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April 4, 2013

As Battle for Playoff Berth Intensifies, Admirals Wrap Up Home Portion of Schedule






NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals have closed to within two points of a playoff seed after sweeping the Eastern Conference's top-seeded team in two games at Scope last week. This weekend, the Admirals wrap up the home portion of the regular season schedule with games against the Binghamton Senators at Scope on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Admirals fell to the Charlotte Checkers, 3-1, on Mar. 26th from North Carolina. Last Friday at Scope, Patrick Maroon's third goal of the game came 1:41 into overtime as the Admirals rallied from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Syracuse Crunch, 5-4. The following night, Frederik Andersen made 41 saves as Norfolk topped Syracuse, 2-0. Last Tuesday night, the Admirals fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 3-2, at Scope.

The Admirals close out the home portion of the regular season schedule with contests against the Binghamton Senators tomorrow and Saturday nights. Tomorrow is Operation Smile Night while Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night, March of Dimes Night and the final post-game skate of the season. Please see below for details on these promotions and more.



STANDINGS UPDATE
At 33-30-4-1 (71 points), the Admirals are in 5th place in the East Division and 9th place in the Eastern Conference. The Admirals are two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL's Eastern Conference with eight games remaining in the final three weeks of the AHL regular season:
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
Fri., Apr. 5 … vs. Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators) … 7:30 p.m. | INVITE FRIENDS
Sat., Apr. 6 … vs. Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators) … 7:15 p.m. | INVITE FRIENDS


ADMIRALS AMONG AHL'S HOTTEST TEAMS SINCE FEBRUARY 8TH
With a 15-7-2-0 record, the Admirals are among the AHL's top three teams in wins and points since Feb. 8th. On that date, the Admirals were tied with Adirondack for the Eastern Conference's worst record. In 24 games since that time, Norfolk has earned 32 of a possible 48 points (15-7-2-0, .667 points percentage). Norfolk trails only the Providence Bruins (.750) for the best record in the Eastern Conference since Feb. 8th. More importantly, Norfolk has closed to within two points of the Hershey Bears for the final playoff berth with eight games remaining in the season.

The Admirals have accomplished this with stellar defense, allowing an average of only 2.21 goals per game – best in the Eastern Conference and second overall in the AHL in that time. Goaltenders Frederik Andersen, Igor Bobkov and Jeff Deslauriers have combined to stop 92.9% of opponents' shots during Norfolk's last 24 games.

Sami Vatanen has points in 17 of the 24 games he has played in that stretch, leading Norfolk with 16 assists and 20 points since Feb. 8th. Patrick Maroon has points in nine of 14 games played during the stretch and tops the Admirals with nine goals since Feb. 8th despite appearing in 11 games with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks in the same time frame.

ADMIRALS’ LOG
  • After concluding their five-game homestand this weekend, the Admirals embark on a season-ending six-game road trip – the longest road trip of their season – next week.
  • Last Friday night’s 5-4 overtime win over Syracuse marked the first time Norfolk trailed by multiple goals entering the third period and gained points in the standings (1-11-0-0). The Admirals also tied a season high with three goals in a period, as they erased a three-goal deficit after Dan Sexton’s goal 10 seconds into the third period had given Syracuse a 4-1 lead.
  • Also last Friday, Patrick Maroon became the second player in AHL Admirals history to complete a hat trick in overtime (Corey Elkins, Oct. 19, 2012, vs. Connecticut). The hat trick was the fourth of Maroon’s AHL career and was his first since Jan. 20, 2012, when he netted three goals as a member of the Syracuse Crunch against the Norfolk Admirals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena
  • Maroon now leads the Admirals with 21 goals and is tied for the team lead with 43 points in 56 games.
  • Sami Vatanen leads all active AHL defensemen with 35 assists and 43 points this season. He leads the Admirals in assists and is tied with Maroon for the team lead in points.
  • Vatanen has points in 13 of his last 17 games (4g, 13a).
  • Forwards Kyle Bonis and Charlie Sarault each posted an assist in their professional debuts last Friday vs. Syracuse. Bonis added his first professional goal on Tuesday vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Both have been signed to Amateur Tryout Contracts, as Bonis recently concluded his collegiate career at Ferris State University and Sarault recently concluded his junior career with the Sarnia Sting.
  • After Friday's win over the Crunch, Norfolk improved to 5-4-8 in the five-minute overtime session this season. When combined with a 7-1 record in the shootout, the Admirals have earned 29 points in overtime games - the most in the American Hockey League - and have a .853 points percentage in overtime - second only to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (.875).
  • Devante Smith-Pelly has points in six of his last seven games (5g, 4a).
  • Norfolk has killed 20 consecutive opponent power plays over their last three-plus games.
THREE DEALS AROUND AHL'S TRADE DEADLINE AFFECT ADMIRALS
The NHL's trade deadline was yesterday at 3:00 p.m. EDT. There were three deals that affected the Admirals leading up to the deadline:
  • On Monday, the Anaheim Ducks acquired forward Harry Zolnierczyk from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Jay Rosehill. Zolnierczyk has joined the Admirals.
  • Yesterday, the Ducks acquired forward Matthew Lombardi from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Brandon McMillan. Lombardi will remain with the Ducks.
  • Also yesterday, the Ducks traded goaltender Jeff Deslauriers to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for future considerations.
The American Hockey League's trade deadline is next Wednesday, Apr. 10th, at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

