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Norfolk Admirals Notebook

by Tris Wykes / Tampa Bay Lightning

Once it was established that the Norfolk Admirals' Jay Rosehill hadn't been hurt, his teammates thought the play was hilarious. Forward Brandon Segal called it “the funniest thing I've ever seen in hockey” and even Rosehill allowed himself a chuckle.

But the incident in question began with a scare last Saturday when Rosehill, known more for his grit than his scoring, took a turn in the shootout that followed Norfolk's 7-1 preseason defeat of the visiting Philadelphia Phantoms at Scope arena. Normally, AHL shootouts don't occur unless teams are tied through a short overtime period. But in trying to give fans at Saturday's contest their full money's worth, the Admirals and Phantoms agreed to stage one, regardless of the score.

Rosehill bore down on Philadelphia goaltender Jeremy Duschene and tried a high, backhand shot. However, Duschene poked out his stick to parry the move and Rosehill stepped on it, causing him to slam full speed into the left goal post.

The impact carried the net, with Rosehill in it, into the end boards. There was a brief, horrified silence, but when No. 8 came up laughing, the relief was palpable and the laughter began.

“I was excited and came in a little too quick,” Rosehill said. “I was going way too fast for that move. But I'm not embarrassed. There are a lot worse things that could happen to you out there than running into the post.”

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A more somber collision occurred earlier in Saturday's game when Philadelphia's Rob Bellamy received a major elbowing penalty for laying out Norfolk's Paul Szczechura in a corner of the rink.
Szczechura, an Admirals fan favorite for his hustle and scoring, lay twitching for several seconds until trainer Brad Chavis reached him. Emergency medical technicians and a doctor were entering the rink when the Brantford, Ont., native wobbled to his feet and was helped to the dressing room.

Szczechura was walking and talking normally in the room at game's end, but Norfolk coach Darren Rumble was still upset.

“That's as dirty a hit as I've seen in a long time,” said Rumble, whose team ended the preseason at 2-2. “It was a not-very-good player on a good player and you hate to see that.”

Many in the building were surprised that Norfolk didn't seek to avenge Szczechura soon after the play, but Rumble said enforcers Rosehill and Brent Henley were nursing injuries and that he didn't want to “spark a riot” by going after Bellamy.

“We've got the whole season and we know who did it,” Segal said.

Szczechura did not practice Monday or Tuesday but did work out off the ice Tuesday. His status for Friday's season opener against visiting Hershey was unknown.

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Segal had a night to remember Saturday by scoring four goals. The North Delta, B.C., native said he'd last turned that trick during a tryout game for Canada's World Junior team, but that he was cut in spite of his performance.

After the fourth goal Saturday, Segal didn't raise his stick or smack his teammates' hands as they hung over the Norfolk bench. He didn't want anyone to feel he was showing the Phantoms up.

“I looked over at coach and just wanted him to either take me off the ice quick or I was just going to go back to center and get ready for the face off,” Segal said. “But it was nice to see us score that many goals. I think we're going to be dangerous offensively and a team to be reckoned with.”

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The arrival of Andrew Hutchinson promises to add to Norfolk's firepower. The reigning AHL defenseman of the year produced 64 points for Hartford last season and the idea of him in Admirals colors has the team's followers drooling.

Rumble said he anticipates no problems with Hutchinson adapting to his AHL return.

“I'm sure he's disappointed not to be with Tampa but that's hockey,” the coach said. “I've heard nothing but great things about his attitude. I expect him to be a leader in our room and possibly our best player.”

Hutchinson, a Michigan State product, played for the Spartans with former Admirals defenseman and current Chicago Blackhawk Duncan Keith.

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The Augusta Lynx, ECHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, won't have the services of the franchise's career scoring leader this season. Louis Goulet retired with 273 regular-season points in four campaigns, best in the franchise's 10-year history.

Goulet, a Mercyhurst College product, is returning to the Erie, Pa., school to be an assistant coach for its women's hockey team.

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John Marks, the coach beginning his first season in charge of the Lynx, has a long and varied history. A University of North Dakota product who played 657 NHL games with Chicago, he has 530 ECHL coaching victories and has produced title teams with Charlotte (1996) and Greenville (2002).

Marks, 60, guided Pensacola to the ECHL's worst record last season before the franchise folded. He's brought former Ice Pilots' forward Patrick Bordeleau with him to Augusta.

“He's a motivator,” Bordeleau told the Augusta Chronicle. “If you're playing good, then he's going to play you a lot, and if you're playing bad, he's going to tell you to wake up. He's a good coach for young players.”

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