
ADMIRALS RBK/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Norfolk right wing Brandon Segal started the 2008-09 season the same way he ended the 2007-08 season. After finishing last season with points in his last five games with the Admirals, Segal continued his consistent scoring stretch with an assist on Friday and a goal on Saturday against the Hershey Bears in Norfolk’s first two games of 2008-09. His goal and his physical play on Saturday led to his selection as the second star of the game.
With their 5-3 loss to the Bears on Friday, Norfolk dropped to 4-4-0-1-0 all-time in regular season openers and 4-4-1-0-0 in home openers.
Defensemen Jeff May (Friday) and Scott Jackson (Saturday) made their professional debuts last weekend with the Admirals.
First round draft pick defenseman Vladimir Mihalik notched his first points of the season with a pair of assists on Saturday.
After the Bears went 5-7 on the power play in their opener against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday, the Admirals held the Hershey power play to two power play goals on 12 opportunities (83.3% penalty kill efficiency) over their weekend two-game set.
The last time the Admirals played a game in Cleveland was on January 2, 2003, against the Cleveland Barons. They won that game 2-1 on the strength of goals by Mike Peluso and Marty Wilford with a 22-save performance from Steve Passmore.
The Hamilton Bulldogs are the only team the Admirals have not yet played who were in the AHL when Norfolk joined the league for the 2000-01 season.
The last time Norfolk played a game in Canada was on March 1, 2002, when they fell to the Saint John Flames 3-1. In that game, Michael Leighton made 50 saves for Norfolk and Vern Fiddler netted the only Admirals goal.
Norfolk had not played against a Western Conference team since the Houston Aeros defeated the Admirals 3-1 at Scope on December 31, 2004. In that game, Mikhail Yakubov scored Norfolk’s only goal and Adam Munro made 19 saves.
THIS WEEK ON THE ADMIRALS HOUR Tune in to the Admirals Hour on Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1310 WGH-AM. Admirals Vice President Joe Gregory, Admirals Color Commentator Pat Shetler and Admirals part-owner Dave Rosenfield will be in the studio hosting the show.
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 (757) 671-8100 or visit Ticketmaster online at www.ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 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!
ON THE RADIO/INTERNET All games are broadcast on ESPN Radio 1310 WGH-AM. The games are also cybercast at SportsJuice.com. Go to SportsJuice.com, or click on the link at norfolkadmirals.com. Broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to game time.
Games are also viewable through the Internet on a pay-per-view basis through AHL Live. Visit norfolkadmirals.com and click the AHL Live banner on the left side of the site to view all Admirals’ home and away games.