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Norfolk Admirals Weekly - Admirals Set for Showdown

January 2, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) Norfolk Admirals

NORFOLK - After finishing a strong month of December on the road last week, the Norfolk Admirals are back in Hampton Roads preparing to host the Syracuse Crunch, AHL affiliates of the Tampa Bay Lightning, at Norfolk Scope Arena on Friday and Saturday nights.

Last week, the Admirals returned from the holiday break with three road games in three nights. The Admirals fell to the Crunch, 4-2, on Friday night from New York. Patrick Maroon scored a power play goal in overtime as Norfolk upended Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 3-2, on Saturday night from Pennsylvania. The road trip concluded in Massachusetts on Sunday evening as the Admirals dropped a 4-1 decision to the Springfield Falcons.

The Admirals and Crunch face off on Friday night (7:30) and Saturday night (7:15) at Scope. The first 2,012 fans through the gates on Friday will receive an Admirals Calder Cup replica trophy, courtesy of John's Tax Service, JPM Financial Services and WTKR NewsChannel3. On Sunday afternoon, the Admirals and Charlotte Checkers meet in Game 2 of the GEICO Challenge Cup from the PNC Bank Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina (1:30).

STANDINGS UPDATE

At 14-15-1-0 (29 points), the Admirals are in 5th place in the East Division and tied for 12th place in the Eastern Conference. Below are the current AHL Eastern Conference standings:

Rank

Team GP W L OTL SL PTS PCT

1 * Syracuse Crunch 32 20 7 2 3 45 0.703

2 * Springfield Falcons 30 17 8 2 3 39 0.650

3 * Portland Pirates 31 18 11 1 1 38 0.613

4

Binghamton Senators 29 19 7 1 2 41 0.707

5

Worcester Sharks 31 17 11 1 2 37 0.597

6

Bridgeport Sound Tigers 32 17 12 1 2 37 0.578

7

Providence Bruins 29 16 11 0 2 34 0.586

8

Hershey Bears 32 16 14 1 1 34 0.531

9

Manchester Monarchs 33 14 15 2 2 32 0.485

10

W-B/Scranton Penguins 31 14 14 2 1 31 0.500

11

St. John's IceCaps 34 15 18 0 1 31 0.456

12

Albany Devils 29 11 11 1 6 29 0.500

13

Norfolk Admirals 30 14 15 1 0 29 0.483

14

Adirondack Phantoms 31 13 16 1 1 28 0.452

15

Connecticut Whale 32 13 17 2 0 28 0.438

*Division Leaders

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 1-3 (in order of regular-season points) and the next five best teams (in order of regular-season points) will be seeded 4-8.

THE ADMIRALS' WEEK AHEAD

Fri., Jan. 4 ... vs. Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) ... 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 5 ... vs. Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) ... 7:15 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 6... at Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) ... 1:30 p.m.*

*Game played at PNC Bank Arena in Raleigh, N.C.

ADMIRALS' LOG

The Admirals went 7-4-1-0 in December after going 2-10-0-0 in November. Norfolk was tied for the fourth-best defense in the AHL in December at 2.25 goals against per game. The Norfolk penalty kill stopped 88.2% of opponent power plays in December (48/55), which was the fourth-best penalty kill in the AHL. The Admirals rose from 20th in the AHL in penalty killing on December 1, 2012 (81.8%) to 11th on January 1, 2013 (84.6%).

Peter Holland led the Admirals in points (12) and assists (9) in December. Emerson Etem led the Admirals in goals (5) in December. Two of his goals were scored in a thrilling span of 39 seconds in Norfolk's last home game on December 22 vs. Albany - the game-tying goal with 33 seconds left in regulation and the game-winning goal six seconds into overtime.

Etem and fellow rookie Chris Wagner led the Admirals in plus/minus (+5) in December. Fourteen of the 22 players on the Norfolk roster were even or better in December.

Goaltender Frederik Andersen returned to action in relief on Sunday in Springfield after missing six games due to injury. Andersen went 3-2-0 with a 1.68 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in December.

Igor Bobkov posted a 4-3-0 record with a 2.67 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in December. Patrick Maroon has points in six of his last eight games (3g, 3a). Yesterday, the Admirals signed goaltender Jeff Deslauriers and forward Dan Sexton to Professional Tryout Contracts. Deslauriers and Sexton combine to bring 150 games of NHL experience to Norfolk.

