Can Nick Riopel get some help?
Finally, it happened. Sunday, the Admirals won 5-4 in a shootout to finally win three in a row. Norfolk had yet to do it all season, and they finally did it on the road. Furthermore, they did it on the road, against the second best team in the East Division. Along the way, they traded Tommy Mele and Andrew Blazek for Mike Ratchuk. Newly acquired from the Cyclones, Ratchuk didn’t play on Sunday.
Despite an early hook for Nick Riopel-which seemed more to be about relief for him-the Admirals would come back from 3-1 to win the game. Finally, the Admirals tend to be finding some sort of offense. It is not there every night, but it exists. Outside an end-of-a-roadtrip game, the defense appears to be picking up. I think it is no coincidence the Ads’ two best goalies are minding the crease these days. If the team scores 2 goals against the Elmira Jackals, they have a perfect road trip.
Where once the playoffs seemed impossible, they seem at least closer. Norfolk now has 36 points heading into the “All-Star” break. They are six points behind a swooning Elmira team, though a dangerous Orlando team has a 3 point advantage. Norfolk may be able to make up some ground, especially with the Jackals coming into town this weekend.
Given the Admirals games played situation-they’re at 42, 2 more than the rest of the league-they can not afford to lose. With a favorable home schedule coming up, the Admirals need to take advantage.
Big transaction over the weekend covered here.