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Sens Look To Clinch Against Norfolk

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Tonightís contest is the eighth and final meeting in the regular season between the Senators and the Admirals.  This is the 12th all-time meeting between the clubs with the Senators posting a 4-6-0-1 mark to date, including 3-4 this season, against Norolk.  The Sens have a 2-2-0-1 mark all-time at home versus Norfolk and have taken two of three from Norfolk here at the Arena this season.  Prior to tonightís game, DENIS HAMEL will presented with a trophy in recognition of being named a First Team All-Star while DAVID HYMOVITZ will receive his award for being named the Sensí American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year.  The awards will be presented by JIM MILL, Vice President Ė Hockey Operations for the American Hockey League.  Madison Square Gardenís JOHN AMIRANTE makes a special guest appearance to close out the regular season by performing the National Anthem for both contests this weekend.

SEASON SERIES: 4-3-0-0, Norfolk
The season series began with the first three games being played in Binghamton and the Senators taking two of the three contests.  On November 11th, STEVE BANCROFTís deflected a PETER SMREK left wing shot home with 6:02 left in the third to break a 3-3 tie and send the Sens on to a 5-3 win.  The Admirals rang in 2004 with a 4-0 blanking of the Sens on January 2nd as CRAIG ANDERSON posted the 31-save shutout while IGOR RADULOVís two goals and PAVEL VOROBIEVís pair of helpers sparked the offense.  Binghamton rebounded to double up Norfolk 6-3 in the most recent meeting at the Arena January 17th on the strength of DENIS HAMELís three-point night (2+1).  The series then shifted south for a pair of two-game weekends, the first coming February 27th and 28th.  The Sens mustered just 24 shot on goal in two games, dropping 6-1 and 3-1 decisions.  QUINTIN LANG (2+1) and LASSE KUKKONEN (1+2) registered three-point games in the first contest while ANTON BABCHUK notched the game-winner with right win blast with 2:30 left on the second period the second night.  Last weekend, the Sens to a 3-1 victory at Scope with rookie GREGG JOHNSON providing the visitors with the winning margin with his first professional goal.  Norfolk claimed a 3-1 win the next night as power play goals early in the middle period by MARTY WILFORD and JASON MORGAN broke up a scoreless battle.  DENIS HAMEL (4+3=7) and AJAY BAINES (2+5=7) lead their respective clubs in series scoring while CRAIG ANDERSON has seen a bulk of the time in goal for the Admirals posting a 4-1 mark with one shutout and a 1.40 goals against average versus the Sens.  RAY EMERY (1-3, 3.57 GAA) and BILLY THOMPSON (2-1, 3.01 GAA) have each made four appearances against the Admirals.

BINGHAMTON SENATORS: The Senators wrapped up a 2-1-1 road trip with a 2-2 tie at Wilkes-Barre Wednesday night to come into the weekend with 79 points, good for fourth place in the East Division.  SERGE PAYER sent the game to overtime with his 14th goal of the season on the power play with just 2:05 left in regulation.  The point in the standings dropped the Sensí magic number to two in order to clinch a playoff berth.  A win tonight over Norfolk would allow Binghamton to secure a berth  in the Calder Cup playoffs in addition to nailing the #4 spot in the East Division.  DENIS HAMEL continues to lead the club in most offensive categories including goals (28), assists (37), points (65), shorthanded goals (4), and game-winners (6).  His four shorties are tied for the league lead and his 65 points are tied for 11th best in the circuit.  BRIAN McGRATTANís 323 penalty minutes are second the AHL.  RAY EMERY has recorded the fifth most saves (1454) among the AHLís netminders.

BINGHAMTON STREAKS: CHARLIE STEPHENS (3+4=7) has a four-game point streak and has a goal in three of his last four outings.  After failing to find the scoresheet in six consecutive games, CORY PECKER (1+2=3) has points in two straight.  The club has notched atleast one power play in each of the last three games while the penalty kill is perfect in its last 11 shorthanded situations.

NORFOLK ADMIRALS: The Admirals, despite holding a 37-16 shot advantage, dropped a 2-0 decision in Bridgeport last night as they began a season-ending three-game road trip.  It was the second consecutive 2-0 loss to Bridgeport in their season series and marked the third time in the last five games, and 14th overall this season, that the Admirals have been held scoreless.  Norfolk comes to Binghamton in fifth place in the East Division, two points behind the Senators and one point up on sixth place Hershey.  Captain AJAY BAINES and MATT ELLISON share the team lead in goals with 14 each while BAINES paces the club with 41 points.  MARTY WILFORD has a team-high 35 assists (t-2nd AHL defensemen) and his 40 points is 10th among league blueliners.

NORFOLK STREAKS: No individual streaks are in progress.  The club has lost its last four consecutive road contests, all within the East Division, while holding opposing teams to 23 or fewer shots in each of the last nine games. 


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