The Admirals 25th home opener on October 11 is just 12 days away! 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!
Well on Sunday we covered Dennis McEwen's four-goal performance over Erie which sealed the Admirals first ever ECHL playoff win. Today we recognize the Admirals first ever AHL series victory, as Casey Hankinson scored the game wining goal against the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.
Hankinson's goal capped off quite a rally for the Admirals in the game, who found themselves trailing 3-0 after the first period of play.
Norfolk turned the tables in the second period as Mark Bell quickly struck twice with a pair of goal, while Marty Wilford tied the game at three with 6:45 remaining in the middle frame. The Admirals outshot Cincinnati 18-5 in the second period, and 49-32 in the game.
Both teams kept each other in check for the third period sending the series to be decided in overtime.
Hankinson slipped a shot past Cincinnati goaltender Scott Langkow at 7:31 into overtime, which sparked a wild celebration amongst he and his teammates, as well as nearly 2,500 at Scope. The Admirals won the series 3 games to 2.
At the time, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks were coached by current Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock. Babcock shared his thoughts about that 2001 Admirals team after the game.
“The Admirals are a good, good hockey team,” said Babcock. “Atcheynum, Hankinson, Marha, Ndur and Zelepukin, those guys are all NHL players. There's not another lineup in our league with that kind of experience.”
That experienced Admirals team would later be eliminated by the Hersey Bears in the second round of the playoffs.
In an Admirals interview in 2009, Hankinson reflects on the series with Cincinnati and scoring the series-clinching goal:
"For one I remember the [2001 Cincinnati] riots (which moved the series to Norfolk for safety reasons). That was very unusual to move to Norfolk to finish the series. I also do remember getting scored on the few shifts before. It wasn't a good feeling because I was also on the ice the night before when they scored the game-winning goal. I remember thinking that I had to make up for it somehow. I always loved playing in overtime. It’s exciting and every time you were on the ice you had the chance to win the game. Fortunately that night I got some luck and as I recall I received a great pass from Kyle Calder. Maybe it was Mark Bell, it could have been either. Those two guys were/are great players and it was an honor to play with them. Thankfully no run-ins with Mr. (Sean) Avery."
Hankinson played three seasons for the Admirals from 2001-03, compiling 155 points during that stretch, and set several Admirals offensive records for the new American Hockey League team.
Hankinson went on to play in 18 career NHL games for the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim logging one assist.
Tomorrow on 25 in 25, we will relive moment #11 as we countdown to the Admirals home opener on October 11!
The 25th season of Admirals hockey opens on October 5 at Hartford. The Admirals home opener will take place on Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. against the Binghamton Senators. Single game tickets are now on sale!
Game tickets 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