After what amounted to a minor-league franchise trade following last season, some of the guys who won the 2012 AHL Calder Cup with the Norfolk Admirals said it would feel odd to play as the visiting team at Scope.
It certainly didn't affect their play Friday night.
Dustin Tokarski made 22 saves as the Syracuse Crunch shut out Norfolk 3-0 to start a two-game "homecoming" series at Scope.
Syracuse’s arrival has meant the return of many of last season’s champion, record-setting Admirals, including Tokarski and the three guys who scored for the Crunch: Richard Panik, Tyler Johnson and Keith Aulie.
Coach Jon Cooper also now is guiding the Crunch instead of the Admirals.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's top affiliate -- then Norfolk, now Syracuse -- remains on top of the AHL. That's understandable, since top AHL players are staying in the minors to compete and develop while the NHL tries to settle its lockout.
Syracuse improved to 21-7-2-3. One of the Crunch's top former Admirals, Cory Conacher, cracked to the Virginian-Pilot that he and his teammates can't ride their skateboards to practice anymore because upstate New York, unlike Norfolk, is too cold.
The current Admirals, many of whom are Anaheim Ducks prospects who played for the Crunch a year ago, are 14-16-1-0.
Former NFL defensive lineman and Williamsburg resident John Albright Diehl Sr. died Friday, Dec. 28.
Diehl was a graduate of Frankford High School in Philadelphia. He went on to attend and play football for Bullis Prep School in the Washington area and then the University of Virginia.