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February 4, 2009

After Taking Care of Rats, Admirals Look to Tame Cats



NORFOLK, VA – After sweeping a pair of home games against the Albany River Rats last week, the Norfolk Admirals will look to tame the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday and Saturday nights at Norfolk Scope Arena.

On Thursday night, Brandon Bochenski netted two goals to lead the Admirals to a 5-4 win over the Albany River Rats at Scope. The next night, Radek Smolenak netted his first pro hat trick and Mike McKenna stopped 43 of 44 shots as Norfolk topped Albany 4-1. On Saturday night in Hershey, goals by Blair Jones and Bracken Kearns would not be enough as the Admirals fell to the Bears 4-2 at Giant Center.

After enjoying a five-day break from game action, the Admirals will host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Scope on Friday and Saturday nights. Game time for both contests is 7:15 p.m. The Admirals will then head to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday evening to face off against the Penguins at 5:05.

EAST DIVISION STANDINGS
At 18-22-2-5 (43 points), the Admirals are in seventh place in the East Division. The division is led by the Hershey Bears (33-12-0-4, 70 points). They are followed by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (29-16-1-2, 61 points), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (27-15-3-2, 59 points), Binghamton Senators (25-16-3-3, 56 points), Philadelphia Phantoms (26-20-1-1, 54 points) and Albany River Rats (20-23-3-2, 45 points). Click here for the complete, up-to-the-minute AHL standings.

THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD
Fri., Feb. 6 … vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS
Sat., Feb. 7 … vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS

Sun., Feb. 8 … at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) … 5:05 p.m.

ADMIRALS LOG
  • The Admirals’ NHL parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, signed goaltender Mike McKenna to an NHL contract yesterday. He made his NHL debut last night in relief of Karri Ramo, stopping all 11 shots he faced in the Lightning’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders. McKenna is expected to make his first NHL start tonight as the Lightning visit Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins.
  • McKenna’s five-game unbeaten streak with Norfolk came to an end with Saturday’s loss to Hershey. During the streak, McKenna went 4-0-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
  • McKenna registered an AHL career-high 43 saves in Norfolk’s 4-1 win over Albany on Friday night at Scope. The save total was also the highest by any Norfolk goaltender this season.
  • Radek Smolenak registered Norfolk’s second hat trick of the season on Friday versus Albany. Steve Downie scored three times against the Philadelphia Phantoms on December 27 at Scope.
  • Norfolk’s 50 shots on goal on Thursday versus Albany were the most for the club since March 17, 2007 versus Bridgeport (also 50 shots) and were just three shots off of the franchise record (53, January 7, 2006 versus the Lowell Lock Monsters).
  • Justin Keller has points in four straight games (2G, 4A) and five of his last six games (2G, 6A).
  • Bracken Kearns tied his AHL career high with his eleventh goal of the season on Saturday in Hershey. Kearns now has points in seven of his last ten games (5G, 4A).
  • With a goal Saturday night in Hershey, Blair Jones tied Brandon Bochenski for the team lead in scoring with 33 points. Jones has points in four of his last six games (4G, 3A).
  • Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux saw his team-record 22-game point streak end on Saturday night versus Norfolk. The Admirals also prevented Giroux from scoring a goal on January 21 in Norfolk to snap his AHL record-setting 15-game goal-scoring streak.
ADMIRALS RBK/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Justin Keller: 3 GP, 1G, 4A, 5PTS, 0PIM

Admirals forward Justin Keller registered points in all three games for Norfolk last week. On Thursday, he netted a personal season-high three points on a goal and two assists to help the Admirals erase a 2-0 deficit and defeat Albany 5-4. Friday, Keller assisted on Brandon Bochenski’s game-winning goal in a 4-1 win over the River Rats at Scope. On Saturday in Hershey, Keller set up Blair Jones’ power play goal that gave Norfolk the lead in a game they eventually lost to the Bears 4-2.

