Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Having Already Entered AHL Record Book, Admirals Go for 19th Straight Win: Admirals Look to Push Record Win Streak to 19

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Having Already Entered AHL Record Book, Admirals Go for 19th Straight Win: Admirals Look to Push Record Win Streak to 19

Article excerpt

It was Super Bowl Sunday and the Norfolk Admirals had just blown a third-period lead to Springfield. There was no question in the visitors dressing room at MassMutual Center how coach Jon Cooper felt about the performance.

"None of the guys got out of their gear," Cooper recalled this week. "We brought video into the room and guys had to sit there and watch it."

Something must have clicked. The Admirals haven't lost since.

A record-setting streak of 18 straight victories followed that frustrating afternoon, the most any team has ever reeled off during one season in the American Hockey League. Norfolk will be looking to extend that mark further starting with the first of back-to-back games against Albany on Friday night.

Interestingly, the wins have come easier and easier as the streak has built. Rather than buckle under mounting pressure, the Admirals put the pedal to the floor and outscored opponents 40-12 in the last nine games alone.

"As this has gone on, our confidence level has gone way up," Cooper said. "Now we really have a mental makeup to our team that it's almost like we have a one-goal lead going into games. Just because of everyone in our room -- they don't think they're going to win games, they know they're going to win games."

There is mounting evidence to prove it.

Norfolk was the first AHL team to wrap up a playoff spot and they're likely to finish the regular season with the highest point total. But all anyone wants to talk about these days is the streak that has thrust the Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate into a spotlight like never before.

The best part? They're loving every minute of it.

"If this is a distraction then I'll take distractions like this any week," Cooper said.

The win streak nearly didn't get off the ground. On Feb. 15, the Admirals were in tough against Wilkes Barre/Scranton before the momentum unexpectedly swung in their favour. …

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