NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals clinched a berth in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs tonight after the Worcester Sharks fell to the Portland Pirates, 2-1 in a shootout, at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts this evening. It is now mathematically impossible for Worcester to end the season with more standings points Norfolk, guaranteeing the Admirals a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Norfolk (38-24-8-6) currently ranks fourth in the American Hockey League’s East Division with 90 standings points. The Admirals have four games remaining in the 2010-11 regular season – all on the road. The top four spots in the East Division are guaranteed to qualify for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs. The "Crossover Rule" can also come into effect where if the fifth place team in the East Division has more points than the fourth place team in the AHL’s Atlantic Division, that team will cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals.
Worcester (36-29-4-9) ranks fourth in the Atlantic Division with 85 standings points. The Sharks now have only two games left in the 2010-11 regular season. Even if they were to win both games, they would only have 89 points. As such, even if Norfolk were to drop to fifth place in the East Division, they would qualify to cross over into the Atlantic Division Semifinals as they would have more points than the Atlantic Division’s fourth place team. For complete standings and an explanation of the qualification rules for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, please visit theahl.com.
Norfolk makes its first trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs since the 2007 East Division Semifinals when they fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in six games. This is the eighth trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs since the Admirals joined the AHL in 2000-01.
With four games remaining, the Admirals still have plenty to play for. They can still finish as high as third in the East Division. Currently, Norfolk trails the third-place Charlotte Checkers (42-27-2-7, 93 points, 2 games remaining) by three points. The Admirals lead the fifth-place Binghamton Senators (40-29-3-5, 88 points, 3 games remaining) by two points.
Norfolk and Binghamton square off tomorrow night in a critical meeting at the Broome County Veteran’s Memorial Arena. The Admirals then visit the Syracuse Crunch on Thursday and Saturday nights before concluding the season on Sunday evening against the Connecticut Whale. Follow all of the action at 102.1-FM and 1490-AM The Game, 1021TheGame.com and ahllive.com.
The Admirals do not currently know their first round playoff opponent or schedule. This information will be released early next week.
Season ticket holders can purchase playoff packages now by clicking here or by calling (757) 640-1212. Individual playoff tickets will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12, 2011. These tickets are only available at the Norfolk Scope Arena Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 season are now available. 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!