Keller now has seven goals and nine assists in 30 games this season. He has points in four straight games (2G, 5A) and five of his last six games overall (2G, 7A).

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS
For more details, please visit the Promotional Schedule at norfolkadmirals.com.
  • Friday, February 6 (vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers)
    • American Heart Association Night – $10 Ticket Vouchers are available through the American Heart Association. $2 of each voucher sold is donated to the American Heart Association. Call 623-2075 to get tickets over the phone. Groups of 10 or more may be ordered through the Admirals offices at 640-1212 through Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.
    • National Wear Red Day – Admirals fans are encouraged to wear red to the game against Bridgeport on Friday, February 6, for National Wear Red Day to support the fight against heart disease in women.
  • Saturday, February 7 (vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers)
    • American Cancer Society Night – $10 Ticket Vouchers are available through Relay for Life Team Leaders or the American Cancer Society. $2 of each voucher sold is donated to the American Cancer Society. Call 493-7999 to get tickets over the phone.
    ADMIRALS CELEBRITY SERVE TO BENEFIT THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
    The Admirals and California Pizza Kitchen will team up to support the fight against heart disease in women with the Admirals Celebrity Serve on Tuesday, February 10. Come out to California Pizza Kitchen at MacArthur Center in Downtown Norfolk from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Admirals players – including captain Zenon Konopka and All-Star Brandon Segal – will be celebrity servers. Twenty percent of each table’s check will benefit the American Heart Association. Plus, Admirals Five Star Kids Club members eat for free with their membership card and a paying adult.

    PARKING AVAILABLE AT RADISSON HOTEL
    A significant amount of parking spaces (based on availability) are available for Admirals games this season at the Norfolk Radisson Hotel. Parking spots will be opened to Admirals fans for $5 per game. The Norfolk Radisson Hotel is located immediately across Brambleton Avenue from Norfolk Scope Arena. Fans who would like to take advantage of this opportunity are asked to enter the Brambleton Avenue parking entrance. A sign will be posted at that entrance.

    Please note that there is an event at Chrysler Hall on Saturday night occurring simultaneously as the Admirals’ game against Bridgeport. This will likely lead to increased parking congestion.

    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. “The Voice of the Admirals” Pete Michaud will be joined in the studio by Admirals Forward Blair Jones and Admirals Defenseman Daryl Boyle. If you have a question for the show, please call (757) 497-1310 during the show or email keith@norfolkadmirals.com prior to 2:00 on Thursday afternoon.

    ADMIRALS STREAKS AND TRENDS
    • Justin Keller, Points in four straight games (2G, 4A since 01/23 vs. LE)
    • Justin Keller, Assists in three straight games (4A since 01/29 vs. ALB)
    • Brandon Segal, Points/assists in back-to-back games (0G, 2A since 01/30 vs. ALB)
    • Justin Keller, Points in 5 of last 6 games (2G, 6A since 01/17 vs. WOR)
    • Zenon Konopka, Points in 3 of last 4 games (2G, 3A since 01/23 vs. LE)
    • Brandon Segal, Points/assists in 3 of last 4 games (0G, 3A since 01/23 vs. LE)
    • Brandon Bochenski, Points in 7 of last 10 games (5G, 4A since 01/07 vs. HER)
    • Bracken Kearns, Points in 7 of last 10 games (5G, 4A since 01/07 vs. HER)
    • Blair Jones, Points in 4 of last 6 games (4G, 3A since 01/17 vs. WOR)
    ADMIRALS IN THE TOP 20 OF THE AHLNORFOLK LEADERS
    Goals: Brandon Bochenski (16)
    Assists: Blair Jones (23)
    Points: Brandon Bochenski, Blair Jones (33)
    Games: Blair Jones (47)
    PP goals: Brandon Bochenski, Radek Smolenak (6)
    SH goals: Bracken Kearns (2)
    +/- Rating: Steve Downie (+9)
    PIM: Jay Rosehill (167)
    GAA: Mike McKenna (2.97)
    Spct: Mike McKenna (.904)
    Wins: Mike McKenna (11)
    Losses: Karri Ramo (14)
    GPI: Karri Ramo (26)
    Minutes: Karri Ramo (1507)

