Admirals (13-18-4-1) vs Nailers (20-15-3-0)
Last Time Out:
Norfolk headed to overtime for the sixth time in the last nine games but fell 4-3 to Wheeling in the extra period.
The Admirals scored twice in the first 1:17 of the game, taking a 2-0 lead and chasing Colin Stevens from the Wheeling net. In the second period Norfolk would score again at the 1:00 mark to take a 3-0 lead. The Wheeling power play would get the Nailers on the board just under six minutes later, cutting the lead to one. From there the Nailers would get each of the next three goals, capping off a three-goal comeback in overtime, topping Norfolk 4-3. Friday was the second straight game that the Admirals and Nailers had gone to overtime.
Darik Angeli, Domenic Alberga, and Brodie Dupont all scored for the Admirals. Meanwhile Norfolk was held scoreless on the power play for the third straight game.
Saturday is the final matchup of the season between the teams. Norfolk has garnered at least a point in each of the last three games, winning two. In the last three seasons the Nailers have controlled the series at WesBanco Arena, winning three of four meetings.
Brodie Dupont leads the Admirals in the series with eight points (2g, 6a) after scoring the nights’ opening goal on Friday. Christian Horn, while only having appeared in two games, has four points (3g, 1a) against the Nailers. Defenseman TJ Melancon also has four points against the Nailers this season, all assists.
After a four-point night on Friday Wheeling’s Garrett Meurs leads all scorers in the series with ten points (5g, 5a). Following Meurs are a pair of Nailers (Riley Bourbonnais, Cam Brown) who have four points against the Admirals.
Will King, who appeared in relief last night, has skated in three games against Norfolk taking the decision in all three. King, 2-1-0-0, has allowed 2.70 goals per game, while posting a save percentage of 0.921.
Captain is Climbing:
With another two-point night on Friday captain Brodie Dupont now ranks seventh in the ECHL in scoring. The captain is four points back from ECHL leading Michael Joly of Colorado.
So far this season Dupont has tallied nine multi-point games for the Admirals. Before being held pointless in Wednesday’s loss to Atlanta the Norfolk forward was in the midst of a six-game point streak. The six-game streak was the second longest in Dupont’s North American career. Prior to Saturday’s game against Wheeling he has recorded points in 10 of his last 12 games, and has only been held off the scoresheet in 9 of 36 games played this season.
At the Halfway Point:
Friday’s contest was the halfway of the 2017-18 season for the Admirals. Norfolk heads into the second half of the season sitting six points back from the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL’s South Division. Atlanta currently holds fourth place in the South Division with 37 points, however the Admirals have three games in hand on the Gladiators. Orlando, who sits in fifth place also with 37 points, has played two more games than the Admirals.
Norfolk will play each of the next seven games against South Division opponents, including two games against Atlanta, and four against second place South Carolina.
Speeding into the All-Star Classic
Grant Besse, who was selected to represent the Admirals at the 2018 ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis, was named to represent the Eastern Conference in the Skills competition on Friday afternoon. The rookie forward will take part in the fastest skater competition on Monday afternoon. Besse will compete against Brampton’s Matt Petgrave and South Carolina’s Taylor Cammarata from the Eastern Conference, as well as Cincinatti’s Justin Danforth, Fort Wayne’s Artur Tyanulin, and Idaho’s Justin Parizek from the Western Conference.
The ECHL All-Star Classic takes place on Monday, January 15 in Indianapolis and will be televised on NHL Network.