Admirals (6-13-1-0) at Icemen (4-11-1-1)
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Last Time Out:
Grant Besse led the way for the Admirals as they topped Jacksonville 4-3 on Thursday night in a shootout. It was the first-time Norfolk had gone into the skills competition this season. Thursday’s game was also the second straight night that the Admirals had gone past regulation.
Besse tallied the Admirals first goal in the second period, added an assist, and netted the game-winning goal in a shootout.
Head to Head:
Saturday is the second of eight meetings between the South Division foes this season, but it’s the second to last game in Jacksonville. Five of the eight meetings will take place at Scope Arena. The Admirals will make their final trip to Jacksonville in late February.
Grant Besse leads all Norfolk scorers in the one game series so far, while Jacksonville’s Scott Savage, and Emerson Clark each have a goal and assist as well.
Heading into Saturday Norfolk has won three of the last five games. The only losses during that five-game stretch have come against ECHL leading Florida. Norfolk sits in sixth place in the South division, only four points back from fifth place Orlando.
Despite being held scoreless on the power play Thursday the Admirals boast the league’s third-ranked road power play this season. The team has capitalized on nine of 36 opportunities (25%). Only Wheeling (28.8%) and Wichita (28.6%) have been more successful away from home with the extra-man this season.
Overall the Admirals are converting on 15% of power plays, and rank 18th in the ECHL. Rookie Grant Besse leads the team, and is tied for the ECHL rookie lead with four power play goals.
Rookie Leads the Way:
His two points on Thursday allowed Grant Besse to retake the team lead for points (18) and goals (9). The Wisconsin alum is currently fifth among all rookies in scoring. In the first twenty games of his professional career Besse has notched four multi-point games, and a pair of multi-goal games. Both of those markers lead the Admirals so far this season. There has not been a stretch of more than two games this season in which Besse did not record a point.
Originally a fifth round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2013 NHL Draft, the forward spent four seasons at the University of Wisconsin prior to turning pro. He is one of five players (Alberga, Besse, Dupont, Melancon, Schutt) who have played in every game so far this season.