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March 2, 2012

Weekend Preview – Admirals vs. Springfield Falcons

Admirals Faceoff Against Falcons
Game Dates: March 2nd and 3rd, 2012
Venue: Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia

Standings37-18-1-2, 77 points
1st East Division
1st Eastern Conference
27-25-2-2, 58 points
4th Northeast Division
10th Eastern Conference (2 pts. behind 8th)

Not since Super Bowl Sunday, which took place 26 days ago, have the Admirals been on the losing end of a contest. The Admirals’ opponent that night: the Springfield Falcons. Since then, the Admirals have compiled a franchise-record 10-game winning streak while the Falcons have a 5-3-1-0 record - including three consecutive wins.

During the winning streak, Tyler Johnson (3G, 10A) and Cory Conacher (5G, 7A) have a combined total of 25 points. Dustin Tokarski (25-11-0, 2.39 GAA) is tied for the AHL lead with 25 wins. Tokarski enters tonight’s contest riding a season-best six-game winning streak. Jaroslav Janus (12-8-2) backstopped the Admirals to a 2-1 victory over the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night and is riding a four-game winning streak.

The Falcons, who have posted five three-game winning streaks this season, fly into Norfolk eyeing their first four-game winning streak since December 2006. Last weekend, the Falcons defeated Bridgeport in a shootout on Friday, shut out Connecticut on Saturday and posted a 6-2 victory in Portland on Sunday.

Former Admiral Martin St. Pierre leads the Falcons with 40 assists for 50 points in 54 games this season. Paul Dainton, who was named last week’s AHL Player of the Week, arrives at Scope with riding his career-best three-game unbeaten streak. Dainton bolstered his statistics by posting a 3-0-0 record with a 0.97 GAA and a .965 save percentage in three games last weekend.

On Thursday afternoon, the Admirals lineup was bolstered by the addition of their team-captain Mike Angelidis, who returns after appearing in five games for the Lightning during back-to-back recalls.

Angelidis has played in six games for the Lightning this season, recording one goal and five penalty minutes. The Woodbridge, Ontario native scored his first career goal in his NHL debut with the Lightning on January 24 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Norfolk's captain has also played in 49 games with the Admirals, notching 12 goals and 23 points. He ranks second on Norfolk with 123 penalty minutes and is tied for seventh with 12 goals.

Last season, Angelidis set AHL career highs with the Admirals in goals (20), assists (18), points (38), plus/minus (+18) and penalty minutes (169). He also led Norfolk in penalty minutes and plus/minus.

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, signed forward Cory Conacher to a two-year, two-way contract, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. Conacher remains with the Admirals.

Conacher, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, has played in 57 games with the Admirals this season, recording 30 goals, 13 power-play goals, 26 power-play points and 64 points. He leads the Admirals in goals, power-play goals, power-play points, points, and ranks second for assists with 34. Conacher is also tied for the AHL lead for PPGs, is second for goals and is tied for third in points. He was recently selected as a starter for the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic, where he had two goals and three points.

A native of Burlington, Ontario, Conacher has played in 64 career AHL games with Norfolk, the Milwaukee Admirals and the Rochester Americans, notching 34 goals and 70 points. He has played in seven career Calder Cup Playoff Games.

The first 2,000 fans through the gates for Friday night’s contest vs. the Falcons will receive the final set of 2011-12 Admirals trading cards.

On Saturday, the Admirals will hold their fifth and final post-game skate of the season where fans can skate at Scope with their favorite Admirals following the game. A limited number of skates will be available or fans may bring their own skates.

The Admirals enter tonight's contest on a ten-game winning streak. The last loss for Norfolk came at Springfield on February 5 … Norfolk's winning streak is the longest in franchise history and is the longest in the AHL since an 11-game winning streak by the Portland Pirates from January 26 – February 20, 2010 … Springfield enters tonight's game looking for its first four-game winning streak since December 23 – 30, 2006 … In Wednesday's win over Hershey, Ondrej Palat became the ninth different Admiral to record a game-winning goal during the ten-game winning streak … Also on Wednesday, rookie Cory Conacher became the sixth Norfolk player (and just the third rookie) to record 30 or more goals in a season in AHL Admirals history with his 30th goal of 2011-12 … Yesterday, Conacher was signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning to a two-year, two-way contract … Mark Barberio assisted on Conacher's goal on Wednesday, giving the second-year pro 49 points (9g, 40a) on the season – a new single-season AHL Admirals record for points by a defenseman. The previous record was 48 points, held by Marty Wilford (13g, 25a) during the 2002-03 season … Yesterday, the Lightning assigned Admirals captain Mike Angelidis back to Norfolk. He appeared in five games with Tampa Bay during his most recent recall … Former Admiral Martin St. Pierre leads the Falcons in assists and points this season. St. Pierre set AHL Admirals single-season franchise records for assists (72) and points (99) in 2006-07 … Norfolk had won 11 consecutive games and 14 of its first 15 all-time games at Scope against Springfield before the Falcons claimed wins in both games at Scope in 2010-11. The Admirals are 14-2-0-0-1 all-time against the Falcons at home …

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