Norfolk Picks up Steam in the Playoff Race

By Corine Gatti


The heat is on..

The last chapter has opened and the final page awaits an inscription..

And the Admirals’ starting to make notes. The Norfolk Admirals sit in second place three points behind Philadelphia in the Southern Conference are currently embarking on some of their most crucial games of the season. With the Hershey Bears snipping at the heels only four points in the rear- view mirror-the Admirals are running against time with only several games left on the calendar.
If the regular season ended today, Norfolk would be seeded eighth while Philadelphia would place third and Hershey ninth. The team earned three out of four points in its last weekends games against Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.

Game 1

A banner with the word “teamwork” decorated section 205. And the definition of teamwork became more than a simple word painted on a poster for Norfolk-it defined Friday nights contest against the Cincinnati Ducks. Steve McCarthy seems to believe that teamwork and communication seems to be better than it has in the past. “We needed to play simple hockey and that is what we did tonight, said the 6’ft defense man from Trail, British Columbia, teamwork and communication was a definite factor for us out there. After a six-game road trip; the Admirals jumped in front the second place Ducks and the game remained at a stalemate through the second period. However, by the last minute of regulation Maxim Kuzznetsov put his team on the board and taking the Admirals its twelfth draw of the season. We need to take over, it has to be done,” said McCarthy referring about picking up offensively were scoring leader Tyler Arnason left off before his departure to the parent cub in late February.

Recording goal number six this season, winger Jean-Yves Leroux found the back of the net
1:06. The game might have taken a different spin if a fluke thrust of the rubber didn’t bounce
off Leightons’ pipe popping into the rookie’s glove.
The night belonged to the two netminders . Admirals rookie Michael Leighton turned away all twenty shots and Jason Elliot turned away seventeen.

Game 2
1-0 Admirals

The winning goalie wore a smile with his tailored suit. And he has something to smile about. Michael Leighton picked up his twentieth victory of the season swatting away all 24 shots and recording his fourth shutout of the season. “This was a tough team to beat, but we are ready to make this work and win,” says the rookie goalie with a recorder poised at him.
Winning the Calder Cup remains inchoate for Norfolk (73 points) However, a tighter defense and better communication inched the squad closer to Philadelphia who sits at the helm of the Southern Conference with 70 points.

Only one was goal recorded and that was all that was needed. Jim Campbell on a pass from Valeri Zelepukin from the left circle tipped in the Russians pass to give Norfolk a win keeping them only three back of the Philly who swept the Maple Leafs at home.