The Admirals begin this week on the ice tonight in Hershey with a contest against the Bears. They conclude it back at Scope on Friday and Saturday nights against the Albany Devils. The first 2,500 fans through the gates on Friday will receive an Admirals Calder Cup championship replica ring, courtesy of BB&T.
STANDINGS UPDATE At 11-12-1-0 (23 points), the Admirals are in 5th place in the East Division and 14th place in the Eastern Conference. Below are the current AHL Eastern Conference standings:
Can't see the above standings? Visit theahl.com.
Eight teams in each conference shall qualify for the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. Following the conclusion of each team's 76-game regular season, the three division winners in each conference will be seeded first through third (in order of regular-season points) and the next five best teams (in order of regular-season points) will be seeded fourth through eighth.
THE ADMIRALS’ WEEK AHEAD Wed., Dec. 19 … at Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) … 7:00 p.m.*
Fri., Dec. 21 … vs. Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils) … 7:30 p.m. | GET TICKETS Sat., Dec. 22 … vs. Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils) … 7:15 p.m. | GET TICKETS *Due to Hershey's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Wednesday's game broadcast will begin at 7:05 p.m. on 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and 1021TheGame.com. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:20 p.m.
Norfolk is 4-1-1-0 in December, earning nine of a possible 12 points in the standings in the month.
The Admirals are out-scoring their opponents, 19-11 in December, and have killed 33 of 35 opponent power plays for a 94.3% penalty killing efficiency.
Among all AHL teams in December, the Admirals are tied for fifth in points percentage (.750), are eighth in goals for per game (3.17) and are tied for first in goals against per game (1.83).
Norfolk's streak of opponent power plays killed ended at 33 after John Persson's first period power play goal last Friday vs. Bridgeport. Norfolk went 321:36 without surrendering a power play goal between a Chad Kolarik marker at 2:40 into the first period on November 24th at Connecticut and Persson's goal 3:36 into the first period on Friday.
Peter Holland (2g, 6a) leads the Admirals with eight points in six games in December.
Chris Wagner leads the Admirals with a plus-4 rating in December. Nineteen of the 21 skaters who have appeared in a game with Norfolk in December have an even or better plus/minus rating.
Frederik Andersen (3-2-0, 1.79, .943) and Igor Bobkov (1-0-0, 1.85, .951) each have a winning record, sub-2.00 goals-against average and better than a .940 save percentage in December.
Goaltender Marco Cousineau was reassigned to the Admirals from the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets by the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
Ryan Lasch, who began the season with the Admirals and scored one goal and four points in 11 games, was named the Sher-Wood Hockey ECHL Player of the Week for the week ending December 16th. Lasch, who was assigned to Norfolk's ECHL affiliate, the Fort Wayne Komets, on November 26th, appeared in four games with the Komets last week, scoring four goals and five assists for a nine-point week with a plus-6 rating.
In Friday's 4-3 overtime setback to Bridgeport, the Admirals became the last of the AHL's 30 teams to suffer a loss after regulation (overtime or shootout loss). Norfolk is 1-1 in overtime and 3-0 in the shootout this season.
Last Friday's overtime loss and Saturday's shootout victory (both against Bridgeport) were the first games this season that Norfolk recorded standings points in contests where they surrendered the first goal of a game (1-9-1-0).
The Admirals out-shot the Sound Tigers, 53-41, on Saturday night, establishing a franchise record for most combined shots in an AHL Admirals game (94). Every Norfolk skater recorded at least one shot on goal in the game.
Norfolk's 52 shots through regulation and overtime were tied for the most by an AHL team this season (Providence also had 52 shots on December 2nd vs. Worcester).
SCOPING THE COMPETITION – SCOUTING REPORT FOR UPCOMING HOME GAMES
The Admirals and Albany Devils meet for the second and third games of a four-game season series this Friday and Saturday at Scope. Albany (9-8-0-6) is the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils.
Albany is tied for third in the Northeast Division and is tied for 12th in the Eastern Conference.
Norfolk won the first game of the season series, 5-4 after a shootout, on November 12th at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. The Admirals trailed the Devils, 2-1, heading into the third period of that game before Norfolk struck for three goals in the first 3:11 of the final frame. The Devils clawed back to force overtime, but Norfolk won the shootout on Patrick Maroon's goal in the sixth round of the shootout.
The Admirals are 11-3-0-2-1 all-time against the Albany Devils with a 4-1-0-2-1 mark in home games.
Albany saw a five-game winning streak end on Saturday vs. Providence with a 2-1 shootout loss. The Devils still have standings points in six straight games (5-0-0-1) and 12 of their last 15 games (7-3-0-5).
Albany and Norfolk are tied for the best defense in December so far (1.83 goals against per game).
The Devils have the seventh-best defense in the AHL this season (2.65 goals against per game).
Albany goaltender Jeff Frazee (3-3-3, 2.07 GAA, .923 SV%) ranks fifth in the AHL in goals-against average. His teammate Keith Kinkaid (6-5-3, 2.39 GAA, .917 SV%) ranks 12th.
The Devils have gone to overtime six times this season, losing all six games in a shootout. Norfolk has gone to overtime five games this season, going 1-1 in overtime and 3-0 in the shootout.
The Devils are 1-3-0-2 against East Division opposition this season, earning their first win of the season on December 12th vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Albany's penalty kill is ranked sixth in the AHL (86.4%) while its power play ranks last (9.0%). Norfolk's penalty kill is ranked eighth in the AHL (85.4%) while its power play ranks 25th (13.1%).
Henrique was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year after posting 16 goals and 51 points in 74 games with New Jersey last season. He then posted five goals and 13 points in 24 playoff games as the Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Bobby Butler leads the Devils with 10 goals this season. Four of those goals came in a single game: December 12th vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, establishing a single-game high for goals in the AHL this season (since tied by Oklahoma City's Jordan Eberle). Butler added an assist for a five-point game (also tied for the AHL single-game high in 2012-13).
Former Admirals alternate captain Jay Leach is now Albany's captain. Leach, who posted three goals and 11 points in 55 career Norfolk games, led the 2007-08 Admirals with a plus-12 rating. Leach has one goal and four points with a plus-5 rating in 18 games with Albany this season.
Albany head coach Rick Kowalsky is an Admirals Hall of Famer. Kowalsky posted 98 goals and 240 points in 244 games with the Admirals from 1994-2000.
There are no former Albany Devils on the current Norfolk roster. Current Admirals forward Rod Pelley appeared in seven games with the NHL's New Jersey Devils last season before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks with Mark Fraser in exchange for Kurtis Foster and Timo Pielmeier on December 12, 2011.
Both the Admirals and Devils play tonight, with Norfolk visiting Hershey and Albany visiting Bridgeport.
TICKETS Individual tickets are on sale now at the Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. 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.
ON THE RADIO/INTERNET All regular season 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.