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Pressbox

April 12, 2013

Admirals Hit the Road in Search of Playoff Berth






NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Admirals have moved into a tie for the Eastern Conference's final playoff berth as they embark on a season-ending, six-game road trip this weekend.

Last week, the Admirals went 2-1-0-0 in their final three home games of the regular season. Kyle Bonis scored his first professional goal and Devante Smith-Pelly drew the Admirals to within a goal of tying the game, but Norfolk fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Scope. The Admirals then welcomed the Binghamton Senators for the final two home games of the season. On Friday night, Charlie Sarault had two assists and Steven Whitney scored on his first shot in his professional debut as Norfolk topped Binghamton, 2-1. The following night, Frederik Andersen made 33 saves and Harry Zolnierczyk broke a scoreless tie in the third period as the Admirals shut out the Senators, 3-0.

Norfolk commences its six-game road trip with three contests this weekend. They will play the Worcester Sharks tonight and tomorrow night at DCU Center before visiting the Providence Bruins on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Follow all the action on the radio at 102.1-FM, 1490-AM or 1021TheGame.com. You may also watch at AHLLive.com. On social media, Facebook.com/NorfolkAdmirals, @NorfolkAdmirals and @AdsGameUpdates on Twitter have you covered with the latest info from the road!

STANDINGS UPDATE
At 35-30-4-1 (75 points), the Admirals are tied for 4th place in the East Division and tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference. Norfolk and Hershey both have 75 points with six games remaining in the season. The Bears hold the first tiebreaker, as they have 29 wins in regulation and overtime as opposed to Norfolk's 28:
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. 12 …at Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks) … 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 13 … at Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks) … 7:00 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 14 … at Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins) … 3:05 p.m.

ADMIRALS AMONG AHL'S HOTTEST TEAMS SINCE FEBRUARY 8TH
On Feb. 8th, the Admirals were tied with Adirondack for the Eastern Conference's worst record. At 18-23-2-1 with 39 points, Norfolk sat 10 points out of the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. In 26 games since that time, Norfolk has earned 36 of a possible 52 points (17-7-2-0, .692 points percentage). Norfolk trails only the Providence Bruins (.769) for the best record in the Eastern Conference since Feb. 8th. More importantly, Norfolk is now even with the Hershey Bears for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference and is only three points back of the Connecticut Whale for the seventh seed.

The Admirals have accomplished this with stellar defense, allowing an average of only 2.08 goals per game – best in the AHL in that time. Goaltenders Frederik Andersen, Igor Bobkov and Jeff Deslauriers have combined for a .934 save percentage during Norfolk's last 26 games.

Sami Vatanen leads Norfolk with 17 assists and 21 points since Feb. 8th. Patrick Maroon tops the Admirals with 11 goals in 16 Norfolk games since Feb. 8th despite appearing in 11 games with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks in the same time frame. Mat Clark and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond have team-best plus-7 ratings since Feb. 8th.

ACCOLADES POUR IN FOR VATANEN
Earlier this week, the American Hockey League recognized Sami Vatanen by his selection to the AHL All-Rookie Team and as a First Team AHL All-Star. Both recognitions were voted upon by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league's 30 member cities.

Vatanen, 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, has appeared in 59 games for Norfolk in 2012-13, scoring eight goals and 44 points with 44 penalty minutes. He leads all club defensemen in goals, assists and points, and leads all club rookies in assists and points. He also ranks second overall in scoring for Norfolk, trailing team scoring leader Patrick Maroon by only one point.

Among all AHL defensemen, Vatanen is tied for first in assists, is second in points and is tied for first in power play assists (19). Among all AHL rookies, Vatanen is tied for second in assists, is tied for seventh in points and is first in power play assists. Among all AHL players, Vatanen is tied for 11th in assists and tied for first in power play assists.

GOOD WEEK FOR JOHN KURTZ
John Kurtz has enjoyed this week so far. On Wednesday, the Anaheim Ducks signed him to a one-year, entry-level contract for the 2013-14 season. On Thursday, he was recognized as the team's winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Hampton Roads community during the 2012-13 season. He is one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2012-13 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year.

Kurtz, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, has played in 54 games for the Admirals this season. He has three goals and eight points as well as 98 penalty minutes. Kurtz has played in 121 regular season AHL games with Norfolk and Syracuse. He has complied nine goals, 16 points and 247 penalty minutes in those 121 games.

Read more about Kurtz and his leadership in the Hampton Roads community at norfolkadmirals.com.

ANDERSEN LEADING THE WAY FOR ADMIRALS
Frederik Andersen stopped 61 of 62 shots he faced last weekend and earned both wins. In his last eight games, Andersen has three shutouts and two games where he allowed only one goal. He is 6-2-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average (GAA) and .952 save percentage (SV%) in eight games since March 20th.

Andersen has started 10 straight games for the Admirals. He has also played in 19 of 22 Norfolk games since returning from the Danish National Team during the Olympic Qualification Tournament in January.

