Admirals (13-17-2-1) vs Stingrays (20-8-3-1)
North Charleston Coliseum
Last Time Out:
Five unanswered goals, including three in the third period, was the solution for the Admirals on Sunday afternoon as they beat Greenville 5-2. The victory pushed the Admirals current point-streak to seven-games.
The Swamp Rabbits scored twice in the opening period to take a 2-0 lead at the intermission, but that was all the offense Greenville would get. Ty Reichenbach stopped 21 shots over the final two periods to help the Admirals skate away with the victory. Trailing 2-0 early in the second Domenic Alberga capitalized short-handed to cut the lead in half. The tally was the forward’s first of two on the day. Tj Melancon tied the game up about five minutes later, sending the teams into the second intermission tied 2-2. Michael Young started the third period onslaught barely shy of four minutes into the final frame picking a corner for what would be the eventual game-winning goal. Alberga would add another on the man-advantage, and Patrick D’Amico would net his sixth of the season to end the game at 5-2.
The victory was the Admirals fifth in their last seven games.
Head to Head:
Tuesday is the third meeting of the season between the Admirals and Stingrays, with the previous meetings coming as a part of home opening weekend for the Admirals (Oct. 27 and 28). The Stingrays won each of the first two meetings in Norfolk. In the last two seasons South Carolina leads the season series having won ten of 16 meetings, including four of five meetings in Charleston.
Norfolk and South Carolina will play a total of five times in the month of January. The teams will only meet once more before the season ends.
Only eight active players remain on the Admirals roster from the previous matchups against the Stingrays. Grant Besse (4a) is the only Admiral who had multiple points over the first two meetings. Brodie Dupont and Alex Pompeo are the only Admirals who scored in the early season meetings.
South Carolina’s Robbie Bailargeon is tied with Besse for the point lead in the series with four assists. A trio of Stingrays (Kelly Zajac, Patrick Gaul, and Marcus Perrier) each netted two goals in the previous two games to lead all goal scorers.
Scouting the Rays:
Siting in second place in the South Division with 44 points, South Carolina heads into Tuesday’s matchup after splitting a weekend series with Florida. The Stingrays (6-4-0-0 in their last ten) have only played two games outside of the South Division so far this season, both coming against Reading.
Forward Joe Devin leads the Stingrays with 26 points (10g, 16a) in 32 games this season. Kelly Zajac is right on Devin’s tail with 24 points (7g, 17a). South Carolina currently has three goaltenders on the roster. Jeff Jakaitis is the only of the three goalies on the Stingrays roster who was with the team during the previous meetings. The netminder has appeared in 15 games for the Stingrays this season posting a record of 10-4-1-0 with a 2.46 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. Parker Milner (9-3-2-0, 2.63 GAA, .907 SV%) and Adam Carlson (2gp, 1.90 GAA, .933 SV%) are also available for the Stingrays heading into Tuesday night’s game.
The Admirals are currently on the longest point streak that the franchise has seen since returning to the ECHL before the 2015-16 season. The seven-game streak, which began Dec. 20 in Orlando, has seen Norfolk go 5-0-1-1. Over the stretch the Admirals have moved within eight points of the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division.
The previous longest point-streak came last season when the team won six straight. Norfolk topped Adirondack on January 4 before ticking off victories over Elmira (2), Greenville (2), and Atlanta, before falling to Wheeling 14 days after the streak began.
Only Florida (7-3-0-0) has a better winning percentage among Eastern Conference teams than the Admirals in the last ten games.
Special Teams Streaking As Well:
During the current seven game point streak the Admirals have notched at least one power play goal in all seven games, while allowing power play goals in only two of the seven games. Currently the Admirals are converting on 18.0% of power plays. On the road the man-advantage has been much stronger than at home, capitalizing on 17 of 73 chances (23.3%). Only Rapid City, and Adirondack are better than the Admirals with the man-advantage away from home.
Multi-Goal Games Keep Coming:
A pair of goals from Domenic Alberga on Sunday against Greenville kept the Admirals streak of four-straight games with one player scoring more than once alive. Alberga joined Chase Harrison, Darik Angeli, and Christian Horn with a multi-goal game in the last four games. Prior to the current streak Norfolk had only back-to-back games with one player scoring more than once on a single occasion (Oct. 14 and 16).