Admirals Look To Continue Winning Ways with a Saturday Battle Against Philadelphia
NORFOLK, VA – The Norfolk Admirals will look to build upon a three-game winning streak when they host the Philadelphia Phantoms on Saturday night at Scope.
Last week, the Admirals closed a five-game homestand in style with a pair of wins over the Albany River Rats at Scope. On Wednesday night, Steve Downie and Radek Smolenak scored and Karri Ramo made 26 saves in a 2-1 win over the River Rats. On Friday night, Mike McKenna stopped all 24 shots he faced and Radek Smolenak scored twice in a 5-0 win over Albany. On Saturday night, Norfolk traveled to Philadelphia and halted the Phantoms’ seven-game winning streak in a 3-2 shootout victory at the Wachovia Spectrum.
The Admirals and Phantoms will face off once again in Norfolk’s only action of the week. The puck drops at Scope on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. The first 500 kids 12 years of age and under will receive a Chris Gratton mini-bobblehead doll courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
EAST DIVISION STANDINGS At 12-19-1-4 (29 points), the Admirals are sixth in the East Division. The Hershey Bears (22-7-0-1, 45 points) lead the division. Bridgeport (20-8-1-2, 43 points), Philadelphia (19-11-0-1, 39 points) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (17-11-1-1, 36 points) currently occupy playoff positions. Binghamton (15-9-3-3, 36 points) is tied with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Albany (10-15-3-2, 25 points) rounds out the division in seventh place. Click here for the complete, up-to-the-minute AHL standings.
THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD Sat., Dec. 27 … vs. Philadelphia Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS
The Admirals are on a three-game winning streak and have won four of their last five games overall.
Norfolk has allowed only three goals during the winning streak. The last time Norfolk allowed three or fewer goals in a three-game stretch was October 27 to November 1, 2006 when they notched three consecutive 3-1 wins.
The Admirals have allowed two or fewer goals in four of their last five games. They had done so only four times in their prior 28 games.
Admirals goaltenders Karri Ramo and Mike McKenna combined to go 3-0-0 last week with a 0.97 GAA and .964 save percentage.
The Admirals have now killed 25 consecutive opponent power plays and 29 of the last 30 overall.
Steve Downie is on a seven-game point streak (2G, 10A) – the longest for Norfolk this season.
Radek Smolenak has goals in each of the three games he has played since returning to Norfolk from his first NHL call-up (4G). He scored the game-winning goal on both Wednesday and Friday against Albany.
Blair Jones has assists in three straight games (4A) to take over the Norfolk lead with 16 assists this season.
On Saturday in Philadelphia, Norfolk recorded its first shootout win of the season and the first such victory since February 22, 2008 at Manchester.
On Friday versus Albany, Norfolk recorded its first shutout of the season with a 24-save performance from Mike McKenna in a 5-0 win. The last Admirals shutout came on March 5, 2008, in Worcester as Marc Denis made 32 saves in a 4-0 win over the Sharks.
The Admials' wives and girlfriends raised nearly $1,500 for The Joy Fund through their Holiday Ornament Auction on Friday night. The Joy Fund donates toys to underprivileged youth in the Hampton Roads area.
Ty Wishart netted his first professional goal on Friday against Albany.
NHL veteran Chris Gratton has three assists in his first three games with the Admirals. He made his debut on Wednesday night and assisted on Radek Smolenak’s game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Albany at Scope.
ADMIRALS RBK/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Steve Downie: 3 GP, 2G, 2A, 4PTS, 6 PIM Steve Downie registered points in all three of Norfolk’s games last week to continue his seven-game point streak with the club. The second-year pro notched his first Norfolk goal in the Admirals’ 2-1 victory over Albany on Wednesday at Scope. He scored another goal and added an assist on Friday against Albany in a 5-0 win. On Saturday, he returned to his former stomping grounds and picked up an assist in a 3-2 shootout triumph against the Philadelphia Phantoms.
Downie now has two goals and 14 assists in just 11 games with Norfolk. He has matched Paul Szczechura’s team-high +7 rating during those games. Including his four games with the Phantoms earlier in the season, Downie has three goals and 21 assists with a +10 rating in just 15 AHL games in 2008-09. His 21 assists rank in the top 20 in the AHL.
– The first 500 kids through the gates 12 years of age and younger will receive a Chris Gratton Mini-Bobblehead courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning.THIS WEEK ON THE ADMIRALS HOUR Please note that the Admirals Hour call-in radio show will air this week on Tuesday evening due to the Christmas holiday on Thursday. The show will air at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1310 WGH-AM. “The Voice of the Admirals” Pete Michaud will be joined in the studio by Admirals head coach Darren Rumble. If you have a question for the show, please call (757) 497-1310 during the show or email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to 2:00 on Thursday afternoon.
TRANSACTIONS OF THE PAST WEEK December 17, 2008 ADD C Zenon Konopka – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
December 18, 2008 DELETE G Karri Ramo – Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
ADD G Karri Ramo – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
December 21, 2008 DELETE G Karri Ramo – Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
ADD G Riku Helenius – Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Mississippi (ECHL)
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.