Andersen has a 22-15-1 record in 42 games with Norfolk this season, posting a 2.08 GAA and .932 SV% with four shutouts. His GAA is second in the league to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Jeff Zatkoff (1.95). His save percentage leads all active AHL goaltenders and is second only to Binghamton's Robin Lehner (.938), who is currently on NHL recall to the Ottawa Senators. He has also moved into the top 10 of the AHL in wins with 22 (T-9th) and shutouts with four (T-7th).

THANK YOU FANS!
Thank you for showing up and supporting your Admirals this season! In the 37 games played at Norfolk Scope Arena in 2012-13, the Admirals averaged 5,099 fans – the second-highest total in AHL Admirals history and just the second time in AHL Admirals history that the team eclipsed an average of 5,000 fans per game at Scope. Norfolk's official average attendance this season was 5,451 (including the Washington AHL Showcase at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6th). This ranks 15th among 30 AHL teams as the league enters the final two weekends of the regular season. The Admirals and Connecticut Whale are the only two AHL teams who have already completed their home schedules.

PLAYOFF PACKAGES ON SALE FOR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS
2013 Calder Cup Playoff Packages are on sale now for all current Admirals season ticket holders. All season ticket holders should have received information on how to purchase tickets via mail and email. For more information or to order your tickets, please visit norfolkadmirals.com or call (757) 640-1212. Individual playoff ticket information will be released at a later date.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
  • Apr. 4th – Admirals sign forward Steven Whitney to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO)
  • Apr. 10th – Anaheim (NHL) reassigns forward Troy Bodie from Admirals to Portland (AHL)
  • Apr. 10th – Anaheim (NHL) reassigns forward Max Friberg to Admirals from Timra (Swedish Elite League)
ADMIRALS’ LOG
  • Prior to last Saturday's game at Scope, Patrick Maroon was named the 2012-13 Norfolk Admirals Player of the Year, as voted upon by the players and coaching staff. He leads the team with 23 goals, 12 power play goals, 45 points and 130 penalty minutes.
  • Maroon is tied for fourth in the AHL with 12 power play goals.
  • Charlie Sarault has three assists for the Admirals since being signed to an Amateur Tryout Contract. All three assists have come on the power play. He tied for the OHL lead with 33 power play assists for Sarnia in 2012-13.
  • Steven Whitney scored a power play goal on his first professional shot Friday night in his professional debut. He was second in the NCAA in goals this past season where he played for Boston College.
  • The Admirals are fifth in penalty killing this season. They have killed 85.6% penalties including killing 27 in a row over the last six games.
DUCKS REMAIN NEAR TOP OF STANDINGS
The Anaheim Ducks (27-9-5, 59 points) remain the Pacific Division leaders and are second in the Western Conference – just five points back of the Chicago Blackhawks. Anaheim visits the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night. They have a chance to clinch a playoff berth tonight if the Dallas Stars lose at Nashville or the Detroit Red Wings lose at Chicago. If neither of those scenarios play out tonight, a win over Los Angeles tomorrow will clinch a berth in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Ducks.

NORFOLK LEADERS
Goals: Patrick Maroon (23)
Assists: Sami Vatanen (36)
Points: Patrick Maroon (45)
Games: Mat Clark (67)
PP goals: Patrick Maroon (12)
SH Goals: Several (1)
+/- Rating: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Hampus Lindholm (+8)
PIM: Patrick Maroon (130)
GAA: Frederik Andersen (2.08)
Spct: Frederik Andersen (.932)
Wins: Frederik Andersen (22)
Losses: Igor Bobkov (16)
GPl: Frederik Andersen (42)
Minutes: Frederik Andersen (2422)

WORCESTER LEADERS
Goals: Bracken Kearns (20)
Assists: Bracken Kearns (25)
Points: Bracken Kearns (45)
Games: Freddie Hamilton (69)
PP goals: Bracken Kearns (11)
SH Goals: Several (1)
+/- Rating: James Livingston (+11)
PIM: Matt Pelech (236)
GAA: Alex Stalock (2.67)
Spct: Alex Stalock (.911)
Wins: Alex Stalock (15)
Losses: Harri Sateri (19)
GPI: Harri Sateri (37)
Minutes: Harri Sateri (2080)

PROVIDENCE LEADERS
Goals: Jamie Tardif (28)
Assists: Ryan Spooner (37)
Points: Ryan Spooner (51)
Games: Craig Cunningham (70)
PP goals: Jamie Tardif (13)
SH Goals: Lane MacDermid (2)
+/- Rating: Justin Florek (+13)
PIM: Bobby Robins (294)
GAA: Niklas Svedberg (2.18)
Spct: Niklas Svedberg (.924)
Wins: Niklas Svedberg (34)
Losses: Michael Hutchinson (13)
GPI: Niklas Svedberg (45)
Minutes: Niklas Svedberg (2693)

TICKETS
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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