NORFOLK, VA. – The Admirals rattled off three games in four days on the road and are currently en route back to Norfolk for another big promotional weekend.
THIS PAST WEEK IN ADMIRALS HOCKEY: (March 6 – 13)
5-4 L @ Elmira
4-2 L @ Elmira
8-6 W @ Manchester
Thursday: 5-4 L @ Elmira
This was a tough way for the Admirals to start the road trip, falling at the demise of their glaring second period weakness.
The Admirals completely controlled the first period of play and took a 1-0 lead because of undeniably the most impressive player on the trip, T.J. Foster.
Foster was all over the ice in all three games, but more on that in a minute.
Riding an impressive first period, Elmira completely turned this one around in the middle part, leaving many Admirals fans with an “oh no, here we go again” feeling. Four goals over the entire course of the frame gave them a 4-1 lead .
For a large majority of the third period it felt like the Admirals were “out of it” and it largely was the case, however two late third period goals from Joey Benik gave them a glimmer of hope.
In the end it was too little, too late. 5-4 loss.
Friday: 4-2 L @ Elmira
John Dunbar, Paul Rodrigues and Tanner Hildebrandt all suffered injuries in Thursday night’s game, forcing the Admirals to dress 13 guys on Friday night.
A lot of folks were disappointed to hear this, just days after trading a few able bodies for future considerations. However, the fact of the matter is injuries are inevitable and a win wouldn’t have magically saved the Admirals season.
Both teams looked noticeably slower on Friday though, which likely paid dividends for the Admirals.
The team had 41 shots on goal but Elmira goaltender Jason Kasdorf did a strong job all evening long to turn aside 39 of them.
T.J. Foster and Tommy Giroux (first pro) had the only goals of the night for Norfolk.
With the loss the Admirals were swept by the last place team in the Eastern Conference and dropped the season series to them as well.
Sunday: 8-6 W @ Manchester
All year long the story of the Manchester Monarchs has been that they can score a lot, but they’re reliant on that.
Norfolk did receive some good news prior to the game though, adding forwards Scott Jacklin and Trevor Gerling to the active roster, as well as goaltender Brett Kilar. Brandon Anderson was injured in practice on Thursday, thus leaving the Admirals a man down behind Desrosiers until Kilar came through.
Kilar is a former Hampton Roads Whaler player, backstopping their 2012-13 team.
When the game got underway and the Admirals gave up a quick one to start by Desrosiers, giving that “Oh no, here we go” feeling once again. However, the Admirals had answers, starting with none other than T.J. Foster, shorthanded. Nick MacNeil got a fortune bounce to make it 2-1 and then Joey Benik slammed home a two-on-one set up by Foster to conclude the first at 3-1 Norfolk.
Manchester cut the lead to just 3-2, but MacNeil’s second of the afternoon tied things up.
Then Manchester really turned on the gas, coming back to take a 5-4 lead. Foster’s second of the afternoon made it 5-5 and Benik scored with just over a second left in the period to make it 6-5 after 40. Wild, right?
In the third Desrosiers made a few clutch saves to keep his team ahead, eventually spring-boarding a Frankie Simonelli tally and Joey Benik’s hat trick goal to close out a Norfolk win at 8-6.
John Dunbar had six assists and was +6 along the way, the first Admirals player in 23 years to dish that many helpers.
Dunbar was also the first player in the ECHL this season to record six points in one game.
LOOKING AHEAD: (March 14-21)
vs. Reading – Friday @ 7:30 PM
vs. Reading – Saturday @ 7:15 PM
A huge promotional weekend for the Admirals is ahead including cheap adult beverages on Friday to celebrate the holiday and a whole lot going on Saturday.
First things first, both games this weekend will be played on green ice and the Admirals will be wearing green jerseys as well.
Friday the Admirals have partnered with Smartmouth Brewery to give fans drink specials from the time doors open. In compliance with the Virginia Alcohol Board we can’t say how much the drinks will be but we can say Dmitrii Sergeev’s jersey is a good place to start guessing.
Saturday, is “Sell Out The Scope Night” night as the Admirals go for 8,555, their first sell out since rejoining the ECHL. Notice we only said 8,555 instead of 8,701? More on that at the bottom.
It’s also Pucks and Paws Night, so fans are encouraged to bring their dog for just a $5 donation to a local animal shelter of their choice. More info on that here.
It’s also a green cap giveaway for the first 2,000 fans, sponsored by BB&T. Everybody loves free stuff.
After the game the Admirals will be auctioning off their green jerseys to support Muscular Dystrophy Association. The auction will be conducted in the rink following the final buzzer.
AFTER the jersey auction head on over to Showcase Restaurant to hang out with the team as they make they’re making their way out of the building. You can have your memorabilia signed and take a few photos as well.
ADMIRALS LEADERS (SKATERS):Games Played: Gabriel Verpaelst (55)Goals: T.J. Foster (19 w/ Norfolk; 21 total)Assists: T.J. Foster and John Dunbar (25)Points: T.J. Foster (40 w/Norfolk; 45 total)Power Play Goals: Domenic Alberga (5)Shorthanded Goals: Nick MacNeil (2)+/-: Joey Benik (+6)Penalty Minutes: Zach Pochiro (51)
ADMIRALS LEADERS (GOALIES):Games Played: Philippe Desrosiers (25 total; 12 w/ Norfolk)Wins: Brandon Anderson (11) and Philippe Desrosiers (11 total; 6 w/NorfolkLosses (Most): Eetu Laurikainen (10)Minutes: Philippe Desrosiers (1357 total; 679 w/Norfolk)Goals Against Average: Philippe Desrosiers (3.76 total; 3.71 w/ Norfolk)Save Percentage: Philippe Desrosiers (.895 total; .896 w/ Norfolk)Shutouts: Brandon Anderson (3)
SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T KNOW:
The Norfolk Admirals will be debuting a brand new arena feature this weekend, a band stage!
That’s right, beginning this weekend and full-time in the 2017-18 season, the Admirals will have live musical performances in the arena during the night. The stage will cover the entire section of 225, giving fans the opportunity to take in both local popular and upcoming talent.
This Friday night “Shlomo Franklin”, an upcoming rock and roll band will take the stage and Saturday, local popular cover band “The Red Stapler Duo” plays for the crowd.
We hope fans will enjoy this new feature and if you know of any bands that you’d like to see perform next season, don’t hesitate to let us know!