NORFOLK, VA – As Capital Region commuters drove into downtown Albany Wednesday, the Devils were skipping town. The departure marked a four day expedition in Norfolk, Va for games against the Admirals Friday and Saturday.
The 1,000-mile round trip is the road less traveled, considering this is the only time the Devils play at Norfolk this season. The team elected to forgo practice Wednesday to skate at Scope Arena Thursday.
“We don’t get too many of these trips,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky after Tuesday’s practice. “We go on the road, but it’s a lot of day-in-day-out travel. The ones we do [stay overnight], we are getting in just in time for dinner and then you are right into game mode the next day. This gives us an extra day in the playing city. I think it’s good that it’s this time of year.”
Depending on how many times they stop, the Devils will spend between 16 and 20 hours on the bus. While in Virginia, they hope to turn the stay into a bonding experience.
“I think it’s part of the reason we are going a little bit earlier than we usually do,” said assistant captain Chris McKelvie “It’s good weather down there and it’s a good place for the guys to get some dinner together; maybe catch a movie and just hang out together on the road and away from all the stuff in Albany. It should be really good for the team.”
Back-to-back wins against Utica Saturday and Adirondack Monday make the trip a little more tolerable as Kowalsky pointed out after Monday’s win and McKelvie reiterated Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and we are all excited to get on the road, especially after two positive games this previous week.”
The Devils are trying to start the season at 3-1-0-0 for the second time in franchise history. If they accomplish that Friday, they will have an opportunity to move to 4-1-0-0 for the first time ever, giving them something to celebrate while driving north.
Reid Boucher, Mike Hoeffel, Cam Janssen, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney,David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac