NORFOLK, VA. – A few weeks hiatus and a new website later, we’re back at it.
THIS PAST WEEK IN ADMIRALS HOCKEY: (February 8 – 14)
6-2 L vs. Greenville
3-2 W vs. South Carolina
2-1 W @ Reading
5-3 W @ Reading
Wednesday: 6-2 L vs. Greenville
Before any puck even touched the ice, the team announced a trade with the Idaho Steelheads, sending All-Star defenseman Aaron Harstad to the Western Conference in exchange for former Montreal Candiens draft pick Brady Vail.
When the game action actually began, the most distant game that the recap begins with is one that many would like to leave in the distance.
Entering after dropping three in a row against the Adirondack Thunder, this became an important divisional game for Norfolk. The tilt was tied at 1-1 through 40 minutes but then the flood gates broke open and not in a favorable manor for the Admirals.
Paul Rodrigues gave the Admirals a 2-1 lead 3:22 into the final frame but three minutes later Greenville exploded for their first of FIVE, ushering them to a 6-2 victory. Brandon Anderson struggled in the third period as Nick Betz scored both his first and second professional goals, Michael Joly recorded his second of the night and Angelo Miceli and Ahti Oksanen each added another in the process.
Three losses in a row became four as the Swamp Rabbits left Norfolk with a pummeling victory. One bright spot in the battle was that John Kurtz returned to game form after missing 16 games with a lower body injury.
Friday: 3-2 W vs. South Carolina
Prior to the contest, the Bakersfield Condors swooped into the lineup to claw defenseman Mikael Tam back west, narrowing the roster down to 19.
Donning their specialty Military Appreciation Night jerseys the team’s second game in a four-in-five stint was either going to get them their win of the month or a fifth loss in a row.
None other than Steven Summerhays was in the cage for the visiting Stingrays, just one week after being shopped by the Admirals to South Carolina. Yet another in-division game against a team currently in a playoff spot, the Admirals jumped out to a 1-0 lead early thanks to Ben Murphy.
Murphy’s 11th of the year kickstarted a back-and-forth contest hat including a second period with two South Carolina tallies, wrapped around a Paul Rodrigues marker to set the stage for a tied third period.
Then, with just 5.2 seconds remaining, Frankie Simonelli unleashed a rip from Brodie Dupont by Summerhays. The Scope crowd erupted and the Admirals earned a victory and hit the road for Reading.
Philippe Desrosiers was strong in the win, stopping 34 of 36 in his first game at home.
Saturday: 2-1 W @ Reading
The team bus arrived in Pennsylvania at 5 A.M. Saturday morning and the gang grabbed a few hours of rest before heading over to Santander Arena in the evening.
No scoring occurred in the first period but with Desrosiers in net once again for Norfolk there was one glaring issue for the home team in the opening 20 minutes. Reading struggled mightily all night long hitting the net. Per the box score, the Royals had eight shots on net in the first. Despite the fact that it’s not an officially kept stat, they must’ve missed the net (some on some point blank chances) at least eight times as well.
That became a plus for the Admirals, giving way for Brodie Dupont to open the scoring in the second. Gabriel Verpaelst made it 2-0 in the third and the Royals were only able to get one of their own by the Dallas Stars prospect.
When all was said and done, Desrosiers stopped 29 of 30 on the night, showcasing yet another strong night in between the pipes for the 21-year-old netminder.
Sunday: 5-3 W @ Reading
Brandon Anderson led the Admirals onto the ice on Sunday against his former team, Norfolk’s third game in three days.
Both sides traded goals in the first and Brady Vail notched his first as an Admiral in the second, ushering Norfolk ahead by one entering the final period. A crucial point during the second period, when the game was tied, was the Admirals killing off 1:53 of a five-on-three advantage.
The final period of regulation included five total goals, three in favor of the visiting team, capping a 5-3 victory for them. Frankie Simonelli had a monster night from the blue line, totaling three points, four shots and a +4 rating, prompting him and Desrosiers as the star players of the stretch.
Thursday @ Orlando – 7 EST
Friday @ Orlando – 7 EST
Sunday @ Orlando – 1:30 EST
The team is currently headed south, departing for the sunshine state and a three game series against the Orlando Solar Bears.
This set is the only time the two sides will meet all season and it comes at a valuable time for Norfolk. Orlando is currently in fourth place in the South Division, the final playoff spot come April 9. Sitting with 55 points, this is a potential nine point series for the Admirals. Having 40 points at the moment and one game in hand, the crew has a massive opportunity to bridge the gap.
We won’t delve too much into all the “what if’s” just yet, however, just know this is a very, very big three game series for the Admirals.
You can listen to all three games live on 102.1 FM The Tide or watch live on ECHL.TV from the comfort of your own home. Additionally, Buffalo Wild Wings on Laskin Road at the Oceanfront is the official watching location for all Admirals road games.
ADMIRALS LEADERS (SKATERS):Games Played: Gabriel Verpaelst (48)Goals: Brodie Dupont (14)Assists: Brodie Dupont (24)Points: Brodie Dupont (38)Power Play Goals: Brodie Dupont and Mikael Tam (3)Shorthanded Goals: Nick MacNeil (2)+/-: Brodie Dupont (+5)Penalty Minutes: Gabriel Verpaelst (123)
ADMIRALS LEADERS (GOALIES):Games Played: Brandon Anderson (17)Wins: Brandon Anderson (11)Losses (Most): Eetu Laurikainen (10)Minutes: Brandon Anderson (979)Goals Against Average: Philippe Desrosiers (3.50)Save Percentage: Philippe Desrosiers (.901)Shutouts: Brandon Anderson (3)
SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T KNOW:
Many have asked when 2017-18 season tickets will be going on sale and that answer is, soon. Current season ticket holders have grown accustomed to renewals opening up on February 1, however, next year’s season ticket packages will be revamped with numerous perks that the Admirals have never offered.
Some of these perks are still in the finalizing stages, thus leading to the later release date but information regarding a specific date renewals will open should be announced shortly. Stay tuned to our website and social media pages for info as it becomes available!