MORE THAN $60,000 RAISED FOR LOCAL MDA IN ANNUAL JERSEY AUCTION
Thanks to the generosity of its fans, the Norfolk Admirals hockey club was able to raise $60,285 for the local Muscular Dystrophy Association on Saturday night in its thirteenth annual MDA Jersey Auction, presented by PAPCO. Over the past 13 seasons, the Admirals have been able to raise $417,836 for MDA through the annual jersey auction.

Last Saturday night, the Admirals donned one-of-a-kind jerseys during their game against the division rival Syracuse Crunch. Following the game, a live auction took place on the ice with the jerseys sold right off the players’ backs. The highest winning bid was $5,600 for Sami Vatanen's game worn jersey. Twenty-nine jerseys, several silent auction items, a $5,000 donation from CITGO, and proceeds from special ticket sales helped to raise the funds for the local MDA.

A complete list of purchase prices for each jerseys at the live auction is available at norfolkadmirals.com.

CELEBRITY SERVERS
The Norfolk Admirals are proud to support Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads (PCAHR) at the organization's 31st Annual Celebrity Night. Members of the team will participate as celebrity servers at the event, which takes place tonight at Dockside Restaurant on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach.

For more than 30 years, popular restaurants throughout the Hampton Roads area have offered their restaurants and donated proceeds to the PCAHR organization. The event takes place from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. tonight, Thursday, April 4th. The Admirals will be servers at the event that evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more details, please visit norfolkadmirals.com.

FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT SATURDAY AT SCOPE
The Admirals will conclude the home portion of the regular season on Saturday night by thanking the most important members of the team – the fans – with Fan Appreciation Night. Come out for an exciting night of hockey and you may leave with exciting prizes!

POST-GAME SKATE AFTER SATURDAY'S GAME
The Admirals will hold their 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.

DUCKS FLYING HIGH
The Anaheim Ducks (25-7-5, 55 points) remain the Pacific Division leaders and trail the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks by only two points. Former Admirals forward Kyle Palmieri netted the eventual game-winning goal in last night's 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars at Honda Center.

NORFOLK LEADERS
Goals: Patrick Maroon (21)
Assists: Sami Vatanen (35)
Points: Patrick Maroon, Sami Vatanen (43)
Games: Mat Clark (65)
PP goals: Patrick Maroon (11)
SH Goals: Troy Bodie, Emerson Etem, Peter Holland, Chris Wagner (1)
+/- Rating: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (+8)
PIM: Patrick Maroon (123)
GAA: Frederik Andersen (2.16)
Spct: Frederik Andersen (.929)
Wins: Frederik Andersen (20)
Losses: Igor Bobkov (16)
GPl: Frederik Andersen (40)
Minutes: Frederik Andersen (2302)

BINGHAMTON LEADERS
Goals: Derek Grant (18)
Assists: Stephane Da Costa (23)
Points: Stephane Da Costa (35)
Games: Jean-Gabriel Pageau (67)
PP goals: Mike Hoffman, Shane Prince (6)
SH Goals: Derek Grant (5)
+/- Rating: Eric Gryba (+28)
PIM: Mark Borowiecki (153)
GAA: Robin Lehner (2.12)
Spct: Robin Lehner (.938)
Wins: Robin Lehner (18)
Losses: Robin Lehner (10)
GPI: Robin Lehner (31)
Minutes: Robin Lehner (1841)

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.






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