The Admirals 25th home opener on October is now just 5 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!
#5: After the Admirals won the 1990-91 championship, there was some uncertainty as to whether or not the team had a chance to repeat. For starters, repeating as champions is one of the toughest things to in sports, as opponents always gets hyped to play the champions and therefore bring their best game.
The other reason people questioned this possibility, was the personnel. Only five players would return for the 1991-92 season. Of those five players, three of them were introduced to new roles with the team. The rest of the team was comprised of a crop of young but talented rookies.
Dennis McEwen and Billy Nolan returned and continued their roles as hard working forwards who came up big in key situations and played a tight defensive style. Goaltender Mark Bernard went from more of a backup role the previous season to the number one starter for the Admirals. Kurt Kabat who played a key role in the first championship saw his ice-time decrease but remained a leader in the lockeroom. Harry Mews returned, but was on the receiving end of a vicious early season cheap shot by Columbus Chill forward Jason Taylor, who swung his stick at Mews, shattering his jaw. Darcy Kaminski who was a defenseman the previous season returned as an assistant coach.
Despite the changes of roles for the handful of returnees, John Brophy said they meant a lot to the team that season.
“They didn’t tell the younger guys what to do; they just went out and did it themselves," said Brophy. "We have high standards set on this team, and those guys showed the younger ones what they have to do to play here.”
The team posted a 42-20-0-2 regular season record and rolled through the playoffs posting a 12-2 mark, which included a four-game sweep of Louisville in the Riley Cup Finals to complete the championship repeat. The Admirals won that final game over Louisville 8-3.
Looking back at those changes in roles, Mark Bernard went from backup to playoff MVP. Harry Mews started the season with tragedy, but posted 25 points in 13 playoff games played.
Newcomer Rod Taylor started his rookie season with 50 points, and scored the game overtime winner to clinch the semifinal series against Greensboro.
It was another magical and successful year. Perhaps the real question about this 1991-92 team is why wanyone was actually questioning the possibility of a repeat.
Opening Night Promotions & Festivities! The Admirals home opener will take place on Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. against the Binghamton Senators. Come early and join us for Party on the Plaza beginning at 5:00 p.m. featuring live music by Brent Shepard, 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