Norrman takes over — 2019
The Ducks have won some huge games and come up short a time or two as well. Other than its second season though, there were few upset wins as the Ducks were almost always the favorite.
Emil Norrman changed that in his season with the Ducks – 2018-19 on at least a couple occasions, including the opening round playoff series. The Swedish goaltender gave glimpses a few times through a tough regular season of what he could do, and he loaded the whole team on his back for the opening round playoff series against the heavily favored Hudson Havoc.
Favored for good reason actually, with a 31-11-1-1 regular season record, the Havoc finished with 64 points, tied for first, but moved out of the top spot due to one less win than the Minnesota Moose on the final day of the regular season. That left the Havoc 26-points clear of the seventh place Ducks.
They should have dominated the series and they did — everywhere except the scoreboard. The Ducks kept it close in the opener, winning 2-1 as Norrman turned aside 31 of 32 shots, the Ducks outshot 32-24.
The host squad, facing elimination, squeezed a little tighter in the middle game and came away with a 6-3 margin and a shots on goal edge of 38-18.
In the finale, Emil Norrman faced 52 shots and was not beaten, making a third period goal by Connor Aguilar stand up as all the offense in a 1-0 Ducks win.
The dream ended there as the Minnesota Moose threw 51 shots at Norrman in a 3-1 win and wrapped up a berth at Nationals with another 49 shots and a 4-0 win in the clincher.