December’s been pretty kind to the Ads…
Norfolk’s starting to turn things around, it seems. The Ads are *mostly* healthy, Adam Courchaine had a pretty solid week and they beat arguably the best team in the ECHL at home. They’ve been doing this with number one goalie Ty Rimmer up with Bakersfield and Chase Schaber and Maxime Legault still on the IR.
Going in to Wednesday’s game, the Ads are 4-2 for the month of December. Their only losses are to the Elmira Jackals–who are mostly goalie Niklas Lundstrom. Three home dates remain, with the Ads playing against division foes Reading and Adirondack. Norfolk actually handed the Thunder their first home loss of the year-a 6-1 beatdown. Capitalizing on great play as of late-and getting timely goaltending-is necessary.
Transaction news today is a bit spare. Jonathan Lessard is back on reserve after suffering an injury Saturday in Elmira. Hopefully, he won’t be out long-term. Defenseman Joe Marciano has decided to retire, making him the second Ad to choose that route. Marciano was scratched in recent games. If Eric Veilleux chooses to ice a 9F/7D line-up again, expect Andrew Blazek to draw into that spot. Ryan Jasinsky is still in available forward, but he would be an extra at most.
Nick Riopel is now on the IR, retroactive to 11/23. Counting the 23rd, this makes him eligible to be lifted off of the IR. I would not be surprised to see Adam Courchaine get the start tomorrow and Riopel backing up. Before he was injured, Riopel played well for the Ads. Phillipe Cadorette’s performance makes me wish there was a way to assign ECHL players to the SPHL. I think Cadorette would benefit from such an environment.