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January 27, 2012

Weekend Preview - Admirals vs. Bears

Norfolk Admirals vs. Hershey Bears
: January 27, 2012 and January 28, 2012
Venue: Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia

Standings25-15-1-2, 53 points
3rd East Division
5th Eastern Conference
24-11-4-3, 55 points
2nd East Division
4th Eastern Conference
Power Play 43/204 (21.1%, 6th)58/192 (30.2%, 1st)
Penalty Kill 165/205 (40 GA, 80.5%, 23rd) 178/208 (30 GA, 85.6%, 4th)
Special Teams Index
101.6, 10th115.8, 1st

This weekend’s matchup between the Admirals and the Bears are the seventh and eighth meetings between the teams this season. The Admirals enter tonight’s contest having won four of their last six, but have won only two of six meetings vs. the Bears this season. However, Hershey arrives at Scope looking to avoid their fourth straight defeat in regulation, something they have not done since February 8-14, 2009.

Last time out, the Admirals were doubled up by the Charlotte Checkers 4-2, on Tuesday night at Scope. Philip-Michael Devos and Eric Neilson scored for the Admirals while Jaroslav Janus stopped 31 of 34 shots.

Hershey dropped its third straight game with a 4-2 setback against Manchester at Giant Center. Boyd Kane and Keith Aucoin scored for the Bears while Braden Holtby stopped 15 of 18 shots in defeat.

On Tuesday morning, after playing in 353 games in the AHL, Admirals Captain Mike Angelidis received his first NHL recall. Later that evening, Angelidis would do something that only five other Lightning players have done. On his second shift, with his very first shot, Angelidis recorded his first NHL goal.

Prior to being summoned to Florida, the Woodbridge, Ontario native appeared in 38 games this season with the Admirals, notching 10 goals and 21 points to go along with 95 penalty minutes. Angelidis has also skated in 22 Calder Cup playoff games, notching a pair of goals and eight points.

On Wednesday morning, as the Lightning headed into the All-Star break, Angelidis was reassigned to Norfolk along with teammates Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Trevor Smith and Evan Oberg.

This weekend’s matchup between the Admirals and the Bears features six players who will be representing the Eastern Conference All-Star team in Atlantic City on Monday night. Forwards Cory Conacher and Trevor Smith, alongside defenseman Mark Barberio will represent the Admirals in Atlantic City while Hershey’s Keith Aucoin, Chris Bourque and Boyd Kane will represent the Bears.

Conacher enters Friday night’s contest leading the AHL in goals scored and leads all rookies in points. He has recorded 24 goals and 22 assists equaling 46 points through 42 games this season. Barberio leads all AHL defenseman in scoring with 37 points entering tonight’s contest vs. the Bears. The second-year defenseman has five goals to go along with 32 assists through 41 games this season.

The all-star nominations are the first for Conacher, Barberio and Smith. Both Conacher and Barberio alongside Aucoin were named starters for the Eastern Conference All-Stars, as determined by the 2012 AHL All-star Classic Fan Balloting presented by Reebok.

Smith returns to the Admirals after playing in four games with Norfolk’s parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning. After being recalled on January 16, Smith recorded two assists, including his first NHL helper on January 21 at Phoenix. While with Tampa Bay he was a plus-4 and averaged 7:54 in ice time as the Lightning won all four games. Smith has played in 39 games for the Admirals this season, recording 16 goals and 44 points. Smith ranks second in goals, assists, points and power play goals (6) for Norfolk while tying for the team lead in plus/minus.

Aucoin and Bourque enter Friday’s contest ranking first and second in overall scoring in the AHL. Aucoin, who is appearing in his fourth all-star game, leads the Bears with 57 assists and 68 points while Bourque leads the Bears with 21 goals and ranks second in assists (41) and points (62). Kane, who is appearing in his first all-star competition, will captain the Eastern Conference All-Star squad. He has 13 goals and 20 points in 37 games this season.

The first 2,000 fans through the gates tonight will receive an Olaf Kolzig Bobblehead courtesy of John’s Tax Service and Fox43.

Join us on Saturday, January 28, for Guns and Hoses Night to benefit The Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters (CHKD). You get two games for the price of one, as the representatives of area police departments and representatives of area fire departments square off at 4:30 p.m. and your Norfolk Admirals play the Hershey Bears at 7:15 p.m.

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