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December 1, 2008

Pete Michaud: Hello from Hershey!


Hello, Admirals fans?from Hershey, Pennsylvania, where the Admirals are once again on the road. This time, it?s a 5-game, 8-day trip.

After a thrilling overtime win against Wilkes-Barre Saturday night, the Admirals hopped on their bus and made the 5-1/2 hour trek to Hershey. The Admirals, who have perhaps the most difficult travel in the league, have lots of overnight treks like that. This one almost became an ?all nighter? when the windshield wipers on the team bus stopped working due to a faulty motor about an hour into the trip. We stopped a few times in the hopes of repairing the problem, with no success. Thankfully, the rain was relatively light so were able to continue without the wipers. Ah,?the glamour of life on the road!

Hershey is always a favorite stop on the road for me. It?s a great building to play in, and a quaint little town to visit, especially if the weather is nice,?and ESPECIALLY if you happen to like chocolate. This year is even better now that the team has changed hotels. The past 2 or 3 years, we had stayed at a nice but very remote hotel off Interstate-81 a good 20 minutes out of town with nothing within walking distance of the hotel. This year, we?ve moved to a great location about 5 minutes from the rink with several nearby eateries. I went to dinner with the coaching staff after last night?s difficult loss here in Hershey. Let me tell you, if you have any doubts about how hard Head Coach Darren Rumble takes losing, you don?t know Darren Rumble. He?ll get this thing turned around or he?ll go crazy trying. I have a lot of respect for coach Rumble. He?s a great hockey guy, a good golfer, and understands that sometimes you just HAVE to order a SECOND desert! My kind of guy!

Speaking of the road, I wrote in a recent blog about how the Admirals make rooming assignments on the road. Norfolk Assistant Coach Alan May tells a great story about when he joined the Washington Capitals in the late 80?s. Caps? star Dino Ciccarelli requested May as his roomie. It?s a standard practice for many ?star? players to room with players regarded as the ?tough guys.? May soon discovered that life on the road sharing a hotel room with Ciccarelli could be a challenge since Ciccarelli liked to shut the TV off and go to sleep early. Older players normally have the say when it comes to things like the TV remote and the thermostat in the hotel. May, who enjoyed watching TV until the late hours, would be forced to sit in silence when Ciccarelli deemed it time for the TV to go off. May eventually grew tired of the routine and put Ciccarelli in a headlock when Dino tried to take the remote and cut off the television one night. May says he kept Ciccarelli in the headlock for about an hour until Dino fell asleep (or passed out?who knows!). Either way, Ciccarelli never again tried to turn the TV off when May was watching!

Jay Rosehill recently had the unenviable task of shooting on Tara Wheeler, Miss Virginia 2008, in an intermission event at Scope to raise money for the CHKD Childhood Cancer Program. Rosehill told me that Wheeler, a former goalie for the women?s club hockey team at Penn State, was adamant that he try to score and not just shoot routine shots off her pads. Wheeler, who admitted to me that she?d spent very little time on her skates lately, will take part in a similar promotion at a Washington Capitals game soon.

Well, that?s it for this edition. Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I?ll try to answer in an upcoming edition. Another blog entry comes up soon. Until then?

Pete (pete@norfolkadmirals.com)




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