Admirals return home to celebrate historic win

Posted at 9:25 PM, Jun 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-11 23:39:09-04

It will never get old. The Admirals returned to Norfolk, champions of the AHL.

The crowd of fans couldn't decide where to put their attention-- on the players or the cup they so proudly showed off.

"It's a great welcome home from the fans. It's a great cherry on top for our season," said Evan Oberg.

It was a season that featured the first title for the Admirals, and a record-smashing 29-game winning streak.

You get the sense these twenty-somethings don't fully grasp the greatness of what they've done.

Their playoff run sold out the Scope and made them heroes in the eyes of young fans.

"Excitement is through the roof. I mean we pushed and pushed all year. Won and won again; it's just a great feeling to be part of. I don't know how to describe it. It's not even human, it's surreal. What we did this year is something else for sure."

The Admirals swept the Marlies in four games. Some fans secretly hoped the series would have gone longer so they could see them clinch it here at home.

It's bittersweet. Some of the players will move on to the NHL, the time left between fans and this team is fading.

So they're making the most of it.

The players can't stop smiling for photos and will sign pretty much anything for their fans; so far, there haven't been any weird requests.

"Nothing yet. We'll see maybe in the next couple days, but it's been pretty good," said Scott Jackson.

But just after that, it got a little strange. A grown man asked another to sign his beard.

With all of the championship excitement, Jackson was happy to do it.

Playoff beards are an annual ritual, with an eight-week playoff run, the Admirals' facial hair got wild.

"I actually enjoyed it for a while. It's run its course," Jackson said. "I think a couple days here we get to take it off on Wednesday. We're doing our fundraiser for it and it'll be good to get rid of it."

"I think my wife is going to be happy to see it go, that's for sure."