NORFOLK, VA. - This past weekend's results may not have been what the team had hoped for, however, Scope was filled with the two largest crowds of the season.
THIS PAST WEEK IN ADMIRALS HOCKEY: (January 17 - 23)9-2 L vs. Wheeling7-4 L vs. Adirondack
Friday: 9-2 L vs. Wheeling:The Admirals were rolling into the biggest promotional weekend of the year with six straight wins and just having set new ECHL and league records. Optimism was of plenty. To further the point, the Nailers leading scorer was out of the lineup with an injury and they had just had another called up to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
What took place was a vastly different scene from what many expected.
For the first time in 2017 the Admirals found themselves down after 20 minutes, but it was only one goal, nothing to sweat over.
In the second period was when damage was done though, as the Nailers struck four times and the Admirals had no response to any of them.
Add four more in the third and Brandon Anderson was on the hook for nine goals allowed, a number he hadn't reached through the six games combined in 2017.
The two positives for the Admirals offensively were that Aaron Harstad found the back of the net for just the second time this season and it came in his first game back following his participation in the All-Star Game. Furthermore, Joey Benik recorded a goal in his first game at Scope after lighting it up on the road trip leading up to Friday.
Saturday: 7-4 L vs. Adirondack:Friday had to have been a fluke, no? Robbie Ftorek went back to Brandon Anderson in net to let him try and bounce back and regain the necessary confidence.
Adirondack had other plans though, beating Anderson just 77 seconds in. Fortunately the Admirals showed some resilience as Mike Krieg and T.J. Foster were able to not only even the score but put the Admirals ahead in the first. A weird bounce from the point let the Thunder send both sides into the locker room with two a piece though.
Once again though, the second period was the difference as Mikkel Aagaard put up two and his teammates added two more to make it a 6-3 game after two.
When the teams took the ice for the third, Steven Summerhays guarded the Admirals net for the first time since New Years Eve. Summerhays stopped all five sent his way but Ben Murphy's mid-air swat wasn't enough for an Admirals to come back, falling for a second straight night 7-4.
LOOKING AHEAD: (January 24 - 31)Wednesday vs. ManchesterFriday vs. ManchesterSaturday vs. Manchester
Wednesday is Family Fun Pack and Student Rush Night, enjoy four tickets, four hot dogs, four popcorns and four sodas for $54.
Friday is Norfolk Public Schools Night, all students, faculty and staff of Norfolk Public Schools are eligible to purchase tickets for just $5.
Saturday is the Navy Cup, featuring an afternoon contest between the USS Abraham Lincoln vs. Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Fort Story. A ticket to the Admirals game gets you access to both.
The first 2,500 fans will receive hand clappers from Virginia Eye Consultants and fans are encouraged to stick around after the game for a post-game skate with the team.
The Monarchs currently rank third in the entire ECHL with 56 points. They're currently 5-0-1-0 in their last six and are second in the league with 159 goals scored.
There are currently six Manchester forwards averaging at least one point per game, so scoring is null the issue.
Sam Brittain has been the backbone for the Monarchs in 24 games this year, currently holding a record of 17-5-1 with a 2.77 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.
ADMIRALS LEADERS (SKATERS):Games Played: Gabriel Verpaelst (38)Goals: John Dunbar (11)Assists: Brodie Dupont (18)Points: Brodie Dupont (26)Power Play Goals: Nick MacNeil and Brodie Dupont (2)Shorthanded Goals: Nick MacNeil (2)+/-: Joey Benik and Ben Murphy (+3)Penalty Minutes: Gabriel Verpaelst (114)
ADMIRALS LEADERS (GOALIES):Games Played: Eetu Laurikainen (11)Wins: Brandon Anderson (8)Losses (Most): Eetu Laurikainen (10)Minutes: Brandon Anderson (672)Goals Against Average: Brandon Anderson (2.95)Save Percentage: Brandon Anderson (.899)Shutouts: Brandon Anderson (3)
SOMETHING YOU DIDN'T KNOW:
Some of you may have noticed on Twitter last week but former Admirals goaltender Connor Knapp retired last week. Connor played 14 games with the Admirals this year before being released on December 19. We wish Connor the best of luck in his future endeavors.