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The Norfolk Admirals winning streak by comparison

This is something you don’t see every day: an active, record-breaking streak by a professional sports team. Not just any team, but the one you’re affiliated with as a fan.

Not since February 5th, 2012 have the Norfolk Admirals appeared in the loss column in the box score after a game. It’s unprecedented. Unprecedented in the American Hockey League (where the Ads obliterated the previous win-streaks by teams in a single season and consecutive seasons). Unprecedented in the sport of ice hockey, and a rare feat in world of professional sports.

It’s been 19 seasons since a club in the National Hockey League had a streak comparable to what the Ads have done (1993’s Pittsburgh Penguins hold the longest winning streak in league history with their 17 game streak in 1992-93). It’s been 32 years since there was the Philadelphia Flyers amassed a 35 game unbeaten streak (with 10 ties).

Right now, the Ads have more wins in a row (27) than they had before this streak fluke began (26).

Speaking of that ripe #26, Major League Baseball’s longest win-streak by a single team was 26 games – accomplished almost 100 years ago by the New York Giants (1916). But that streak includes a tie game. 21 games Is the longest winning streak without ties in MLB history – a Chicago Cubs feat in 1935. The last winning streak in MLB that came close to that was the Moneyball 20 game win-streak in 2002 by the Oakland Athletics.

The National Football League is a different beast: shorter season, and more time off between games. The longest winning streak – regular season games alone – belongs to the Indianapolis Colts; between November 2008 and December 2009 won 23 in-a-rows. If your streak includes both regular season and playoff games, the New England Patriots won 21 in-a-rows between October 2003 and October 2004.

College football (Division I) isn’t a “professional” league, but I cite it to give another comparison point. The longest winning streak by a program is a jaw-dropping 47 games over a 4-year span by the Oklahoma Sooners. The streak started 58 years ago (October 1953) and didn’t come to an end until 1957. The longest unbeaten streak (including ties) is an insurmountable 63 games (59-0-4) over a 10 year span (1907 – 1917). .

The National Basketball League’s longest winning streak stands at 33 games, accomplished 40 seasons ago (1971-72) by the Los Angeles Lakers. The number is more impressive and comparable to what the Ads have done because of the pacing of NBA games and the length of the season is more comparable to ice hockey than either the NFL or Major League Baseball.

All of these numbers have been pulled from a Wikipedia article on the subject. It does not include Minor League Baseball at any level, the ECHL, the NBA Developmental League, nor defunct professional leagues such as the International Hockey League, World Hockey Association, NFL Europe, Even without those leagues, it’s still an interesting read if you’d like to see some of streaky feats in the world of sports.

The Ads go for 28 in-a-row in their season finale at 5 PM late this afternoon against the Adirondack Phantoms.

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