Friday, Dec. 29 vs. Jacksonville, OTL, 4-3
Saturday, Dec. 30 vs. Jacksonville, SOL, 5-4
Wednesday, Jan. 3 vs. Wheeling, 7:00 pm
Sunday, Jan. 7 at Greenville, 7:00 pm
The Admirals have picked up a point in each of the last five games and six of the last seven, moving the team within six points of the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Norfolk hosts Wheeling on Wednesday night before beginning a five-game, four-city, seven-night road trip.
Wednesday night the Wheeling Nailers make their last visit of the season to Scope Arena. The Admirals and Nailers wrap up the season series next weekend with a pair of games in Wheeling. After a rare Friday and Saturday night’s free of games the Admirals travel to Greenville for the first meeting between the Swamp Rabbits and Admirals on Sunday afternoon. The trip will be the Admirals first to Greenville since mid-January of last year. Sunday will be the first of six meetings between the Admirals and Swamp Rabbits this season.
Making Up Ground:
Norfolk has picked up points in six of the last seven games moving within six points of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. Both of the teams directly ahead of the Admirals (Greenville and Orlando) in the South Division standings are below .500 in their last ten games, while Norfolk (4-4-1-1) sits below .500 but has a point in six of the last ten games.
Ten of the 13 games that the Admirals play in the month of January come against South Division opponents. Between January and February the Admirals play divisional foes a total of 18 times. In 15 games played within the South Division the Admirals are 7-5-2-1 so far this season. Norfolk, South Carolina, Florida and Greenville all have winning records in the division so far this season.
Darik Angeli became the third Admiral to score a hat trick on Saturday night joining Brady Vail and Trevor Mingoia. Saturday night was the first hat trick of Angeli’s professional career, and first hat trick in junior or college hockey. Only three teams (Norfolk, Reading, and Fort Wayne) have had three or more hat tricks this season. The Komets lead all teams with four hat tricks. Prior to this season the Admirals had recorded two hat tricks in each of the prior two seasons. Last season Mikael Tam and Joey Benik scored the only hat tricks for the Admirals.
O Captain My Captain:
Captain Brodie Dupont used a six-point weekend (2g, 4a) to spring past Grant Besse for the team lead in points. Dupont notched back to back three point games against Jacksonville and now has seven multi-point games this season. Last year the forward notched 11 multi-point games prior to being recalled to Bakersfield to end the season. In his last seven games Dupont has tallied 11 points (4g, 7a), and is now averaging over a point per game (32 pts in 31 gp).
In the six of the last seven games the Admirals have capitalized on the man-advantage, going 9-for-39 (23.1%) during that span. Since being held scoreless on the man-advantage in their first four home games of the season, the Admirals have netted at least one power play goal in 16 of 22 games. The Admirals power play is currently 14th ranked (17.8%) in the ECHL. Brodie Dupont and Grant Besse lead the Admirals with four power play goals each.
On the Road Again:
Following Wednesday night’s game against Wheeling the Admirals will only play two more games at home in the month of January. Norfolk plays ten of 13 games during the first month of 2018 away from the confines of the Scope. The team plays five straight road games over a seven-day span before returning home for a pair of games, before hitting the road for five more road games.