Admirals Stat-urday: March Madness in Norfolk

Patrick Maroon Scores OT Game Winner against Syracuse 3-29-2013 - John Wright/Courtesy of Norfolk Admirals

The Admirals look to close out March on a high note, having already won 8 out of 13 games and picking up 17 of a possible 26 points. Norfolk currently sits in 9th in the Eastern Conference, just two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot with only ten games left on the season.

1 - Newly signed forwards Kyle Bonis and Charlie Sarault (ATOs) each picked up their first AHL assists in their first AHL game, a 5-4 OT win against the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) on Friday night. Both players assisted on Pat Maroon goals, with Sarault calmly sending a saucer pass to Maroon in the slot for the game winner in overtime.

2 - Energy forward Chris Wagner notched his second goal in three games Friday night against Syracuse. Wagner, who has three points (2G,1A) in three games, has tied his season high of points in a month with six, a point total he saw back in October.

3 - Patrick Maroon, the Admirals leading scorer, picked up three goals against the Syracuse Crunch Friday night. The hat trick was his first as an Admiral and capped off an overtime win to get Norfolk two huge points in the standings.

4 - Kyle Wilson picked up his third and fourth assists of the season and added his eighth goal of the season last Saturday night against the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins). Wilson's three point night helped the Admirals beat the division rival Penguins who currently sit only five points ahead of them in the standings.

5 - Since Feb. 8, the Admirals have jumped five teams in the Eastern Conference to take possession of ninth place and currently sit only two points out of the eight and final playoff spot.

6 - With his two power play goals in Friday's contest, Pat Maroon is now tied for sixth in the AHL in Power Play Goals with 11.

7 - With last night's win, Norfolk goalie Frederik Andersen's record for March is seven wins and only four losses. Andersen has a 2.27 Goals Against Average and .917 Save Percentage for March.

8 - First line forward Brandon McMillan, recently returned from Anaheim, scored his eighth goal of the season Tuesday against the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes). McMillan also had two assists Friday night against the Crunch and has five points in five games in March.

9 - Sami Vatanen continues his extended stay in the league leaders category, currently holding down the ninth spot in the AHL in assists with 35 in 55 games.

10 - In their last ten games Norfolk has gone 7-3-0-0 and have grabbed 14 of a possible 20 points. There are only ten games left, four at home and six on the road. They have no room for error.

This Saturday's write up is inspired by "Hatrick" Maroon. Sure, he's the leading scorer on the Admirals roster (21G +22A = 43Pts), but it goes beyond the score sheet. Maroon literally owns all the ice in the offensive zone below the face off circles. It doesn't matter if it's at Scope or any other arena in the AHL, if the puck is anywhere in that bit of real estate, Maroon will be coming out with it. If the puck goes in to Pat Maroon real estate, the only way anyone else is coming away with it is if Pat Maroon gives permission.

He talks the talk, he walks the walk, and he seems to thrive on the pressure of being "the guy" that
everyone is looking to for a game changing goal, a momentum shifting play, or that two minute shift where he dominates the other team. In the month of March he's only been held off of the score sheet in two of his nine games played. He's amassed eight goals and five assists, including a hat trick last night. He has four multi-point games in March, including a pair of three point games. Maroon, recently honored as the AHL Player of the Week, has also been rewarded for his hard work with a two year, one-way contract with Anaheim.

Maroon has taken over the driving duties for the Norfolk Admirals and is carrying the team on his back in to the playoffs. Nate Guenin may wear the Captain's "C" but since the middle of February this has become Maroon's team.

Follow me on Twitter: @VAPuckhead

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