NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- When Friday hits, it will have been 591 days since the Norfolk Admirals took the ice for a game. The long-awaited season will get underway on Friday night when Norfolk hosts the Reading Royals at The Scope.
Team personnel expect a good crowd on hand, as fans haven't had the opportunity to see the team play in quite some time. As for the players, they're ready to hit somebody in a different colored sweater for a change after a grueling stretch of training camp.
"Camp's been great, but for a lot of us it's been a long time since we've played," said Admirals forward Cody Milan. "It's a new season, it's going to feel a lot different and everyone's excited to get out there and can't wait for Friday."
"We're fired up and ready to go," added defenseman Eric Williams. "It's been a long off-season, especially for guys, some of the guys that didn't play last season, so we're ready to get going."
The Admirals enter their first season as an ECHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes. They're fielding a roster of players from all over the world who are tasked with developing chemistry and cohesiveness on the ice in just a matter of weeks.
"Sometimes it takes a little bit, but other times some lines click right away, some take a little bit longer," noted Milan. "We're all likable guys, we all like each other, and chemistry has been going pretty good so far."
"During training camp we were in the hotel all together, eating all of our meals together, we're doing team bonding stuff after practice and in our down time," Williams pointed out. "We've come together as a close-knit group pretty quickly here."
This season's Admirals will look to get the franchise back to winning ways for the first time in awhile. Not since 2013 has Norfolk reached the postseason, so this new-look group will look to begin that march on Friday night.
Face-off is set for 7:30 PM on Friday at The Scope. That opener will be the only home game for the squad until back-to-back match-ups with Orlando on November 4-5.