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October 18, 2010

Pete Michaud's Blog: Hello from Binghamton!


Hello everyone! Itís hockey season, so itís time for my first blog entry of the new year, with the first game of the year just a day away here in Binghamton, New York. Itís a mild day here with bright sunshine, which is something we donít see much of here in Bingo once the season really gets going. The Admirals square off against the Senators tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. to get their year underway.

Iím writing on this Friday afternoon from the Broome Community College Ice Center, a very impressive skating facility here outside of Binghamton where the Admirals are just getting on the ice for a 1:15 p.m. practice today. It reminds me quite a bit of the Chilled Ponds facility out in Chesapeake, except this place has even more. Since itís on campus, there are other athletic facilities here, including weight rooms, a gym, soccer and baseball facilities, an events center, a student lounge and more. Itís quite an upgrade from the public skating facility where the team practiced here last year and the players had to dress in the pro shop! The team canít practice at the arena where theyíll play tomorrow because the Senators play their season opener tonight against Adirondack. I think Binghamton will have an edge on the Admirals having already played a real game by the time they hook up for Saturdayís contest.

Twenty-one guys made the trek to Bingo for the season opener. A couple of the injured players didnít travel. Hopefully, those guys will be ready to go next Friday and Saturday for the home opening weekend against Worcester. The club left at midnight last night from Scope for the ride to Binghamton so they could make their afternoon practice time today, arriving at 8 a.m. today. Eight hours each wayÖ16 hours of total bus timeÖis way too much for just ONE GAME! I hate these kind of trips. I donít mind a two-week trip through seven cities in five states, but I donít like the Ďup and backí one game trips.

The most interesting facet of the first road trip of the year is the jockeying for bunks on the teamís sleeper bus that always takes place. The Admirals travel on a pretty nice, 25-bunk bus with satellite TV, a mini-fridge, microwave oven, and internet connection (although itís very slow and doesnít work at all at timesÖbut anything is better than nothing!). The coaches, trainer and equipment manager claim the four forward bunks. As the longest tenured member of the organization on the bus, I pretty much always get the bunk I want, which is the floor-level bunk just behind the coaches. After that, itís pretty much decided on seniority. The older, experienced guys get their pick and the younger players take whatís left. The rookies almost always get left with the less desirable top bunks. The European players seem to have taken a real liking to being in the front section of the bus with the coaches and staff, so Juraj Simek, Vladimir Mihalik, Radko Gudas and Jaroslav Janus are up front this year. James Wright kind of breaks things up by joining us in the front.

Speaking of Janus, heís one of three goalies still on the roster. Cedrick Desjardins and Dustin Tokarski join Janus here in Binghamton. Weíve received no word from Head Coach Jon Cooper who starts or who sits tomorrow, but if you believe what you read, youíd think Desjardins would get the nod against Binghamton. By the way, his last name is pronounced ĎDay-zhar-day.í

Well, the boys are out on the ice and Iím off to watch practice. Iíll talk with you on the radio tomorrow. Remember that weíre on a new station this seasonÖ102.1-FM and 1490-AM, ĎThe Game.í You can also hear all the games AND the weekly ĎAdmirals Hourí talk show (Tuesdays 4:00 Ė 5:00 p.m.) online at 1021thegame.com, so I hope youíll be listening. And feel free to write anytime you have a question or comment (pete@norfolkadmirals.com). Take care for nowÖ




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