The Admirals 25th home opener on October 11 is today! So we are counting down the days recognizing 25 memorable moments in the 25 years of Admirals Hockey, in a segment we call 25 in 25. Each day we will highlight a great moment in the Admirals proud 25-year history to get you set for the 2013-14 home opener!
#2: Admirals Win First AHL Championship Well what a ride it was. Sometimes you can get a feeling about a team that something pretty special is taking place. Admirals fans and players during the 2011-12 season certainly know all about that. Usually a championship team will sting together a a few wins in a short amount of time, but not this team. This Admirals team decided to set the North American Hockey Record for most consecutive win of 28. Not to mention Cory Conacher and company racked up just about every league award possible. This team did not fill up the trophy case, it needed its own.
The team rode its streak into the postseason, and there was no turning back from there. Despite a hard fought series against Connecticut, the Admirals rolled through the playoffs and took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Calder Cup Finals against Toronto, setting up a July 9, 2012 Game Four where all goals and dreams were fulfilled:
Alexandre Picard, who scored nine goals and added seven assists totaling 16 points, was awarded the Jack Butterfield Trophy as MVP of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Johnson added two assists while Kostka added an assist of his own in the victory while Richard Panik and Pierre-Cedric Labrie added goals in the victory.
The Admirals took a 1-0 lead 6:17 into the contest on Panik’s fifth goal of the playoffs. The speedy winger cut through the right wing while stiff-arming a Marlies defender. He cut through the right circle and headed towards the crease before banking a shot off the Toronto defender’s skate that eluded Toronto netminder Ben Scrivens.
Toronto tied the game at 1-1 late in the first period on a five-on-three power play. Joe Colborne sent a pass from the right faceoff circle across the crease to Mike Zigomanis, who one-timed the puck from a sharp angle past Tokarski at 19:43 for his fourth goal of the playoffs.
Norfolk went back on top, 2-1, early in the second stanza. Ondrej Palat sent a pass from the right corner to Kostka near the top of the left circle. Kostka sent a slap shot and picked the glove-side corner past Scrivens at 4:26 for his fifth goal of the season.
The Admirals went ahead, 3-1, late in the second period on Johnson’s fifth goal of the season. Alex Killorn sent Johnson a pass in the left circle for a one-timer that Scrivens stopped. The puck ended up behind the net, where Johnson found it and banked it into the net off Scrivens’ back and into the net at 16:45.
Norfolk extended their lead to 4-1 in the opening minute of the third period on Kostka’s second of the night. With the Admirals on the power play, Conacher connected on a pass to Kostka on the point. From there, Kostka sent a slap shot over Scrivens for his third goal in two games and sixth of the postseason.
Tyler Johnson expanded the Admirals lead to 5-1 with an empty-net goal with less than eight minutes remaining in the regulation.
Less than a minute later, Labrie capped off the scoring at 6-1 with his fifth goal of the postseason. After a shot by Michel Ouellet deflected off of Scrivens, Labrie picked up the loose rebound and buried it behind the Toronto netminder at 13:33 of the third period.
Norfolk withheld a Toronto push in the later half of the third period as they held on for the four-game sweep and the their first Calder Cup Championship in franchise history.
Dustin Tokarski (12-2) finished the night with 18 saves for the team’s 10th straight victory. Toronto’s Ben Scrivens (11-6) stopped 26 saves in defeat.
Tyler Johnson and Mike Kostka each scored twice and Cory Conacher added four assists, as the Norfolk Admirals defeated the Toronto 6-1 and captured the Calder Cup.
A memorable season indeed. One that Admirals fans will never forget nor will the hockey world. The title was the fourth ever in Admirals Hockey history. The Admirals have won the Riley and Kelly Cups in the ECHL, and the Calder Cup in the AHL. The Admirals a perfect 4-0 in championship clinching series, and have posted a combined record of 16-3 in those championship series.
Opening Night Promotions & Festivities! The Admirals home opener is tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Binghamton Senators. Come early and join us for Party on the Plaza in the Scope Exhibition Hall beginning at 5:00 p.m. featuring live music, bounce houses & games for the kids, as well as food and beverages! The first 5,000 fans to walk through the gates will receive an Admirals Magnet Schedule! Following the game, Sara Lee will be giving away 3,000 loaves of bread to fans as the exit the arena!
The two teams will meet again on Saturday, October 12 at 7:15 p.m. Come early and check out the ODU Hockey Team battle American University at Scope. One game ticket will get you in to both games!
Game tickets are now on sale, and are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com