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Final Preseason Gamethread: Ducks/Sharks and Meeting Our New Friend

The never ending preseason is almost over!

I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to be done with all of this preseason business and get to the real thing. At the very least, we'll know how serious the injuries are and that they weren't completely in vain. But we have one game to go, and one last chance for the young guys to prove something.

Thanks to an optional morning skate there isn't much to go off of for a lineup, but via the great Eric Stephens we do have this:

And something that I believe will please many of you reading this:

With that we'd like to welcome the newest member of the Anaheim Calling family Mrs. Kim Peacock (Adsprincess08) who will be helping out with our Admirals coverage, if you couldn't tell from her screen name.

For her first contribution she'll give us a little background on herself and what it's like to be an AHL fan. Take it away Kim....

Ahoy Matey!

In September of 2005 I started dating this guy I had known as a friend for awhile. After about a month, just out of nowhere I no longer saw him on Friday & Saturday nights. There was only one way to see him on those nights, it was to go to the Norfolk Admirals hockey games with him.

Hockey? It was Southeast Virginia... hockey, nah, no thank you. I had never watched hockey on TV. I had only been to one hockey game, an Admirals game, before and that was because my mom won free tickets. We only stayed for one quarter (note to editor- this is on purpose) because we were scared. That's right scared! The seats were rink side behind the goal and these big huge gigantic guys were banging all into the glass while ice skating. Pucks flying in our direction, we were absolutely petrified! So, to say the least, I did not want to go to another hockey game ever again! But I was young and in love, so I gave it another chance and went...

Fast forward 8 years, my boyfriend is now my husband of 6 years, and Fall/Winter are my favorite seasons. Not because of pumpkin flavored food or snow, but because of Admirals Hockey! I am now a season ticket holder with my husband. Turns out, my first hockey game was in the wrong seat. I needed to see all of the ice to know what I was watching. Directly behind the goal, to me, is now the worst seat in the whole arena.

But why the Norfolk Admirals? Well the obvious answer is they are the closest team to me. The twenty minute ride is just the start of it. From the battleship logo on their chest to the ECHL history that I was not able to ever witness, I have fallen in love with the Norfolk Admirals and being an Admirals season ticket holder. I have gained lifetime friendships, witnessed miracle seasons, and a Calder Cup Championship!

There is also something special about being a AHL fan. I have been with the Admirals now through three affiliations. I have watched player after player develop and make it to the big league... Umm, hello Stanley Cup Goalie Corey Crawford, yeah he's a former Admiral. Two time Stanley Cup Champion Shawn Thornton, yeah he's a former Admiral too. Watching player after player essentially grow up and achieve their dreams and getting to say, "I remember watching him play here in Norfolk when they were just starting out" not everyone gets to say.

We also get the opportunity to see a lot of new faces. Two years ago when the Admirals were affiliated with Tampa Bay Lightning, we had less than 10 returning players from the previous season. Some had gone on to different teams, or Europe, or had made the NHL. We, as a minor league hockey team fan base, get to fall in love with new players every year. We get to see them grow up. We tweet with their parents. We sit with their families in the stands. We create a special bond with them that you rarely get the opportunity to create in higher levels of sports. While we are at the mercy of our NHL team and the NHL team's priorities & success always come first, the perks of being an AHL hockey fan outweigh the negatives.

This year is super exciting as the Admirals are entering their second year of their affiliation with Anaheim Ducks. We have a few returning faces and a lot of new ones. However, no matter what the name plate says on the back, as long as they are wearing a battleship logo on their chest, they will be an Admiral and I will be there cheering for them! Go Admirals!