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Lightning assign Szczechura to Norfolk

nor_200.jpgThe Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have assigned center Paul Szczechura to the Admirals, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.

Szczechura, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound center, had appeared in all 23 games for Norfolk prior to his first NHL call-up on December 1. He was leading the team with 11 goals, 13 assists and 24 points at the time. He also was tied for ninth in the AHL in scoring and tied for tenth in the league in goals at the time.

Szczechura made his NHL debut on December 2 with the Lightning in Philadelphia. Since then, he has played 18 games with Tampa Bay, scoring two goals and two assists with six penalty minutes. He has been sidelined with a lower body injury since January 13. Szczechura, 23, signed a two-year deal with the Lightning on April 24.

Last season, Szczechura played under an AHL contract as a rookie, scoring 14 goals and 12 assists with the Admirals after being acquired from the Iowa Stars on January 15. Despite appearing in only 24 games with Norfolk last season, Szczechura led the team in scoring by a rookie and tied for the overall team lead in game-winning goals with three. He netted points in his first ten games with the Admirals – the longest scoring streak ever by a Norfolk rookie and tied for the fourth longest streak overall.

Szczechura has appeared in 90 AHL games between Norfolk and the Iowa Stars, scoring 30 goals and 32 assists with 74 penalty minutes. The native of Brantford, Ontario, played four seasons of college hockey at Western Michigan University, scoring 44 goals and 86 assists in 153 career games.

The Admirals will face off against the Hamilton Bulldogs tonight at 7:15 at Scope. Ten-dollar tickets are available for all members of the military with a valid ID at the Scope Box Office. Two dollars of each ticket sold under this special offer will go back to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.