Rookies help power Admirals to the playoffs

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Trent Yawney’s roster situation was not exactly conducive to the run his team made to lock up the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

The Admirals head coach had to plan for must-win games in the last month of the regular season without his top goal tender in John Gibson and his top goal-scorer in Devante Smith-Pelly. Who would have thought a couple of rookies would have played as big a role as they did.

“Like what the whole year has been, it was always done by committee,” said Yawney on Tuesday.

Look at the stat sheet for the Admirals playoff-clinching 3-1 win over visiting Hershey on April 18, you’ll see center William Karlsson and left wing Nic Kerdiles assisted on both of them.

Karlsson just wrapped up a two-year stint playing in his native country of Sweden, while Kerdiles is a pup, virtually straight out of college.

“It’s definitely high-pressure,” said the 20 year-old Kerdiles, “You want to come here and do what can do to try and help the team.” Kerdiles wrapped up a two-year career at the University of Wisconsin in a playoff loss on Mar. 28, then made his Admirals- and professional hockey debut-  on April 11.

“I knew I’d have a good opportunity in front of me, and I wanted to make the best out of it” said Kerdiles.

Though catchy duo of “Kerdiles and Karlsson” have only scored a combined 3 goals in a combined 16 games played in Norfolk, Yawney says they need to be ready once the stakes are raised in the postseason.




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