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Pressbox

April 4, 2011

Admirals Look to Clinch Playoff Berth on the Road






NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals will conclude the 2010-11 regular season with a five-game road trip this week. The Admirals will visit Charlotte, Binghamton, Syracuse twice and Connecticut in search of their first berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs in four years.

Last week, the Admirals concluded the home portion of the regular season with three defeats to division rivals. On Wednesday night, Mattias Ritola had a goal and two assists in his return from Tampa Bay, but the Admirals could not erase an early three-goal deficit and fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-1. In the first of back-to-back matchups against the Hershey Bears, Ritola, Troy Milam, and Marc-Antoine Pouliot each had a goal and an assist, but that was not enough as the Admirals fell, 6-3. In the Admirals' home finale on Saturday night, Marc-Antoine Pouliot had two goals and an assist as the Admirals opened up an early three-goal lead, but then surrendered four unanswered goals and fell to the Bears, 5-4.

The Admirals conclude the regular season with five-games in seven nights, all on the road. Tonight, the fourth-place Admirals are in Charlotte, North Carolina, to face the third-place Checkers for the twelfth and final meeting between the teams. Wednesday night, the Admirals have a critical match against the Binghamton Senators. Binghamton and Norfolk are tied for fourth place in the East Division. Norfolk then takes on the Syracuse Crunch Thursday and Saturday nights. The Admirals conclude the regular season by traveling to Hartford, Connecticut to face the Connecticut Whale Sunday evening. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021TheGame.com and ahllive.com.

EAST DIVISION STANDINGS
The Norfolk Admirals (37-24-8-6, 88 points, 5 games remaining) and the Binghamton Senators (40-29-3-5, 88 points, 3 games remaining) are tied for the fourth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the AHL's East Division. The Admirals currently hold two games in hand over the Senators. The Wilkes-Barre-Scranton Penguins (56-20-0-1, 113 points, 3 games remaining) have clinched the best record in the American Hockey League and home ice advantage throughout the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Hershey Bears (45-24-3-5, 98 points, 3 games remaining) lead the Charlotte Checkers (42-26-2-7, 93 points, 3 games remaining) by five points for second place in the East Division. Norfolk trails Charlotte by five points with two games in hand. The Syracuse Crunch (32-38-3-4, 71 points, 3 games remaining), Albany Devils (32-39-1-4, 69 points, 4 games remaining) and Adirondack Phantoms (28-37-4-6, 66 points, 5 games remaining) wrap-up the East Division.

The top four spots in the East Division are guaranteed to qualify for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" is in effect where if the fifth place team in the East Division has more points than the fourth place team in the Atlantic Division, that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals.

QUICK LINKS: Standings | 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs Qualification Rules

ADMIRALS MAGIC NUMBER TO CLINCH A PLAYOFF SPOT
Norfolk's magic number to clinch a playoff spot with the "Crossover Rule" is three points over the Worcester Sharks. Any combination of three standings points gained by Norfolk in their final five games or lost by Worcester in their final three games will clinch a berth in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs for the Admirals. Worcester has three games remaining: tomorrow vs. Portland, Friday at Charlotte and Saturday at Charlotte.

In order to clinch the fourth spot in the AHL's East Division, the Admirals' magic number is seven points over the Binghamton Senators. Any combination of seven standings points gained by Norfolk in their final five games or lost by Binghamton in their final three games will clinch fourth place for the Admirals in the East Division. Binghamton hosts Norfolk on Wednesday in a critical matchup. The Senators then travel to Rochester on Friday and host Adirondack on Saturday.

THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD
Mon., Apr. 4 …at Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) … 7:00 p.m.
Wed., Apr. 6 … at Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators) … 7:05 p.m.
*Thurs., Apr. 7 … at Syracuse Crunch (Anaheim Ducks) … 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 9 … at Syracuse Crunch (Anaheim Ducks) … 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 10 … at Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers) … 5:00 p.m.

*Please note the adjustment to the schedule released at the beginning of the season.

ADMIRALS’ LOG
  • Norfolk's average attendance in 2010-11 was 4,490, which was up 16.5% from the 2009-10 season (3,855) – the largest increase in attendance over a prior season in AHL Admirals history.
  • The 2010-11 season had the second-highest attendance in the last eight years for Norfolk.
  • Four single-game crowds in 2010-11 ranked in the top 10 in AHL Admirals history – including Saturday's crowd of 7,639, which was the fourth largest attendance in 2010-11 and ranks seventh on the AHL Admirals all-time single-game attendance list.
  • Norfolk finished the 2010-11 regular season with a 19-11-5-5 home record.
  • Marc-Antoine Pouliot was named the 2010-11 Norfolk Admirals Player of the Year, presented by Beach Engraving, in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday night. Pouliot leads the Admirals in goals (23), assists (43) and points (66). He is looking to become just the third player to lead Norfolk in all three categories in a season (Kyle Wanvig, 2007-08; Tyler Arnason, 2001-02).
  • Mattias Ritola has recorded multiple points in five consecutive games with the Admirals (5G, 8A) and eight of the 12 games he has played overall.
  • Blair Jones is only one point away from tying Ajay Baines as the all-time leading scorer in AHL Admirals history. He has recorded 64 goals and 110 assists for 174 points in 269 games with Norfolk from the 2007-08 season to the present. Baines recorded 68 goals and 107 assists for 175 points in 409 games with Norfolk from 2000-01 - 2005-06.
  • Jones has points in each of his last seven games with Norfolk (5G, 3A) – the longest point streak by an Admiral this season.
  • Norfolk is on a season-worst four-game losing streak and has five of its last six games overall.
  • The Admirals lost their first game in regulation all season when leading after one period on Saturday vs. Hershey.
ADMIRALS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Mattias Ritola: 3 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 PTS

Forward Mattias Ritola made an immediate impact upon his return to the Norfolk lineup, registering multiple points in all three games following his return from the Tampa Bay Lightning. On Wednesday vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Ritola had a hand in all three Norfolk goals, scoring one and assisting on the other two, in a 4-3 setback to the Penguins. On Friday vs. Hershey, Ritola netted a goal and an assist in a 6-3 setback to the Bears. In the Saturday rematch, Ritola scored the opening goal and assisted on the next two markers in an eventual 4-3 loss to Hershey.

