Admirals (9-17-1-0) vs Solar Bears (11-13-4-0)
Last Time Out:
After conceding the first two goals of the night the Admirals scored the next four, helping push the team to a 5-3 victory over the Solar Bears on Wednesday night. Orlando scored on the power play under three minutes into the opening period to take the early 1-0 lead. That lead doubled in the second before Patrick D’Amico brought the Admirals within one. A few minutes later Mitch Vandergunst, playing in his first ECHL game, tied the game at 2-2.
In the third period the Admirals took their first lead of the night on a delayed penalty 7:50 into the frame. Don Olivieri took a slap shot from the point that found its way through traffic and to the back of the net. About three minutes later Grant Besse notched the eventual game winner, shorthanded. Besse would add an empty net goal late in the period to cap off the scoring at 5-3.
Ty Reichenbach made 36 saves on 39 shots in the victory.
Head to Head:
The Admirals have won two of the first three match ups of the season with the Solar Bears. After wrapping up the current five-game stretch against each other the teams will face off only twice more this season. Overall the Solar Bears hold the slight edge in the all-time series having won six of 11 games between the squads.
A four-point night on Wednesday for Grant Besse gives the forward five points in three games against the Solar Bears. Patrick D’Amico (3g) and Brodie Dupont (2g, 1a) are second among all Admirals against the Solar Bears. Ty Reichenbach has started all three games allowing 3.74 goals per game, while putting up a save percentage of .911.
Orlando’s Joshua Winquist is tied with Besse for the most goals scored over the three games with three. The forward has five points (3g, 2a) and is tied with Max Novak (2g, 3a) for the most points against Norfolk this season. Overall 14 different Solar Bears have recorded a point against the Admirals this season. Cal Heeter has started all three games allowing 2.70 goals per game and posting a save percentage of 0.929.
New Faces, Scoring Paces:
Mitch Vandergunst became the 24th player to score a goal in an Admirals uniform this season with his second period tally on Wednesday night. Vandergunst, playing in his first career ECHL game, tipped home a Michael Young shot for his first ECHL goal.
A four-point night for Grant Besse helped the rookie keep pace near the top of the Admirals scoring charts, but also the ECHL rookie scoring paces. Besse (12g, 12a) is now tied for third among all ECHL rookies. Only Cincinnati’s Justin Danforth and Wheeling’s Reid Gardiner have more points than Besse this season. The forward has tallied 24 points in 26 games, tying him with Brodie Dupont for the team lead.
Grant Besse scored shorthanded on Wednesday giving Norfolk shorthanded tallies in back-to-back games for the first time this season. The five shorthanded tallies scored by the Admirals is the third most in the ECHL. Tulsa (7 shg) leads the way while Colorado and Fort Wayne (6 shg) have each scored six shorthanded goals this year. Tommy Schutt and Grant Besse have each scored twice shorthanded this season to lead the Admirals.