NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The hockey season is over in Hampton Roads, and the Norfolk Admirals spent Monday Morning doing the one thing no team wants to do before the very last game- clearing out the locker room.
“Obviously, we would still like to be in the playoffs…but unfortunately, we’re not,” said Admirals center Max Friberg. After winning game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals with an overtime goal from Andre Petersson, the Admirals lost to St. John’s 5-2 in game 6, which ended their season.
The team really gave Norfolk something to cheer about starting in the last month of the regular season all the way until the final playoff game at scope. The Admirals had to win six of their last nine games just to make the playoffs as an 8-seed, then became the first 8-seed in a long while to upset the number 1-seed in the first round.
Norfolk took down top-seeded Manchester three games to one to advance to the second round. “We lost guys going up and down (from NHL parent club Anaheim), injuries and what not, but we battled through it and I definitely think we had a successful year,” said center Chris Wagner, who scored 14 goals for the Admirals in the regular season and two in the postseason.
The Aneheim Ducks did not have the best timing when they recalled goalie John Gibson, the team’s best player, and Devante Smith-Pelly, the team’s top goal-scorer, after the Manchester series. Norfolk went on to lose to St. John’s in six games.
“We’re happy with what happened this year. Happy, but not satisfied,” said Admirals right wing Stefan Noesen.