Ritola has five goals and 19 points in only 12 games with Norfolk this season. He has recorded multiple points in five consecutive games with the Admirals (5G, 8A) and eight of the 12 games he has played overall. Ritola has appeared in a NHL career-high 31 games this season with the Lightning, recording career-bests with four goals and eight points.

THIS WEEK ON THE MICHAEL AND SON ADMIRALS HOUR RADIO SHOW
Tune in to the Michael and Son Admirals Hour Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. on "The Game" 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and 1021TheGame.com. Admirals Vice President Joe Gregory and Admirals Hall of Famer "The Original Admiral" Dennis McEwen will host the show. To call in to the show, dial (757) 490-2750.

NORFOLK LEADERS
Goals: Marc-Antoine Pouliot (23)
Assists: Marc-Antoine Pouliot (43)
Points: Marc-Antoine Pouliot (63)
Games: Mike Angelidis, Paul Szczechura, James Wright (75)
PP goals: Marc-Antoine Pouliot (11)
SH Goals: James Wright (2)
+/- Rating: Mike Angelidis (+17)
PIM: Mike Angelidis (169)
GAA: Cedrick Desjardins (2.59)
Spct: Cedrick Desjardins (.905)
Wins: Dustin Tokarski (21)
Losses: Dustin Tokarski (19)
GPl: Dustin Tokarski (45)
Minutes: Dustin Tokarski (2632)

CHARLOTTE LEADERS
Goals: Chris Terry (32)
Assists: Zach Boychuk (41)
Points: Zach Boychuk (63)
Games: Chris Terry (77)
PP goals: Jacob Micflikier (12)
SH Goals: Zac Dalpe, Jon Matsumoto, Jerome Samson (2)
+/- Rating: Jacob Micflikier (+16)
PIM: Zack FitzGerald (225)
GAA: Mike Murphy (2.53)
Spct: Mike Murphy (.919)
Wins: Mike Murphy, Justin Pogge (21)
Losses: Justin Pogge (17)
GPI: Justin Pogge (46)
Minutes: Justin Pogge (2510)

BINGHAMTON LEADERS
Goals: Ryan Keller (31)
Assists: Corey Locke (65)
Points: Corey Locke (86)
Games: Geoff Kinrade (75)
PP goals: Ryan Keller (11)
SH Goals: Jim O'Brien (2)
+/- Rating: Erik Condra (+19)
PIM: Francis Lessard (187)
GAA: Barry Brust (2.58)
Spct: Barry Brust (.924)
Wins: Barry Brust (28)
Losses: Barry Brust (18)
GPI: Barry Brust (50)
Minutes: Barry Brust (2864)

SYRACUSE LEADERS
Goals: Kyle Palmieri (27)
Assists: Nick Bonino (30)
Points: Kyle Palmieri (47)
Games: Mat Clark, Nicolas Deschamps (77)
PP goals: Patrick Maroon (10)
SH Goals: Several (1)
+/- Rating: Joe DiPenta (+11)
PIM: Mat Clark (126)
GAA: Jean-Philippe Levasseur (3.01)
Spct: Jean-Philippe Levasseur (.912)
Wins: Timo Pielmeier (15)
Losses: Jean-Philippe Levasseur (23)
GPI: Jean-Philippe Levasseur (45)
Minutes: Jean-Philippe Levasseur (2449)

CONNECTICUT LEADERS
Goals: Jeremy Williams (31)
Assists: Kris Newbury (42)
Points: Kris Newbury (58)
Games: Pavel Valentenko (77)
PP goals: Jeremy Williams (14)
SH Goals: Evgeny Grachev, Chad Kolarik (2)
+/- Rating: Pavel Valentenko (+21)
PIM: Devin DiDiomete (303)
GAA: Dov Grumet-Morris (2.05)
Spct: Dov Grumet-Morris (.924)
Wins: Chad Johnson (16)
Losses: Chad Johnson (19)
GPI: Chad Johnson (40)
Minutes: Chad Johnson (2271)

TRANSACTIONS OF THE PAST WEEK
March 31, 2011 - ADD G Jaroslav Janus - Reassigned by Tampa Bay (NHL) from Florida (ECHL)
March 30, 2011 - ADD C Mattias Ritola - Reassigned on loan from Tampa Bay (NHL)

TICKETS
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available! Low monthly payments available for a limited time only. 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 for more details or to purchase your tickets!

ON THE RADIO/INTERNET
All regular season and playoff games will air live on "The Game" 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and online at 1021TheGame.com. AHL Live will also carry online video of every Admirals game on a pay-per-view or season pass basis. Fans can log in to watch, listen or get more information about AHL Live’s online audio and video features at ahllive.com.






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