Admirals (13-19-4-1) vs Stingrays (23-9-3-1)
Last Time Out:
Wheeling scored three times in the third period as the Nailers topped the Admirals 4-2 at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night. The loss capped off a five-game road-trip for the Admirals, finishing with a record of 1-2-2-0.
Trailing 1-0 in the second Alex Pompeo got the Admirals on the board, to tie the game 1-1. Norfolk quickly struck again, netting their second of the night just 1:15 later. Patrick D’Amico scored his third goal in the last five games to give Norfolk the 2-1 lead. That lead would stay in tact through the second period, giving Norfolk a 2-1 lead at the second intermission. In the third the Nailers tallied three times, including two in the last two minutes to cap off the scoring.
Ty Reichenbach, making his 13th start in the last 15 games, made 44 saves for the Admirals in the loss. The Norfolk power play was held scoreless for the fourth straight game. As the Nailers took the season series 4-1-1-0.
Scouting the Rays:
South Carolina and Norfolk will face off for the second of five meetings in 21 days on Friday night. Stingray captain Joe Devin leads the squad with 29 points (12g, 17a) this season including three points (1g, 2a) against the Admirals. Close behind him for the overall scoring lead is Kelly Zajac (8g, 20a, 28pts) who leads the Rays against the Admirals with six points. Zajac is one of two Rays, joining Frankie Simonelli, who have scored three goals against the Admirals this season.
The Rays carry a trio of netminders on their roster with Jeff Jakaitis (17 gp) and Parker Milner (16 gp) seeing the bulk of the action. Adam Carlson rounds out the trio, having appeared in three games since returning from Hershey. Both Jakaitis and Milner have each won 11 games on the season.
Quick Strike Offense:
In four of the last five games the Admirals have scored consecutive goals in less than a three-minute span. On the five-game road trip, the Wednesday night loss to Atlanta, in which the Admirals scored only one goal, was the only night that Norfolk was unable to score in quick succession. In addition, the Admirals were able to score a season fastest 0:41 into the game on Friday night in Wheeling. Norfolk would score again only 0:36 later. That same night the Admirals were able to strike within the first minute of the second period.
Norfolk signed Swiss forward Jari Allevi on Friday morning. Allevi, 22, joins the Admirals after beginning the season with HC La Chaux-de-Fonds of the Swiss National League. In 28 games this season the forward has notched five points (2g, 3a). The 2017-18 season was the forwards third in the NLB, where he tallied 46 points (17g, 19a) in 127 games. He is expected to make his North American debut when the Admirals hit the road next week.
Power Play Halted:
After scoring a power play goal in seven straight games the Admirals power play has been recently silenced, being held scoreless in each of the last five games (0-for-14). In that span the Admirals have fallen to 17th in the ECHL on the man-advantage (16.9%).
Prior to last Tuesday’s game against the Stingrays the Admirals had been 8-for-34 (23.5%) with the power play in the last seven games. Norfolk is scoreless on 13 chances with the man-advantage against South Carolina’s league leading penalty kill this season.
From A Little to A Ton:
After going 73 days without facing off the Admirals and Stingrays will face off five times in 21 days. Norfolk and South Carolina hit the ice twice at the Scope, before playing a pair of games in Charleston on January 28 and 30. The teams will face off once more this season, coming February 20 at North Charleston Coliseum.