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February 15, 2009

Helenius Stares Down Tigers in Norfolk Win

BRIDGEPORT, Ct. – Riku Helenius made 41 saves in regulation and denied all three shooters in the shootout as his Norfolk Admirals defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

Brandon Segal tied the game for Norfolk (21-25-2-5) in the second period and sealed the victory with Norfolk’s third conversion in the fourth round of the shootout.

Bridgeport (30-17-3-2) received 36 saves through regulation from goaltender Nathan Lawson before he allowed goals to Paul Szczechura, Zenon Konopka and Segal in the shootout.

The Sound Tigers took a 1-0 lead 18:03 into the first period when Trevor Smith’s slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle snuck through traffic and past Helenius for a four-on-three power play goal.

Segal tied the game 9:04 into the second stanza on a puck-handling gaffe by Lawson. The Bridgeport netminder went behind the net to corral a dump-in and appeared to experience miscommunication with a teammate over who should play the puck out of the zone. Segal stole the puck near the right post and chipped a shot into the net for a power play goal.

Helenius made two key glove saves on Smith in the third period to keep the score tied at 1-1.

Szczechura led off the shootout with two dekes before sending a shot past Lawson’s left leg. After Brandon Bochenski rung a shot off the crossbar, Zenon Konopka sent a wrist shot over Lawson’s right leg and Segal sealed the deal with a wrist shot past Lawson’s glove. After Ben Walter lost the handle on the puck in the first round, Helenius denied Tomas Marcinko in the second round with a glove save and Trevor Smith with a blocker save in the third round.

Riku Helenius (42 shots, 41 saves) earned his second win of the season. Nathan Lawson (37 shots, 36 saves) took the shootout loss.

Norfolk went 1-6 on the power play. Bridgeport was 1-4.

The Admirals will continue a quick four-game road trip with a Tuesday night rematch with the Sound Tigers. The puck drops in Bridgeport at 7:00.

The Admirals will return to Scope next Friday and Saturday to battle the Binghamton Senators. On Friday night, the team will induct Mark Bernard and Victor Gervais into the Admirals Hall of Fame, presented by the Virginian-Pilot. On Saturday, the Admirals Alumni Game will take place at 3:00 p.m. For more details, please visit

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 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 anytime!

Three Stars:
1. Riku Helenius – NOR
2. Nathan Lawson – BRI
3. Brandon Segal – NOR

Notes … In his first six career AHL appearances, Riku Helenius has a 2.12 goals-against average and .940 save percentage … Helenius played in his first career AHL shootout. It was the rookie’s first professional shootout since his pro debut on October 21 with the ECHL’s Augusta Lynx – a 44-save performance with no goals allowed in three attempts at Gwinnett … With a goal tonight, Brandon Segal has established a personal AHL career high with 34 points this season. His previous high of 33 points came in 2005-06 with the Milwaukee Admirals. Segal is four goals shy of his AHL career-high 20-goal total in 2006-07 with Milwaukee … Segal now has points in six of his last ten games (4G, 3A) … Segal was the only Norfolk player to register a point tonight, as he registered an unassisted goal in his second straight game … Norfolk became just the second visiting team to post multiple wins at the Arena at Harbor Yard this season (Binghamton). The Admirals are now 2-0-0-0 in Bridgeport this season … Scratches: F Juraj Simek, F Jason Ward, F Chris Lawrence, F Justin Keller, D Andy Rogers and D Vladimir Mihalik … Attendance: 5,413.

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