    BRIDGEPORT LEADERS
    Goals: Trevor Smith (23)
    Assists: Kurtis McLean (30)
    Points: Mike Iggulden (46)
    Games: Mike Iggulden (47)
    PP goals: Trevor Smith (11)
    SH goals: Jason Pitton (2)
    +/- Rating: Jesse Joensuu (+10)
    PIM: Pascal Morency (56)
    GAA: Nathan Lawson (1.86)
    Spct: Nathan Lawson (.933)
    Wins: Nathan Lawson (11)
    Losses: Peter Mannino (10)
    GPI: Peter Mannino (22)
    Minutes: Peter Mannino (1302)

    WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON LEADERS
    Goals: Chris Minard (28)
    Assists: Jeff Taffe (30)
    Points: Jeff Taffe (48)
    Games: Deryk Engelland (48)
    PP goals: Chris Minard (15)
    SH goals: Connor James (4)
    +/- Rating: Ben Lovejoy (+28)
    PIM: Paul Bissonnette (108)
    GAA: Adam Berkhoel (2.54)
    Spct: John Curry (.915)
    Wins: John Curry (16)
    Losses: Adam Berkhoel (8)
    GPI: John Curry (22)
    Minutes: John Curry (1278)

    TRANSACTIONS OF THE PAST WEEK
    January 26, 2009
    DELETE RW Steve Downie – Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
    DELETE G Karri Ramo – Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
    January 27, 2009
    ADD G Riku Helenius – Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Mississippi (ECHL)
    January 29, 2009
    DELETE G Riku Helenius – Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
    ADD G Karri Ramo – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
    ADD G Tyler Sims – Signed to Professional Tryout Contract (PTO)
    February 3, 2009
    DELETE G Karri Ramo – Recalled from loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
    ADD G Riku Helenius – Returned on loan by Tampa Bay (NHL)
    DELETE G Mike McKenna – Released from Standard Player’s Contract (note – McKenna was signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning)

    THIS WEEK IN ADMIRALS HISTORY (FEBRUARY 2 – 8)
    February 2, 2008 … Admirals 4 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3
    • Ending a 17-game losing skid in Wilkes-Barre, the Admirals claim their first victory in almost 4 years at Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 4-3 win over the Penguins. Norm Milley, Bracken Kearns, Paul Szczechura and Radek Smolenak score for Norfolk, which breaks a 2-2 tie with a pair of 3rd period power play goals against the AHL’s top-ranked penalty killing unit. Vladimir Mihalik adds 2 assists for Norfolk. Jonathan Boutin makes 29 saves for the win.
    February 6, 1991 … Admirals 10 vs. Greensboro Monarchs 3
    • Brian Martin tallies his fifth hat trick of the season as the Admirals roll to a 10-3 win over the Greensboro Monarchs at Scope. Hampton Roads sets a club record, at the time, with 5 power-play goals. This contest marks the third time Hampton Roads had scored 10 goals in a game that season.
    February 7, 2001 … Admirals 1 at Providence Bruins 0
    • Mike Souza provides the offense and goaltender Jeff Maund does the rest in the Admirals’ 1-0 victory over the Providence Bruins at the Civic Center in Providence. Maund makes 26 saves to nail down his twelfth win and second shutout of 2000-01.
    February 8, 1994 … Admirals 10 vs. Huntsville Blast 3
    • Ralph Barahona and Dennis McEwen take charge in a win against the Huntsville Blast. McEwen ties the club record for assists in a game by passing out 6 in the Admirals 10-3 rout. Barahona bangs home 3 goals and an assist for the only Hat Trick of his Admirals’ career, and Eric Fenton (2g3a) tallies 5 points for Hampton Roads.
    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 2009-10 season tickets today. Season tickets start at just $42 per month! 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.






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