Also earlier this week, forward Josh Brittain joined the Admirals from the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets while goaltender Marco Cousineau, forwards Luca Caputi and Corey Elkins and defenseman Nick Schaus went to Fort Wayne from Norfolk.

SCOPING THE COMPETITION - SCOUTING REPORT FOR UPCOMING HOME GAMES

The Admirals and Syracuse Crunch square off for the second and third times in the 2012-13 season this weekend at Scope. The games are the first of four contests in Hampton Roads between the clubs.

Last Friday night, Syracuse claimed the first game of the season series with a 4-2 decision at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter. This game marked the first time the Admirals faced Syracuse with the Crunch as the top affiliate of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

Norfolk and Tampa Bay were affiliated from the 2007-08 - 2011-12 seasons. Sixteen of the 24 players on Syracuse's roster played for the Admirals in 2011-12 - including 15 players whose names are on the Calder Cup after winning it with Norfolk last spring.

Friday's game was also the first time the Crunch faced Norfolk with the Admirals as the top affiliate of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks. Syracuse and Anaheim were affiliated in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Seventeen of the 25 players on Norfolk's roster played for the Crunch in 2011-12.

With 45 points, Syracuse (20-7-2-3 in 32 games, .703 points percentage) sits atop the league standings. However, the Binghamton Senators (19-7-1-2, 41 points in 29 games) lead the league in points percentage at .707.

Syracuse is the most penalized team in the AHL at 24.59 penalty minutes per game. Norfolk ranks eighth at 21.37 PIM/GM.

Norfolk is 8-6-1-0 at home. The Crunch have the league's best road record at 13-3-0-2. The Admirals are 6-1 in games decided after regulation, with a 3-1 mark in overtime and a 3-0 mark in shootouts. Syracuse is 2-5 in games decided after regulation, with a 2-2 mark in overtime and a 0-3 mark in shootouts.

Syracuse has a 26.4% power play efficiency at home but only a 13.8% power play efficiency on the road.

CALDER CUP REPLICA TROPHY GIVEAWAY ON FRIDAY

The first 2,012 fans through the gates on Friday will receive an Admirals Calder Cup replica trophy, courtesy of John's Tax Service, JPM Financial Services and WTKR NewsChannel3.

BROADCAST NOTE FOR SUNDAY'S GAME

Due to Washington Redskins football on Sunday afternoon, there will not be a radio broadcast of Sunday's Admirals game against the Charlotte Checkers. You may listen to the game at 1021TheGame.com or watch at AHLLive.com.

NORFOLK LEADERS

Goals : Peter Holland (12)

Assists : Peter Holland (17)

Points : Peter Holland (29)

Games : Several (30)

PP goals : Patrick Maroon (5)

SH goals : Troy Bodie, Emerson Etem, Chris Wagner (1)

+/- Rating : Nate Guenin (+10)

PIM : Patrick Maroon (98)

GAA : Frederik Andersen (2.42)

Spct : Frederik Andersen (.925)

Wins : Frederik Andersen (7)

Losses : Frederik Andersen (7)

GPI : Frederik Andersen (17)

Minutes : Frederik Andersen (940)

SYRACUSE LEADERS

Goals : Tyler Johnson (19)

Assists : Ondrej Palat (22)

Points : Tyler Johnson (34)

Games : Several (32)

PP goals : Tyler Johnson (7)

SH goals : Several (1)

+/- Rating : Dmitry Korobov (+18)

PIM : Mike Angelidis, Radko Gudas (93)

GAA : Dustin Tokarski (2.34)

Spct : Dustin Tokarski (.903)

Wins : Dustin Tokarski (13)

Losses : Dustin Tokarski (5)

GPI : Dustin Tokarski (22)

Minutes : Dustin Tokarski (1280)

CHARLOTTE LEADERS

Goals : Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk (14)

Assists : Justin Faulk (17)

Points : Zach Boychuk (29)

Games : Several (33)

PP goals : Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk (6)

SH goals : Nicolas Blanchard, Drayson Bowman, Chris Terry (1)

+/- Rating : Zac Dalpe, Michal Jordan, Victor Rask (+7)

PIM : Nicolas Blanchard (73)

GAA : Justin Peters (2.58)

Spct : Dan Ellis (.919)

Wins : Justin Peters (11)

Losses : Dan Ellis, Justin Peters (6)

GPI : Justin Peters (20)

Minutes : Justin Peters (1094)

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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