nic riopel is good
.Norfolk is too far gone to make the playoffs. It’s a shame the season doesn’t start in January, because the Ads might actually have had a chance. Last week, the top team in the East came to play in the form of the Florida Everblades. Wednesday should have been tough. Daniel Altshuller was down from the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, and sports a tidy .916 SV in the AHL with one shutout. The Ads managed to nab a 4-2 win, behind timely goals and the goaltending of Nic Riopel.
Friday night saw the Ads without Gabriel Verpaelst, who signed a PTO with AHL Stockton. Playing with 5 defensemen, the Ads put together some semblance of a game though they lost 2-1. Saturday was the rubber match. Ty Rimmer was shaky early, and Riopel helped steer the Admirals from a three-goal deficit to overtime. Greg Chase and Jonathan Lessard (who had 2 goals in the game) would score in the shootout to send the Ads home a winner.
Norfolk’s played pretty well, but not well enough. Having a rough November and December (and not being able to beat Reading) has kept them near the bottom of the conference. They can still make up some ground, but they have to hope everyone else loses. It’s a long order.
Samuel Noreau will presumably be back in the lineup this week as he has served his suspension. Norfolk should return to six defensemen this weekend against Manchester. I would not be surprised, though, if Devin Mantha or Janick Asselin are traded for another D. I think this might actually be helpful. By the way, Danick Paquette will miss this weekend’s games.
Two Norfolk Admirals are in the AHL on PTOs. Alex Ranger has 7 games with the St. John’s IceCaps, no points, and 5 SOG. Gabriel Verpaelst, with the Stockton Heat, had a fight (of course) and 3 SOG over the weekend.