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October 20, 2008
NORFOLK, VA – After picking up their first win of the season last weekend on the road, the Norfolk Admirals will continue their Western Conference road trip with contests in Rockford and Grand Rapids this weekend.
On Friday night, Paul Szczechura netted two goals – including the game-winner in the third period – and Karri Ramo stopped 39 shots as the Admirals picked up their first win of the season over the Lake Erie Monsters 4-2 at the Quicken Loans Arena. On Saturday night, Brandon Segal, Radek Smolenak and Szczechura continued their scoring touch with two points apiece. However, the Admirals surrendered five goals in the third period as they fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 at the Copps Coliseum.
The Admirals will next hit the ice on Friday and Saturday nights in Rockford in their first ever meetings against the IceHogs. Game time on Friday is at 8:30 p.m. while the puck drops on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. The Admirals then conclude their five-game road swing in Grand Rapids on Sunday afternoon with a 4:00 scheduled opening faceoff.
EAST DIVISION STANDINGS At 1-2-0-1, the Admirals are fifth in the East Division with three points. The East is led by the Hershey Bears (5-1-0-0, 10 points). They are followed by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-1-0-1, 9 points), Binghamton Senators (3-0-0-1, 7 points) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2-1-0-1, 5 points). The Albany River Rats (1-2-0-0) and Philadelphia Phantoms (1-4-0-0) round out the East with two points each.
THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD Fri., Oct. 24 … at Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks) … 8:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 25 … at Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks) … 8:05 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 26 …at Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) … 4:00 p.m.
ADMIRALS RBK/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Center Paul Szczechura has begun the 2008-09 season the same way he ended the 2007-08 season – as one of Norfolk’s most productive players. After opening the season with a goal and an assist in two games versus Hershey, Szczechura paced Norfolk with two goals and three assists in a pair of contests this past week. He began the week with two goals and an assist in Lake Erie last Friday night – including the game-winning goal in the third period. On Saturday night in Hamilton, Szczechura registered two assists for his third multipoint performance in four games this season. He also led the team with eight shots on goal Saturday night. Szczechura leads the Admirals and is among the AHL leaders in scoring with seven points (3G, 4A) in four games.
Brandon Segal (3G, 3A) has points in each of Norfolk’s first four games of the season.
Segal also has points in his last nine games for the Admirals stretching back to the last five games of the 2007-08 season (6G, 6A since 4/4/08 vs. Albany).
Winger Radek Smolenak recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (a goal, assist and fight) on Saturday night in Hamilton.
On Saturday night in Hamilton, Norfolk took 22 shots in the second period. The most shots the Admirals took in any single period during the 2007-08 season was 19 on two different occasions.
Norfolk’s first four games were against teams that entered each game undefeated.
The Tampa Bay Lightning assigned veteran defenseman Jamie Heward to the Admirals yesterday. Heward, a veteran of over 900 pro games, won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s top defenseman and the Calder Cup with the Philadelphia Phantoms during the 1997-98 season.
Prior to their last two games, Norfolk had not played against a Western Conference team since the Houston Aeros defeated them 3-1 at Scope on December 31, 2004.
Last week featured the first ever matchups for Norfolk against the Lake Erie Monsters and Hamilton Bulldogs.
Prior to Saturday’s game, the last time Norfolk had played a game in Canada was on March 1, 2002, when they fell to the Saint John Flames 3-1.
Prior to Saturday’s game, Hamilton was the only team Norfolk had not played that was in the AHL when Norfolk joined the league for the 2000-01 season.
The Admirals and IceHogs will face off in their first ever meetings on Friday and Saturday nights in Rockford.
The IceHogs, current AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, had eight former Admirals on their roster as of October 18 – Bryan Bickell, Adam Berti, Michael Blunden, Troy Brouwer, Jake Dowell, Rob Klinkhammer, Cam Barker and Corey Crawford. In addition, Rockford General Manager Mark Bernard was Norfolk’s Vice President and Assistant General Manager in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and Rockford Assistant Coach Ted Dent was a Norfolk assistant coach in 2006-07. The Admirals were the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate from 2000-01 to 2006-07.
Norfolk will play in Grand Rapids on Sunday for the first time since a 3-1 victory on February 7, 2003.
Former Admirals captain Aaron Downey has no points and five penalty minutes in three games for the Griffins so far this season.
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, Admirals Hall of Fame Member and the founder of the Admirals Blake Cullen, 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.