Admirals (15-19-5-1) at Gladiators (21-20-1-2)
Infinite Energy Arena
Last Time Out:
The Admiral offense shot out of the gate on Tuesday night scoring four times in the first 3:14 before cruising to an 8-1 victory over Greenville. Defenseman TJ Melancon paced the offense becoming the fifth Admiral to net a hat trick this season. Brodie Dupont finished the night with a pair of goals to go along with an assist, propelling the captain up the ECHL Scoring charts. Five other skaters recorded multi-point nights for the Admirals in the teams’ most prolific offensive night of the season. Patrick D’Amico led all players with four points (1g, 3a). Ty Reichenbach made 36 saves in the victory taking his second consecutive victory over the Swamp Rabbits at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Scouting the Gladiators:
Atlanta opens the weekend occupying the third spot in the South Division, sitting nine points ahead of the Admirals. Going 6-3-0-1 in their last ten games the Gladiators have given themselves a little bit of separation from the cluster of South Division teams in the midst of the race for spots four through seven.
Lindsay Sparks leads Atlanta’s offense with 38 points (9g, 29a). Only two Glads (Phil Lane-22g, Brady Vail-12g) have surpassed the ten-goal mark so far this season. Through the first 44 games of the season the Gladiators are averaging just shy of three goals per game (2.91 gpg, 23rd). Lane and Sparks are the only Glads to net more than 30 points so far this season.
Atlanta has three goaltenders, whom are led by Dan Vladar who has appeared in 25 games posting a record of 12-11-1-0, to accompany a 2.97 goals-against average, and a 0.910 save percentage. Sean Bonar has appeared in 13 games while Matt Ginn has seen time in six.
Atlanta has come away victorious in each of the first two meetings between the teams this season, most recently a 4-1 victory at Infinite Energy Arena on January 10. The teams will play four more times this season, including Friday night. The season series will conclude in early March with the Gladiators making a trip to Norfolk.
Phil Lane and Grant Besse lead their respective teams, and the series with four points (2g, 2a) through the first two matchups.
Among the League’s Top:
A three point night for Brodie Dupont on Tuesday propelled the Admirals captain into a four-way tie for third in the ECHL in scoring with 44 points. The Admiral captain sits three points back from the league lead, which is held by Fort Wayne’s Shawn Szydlowski and Allen’s Casey Pierro-Zabotel. Dupont has surpassed his point total from last season when the forward netted 41 points in 40 games with the Admirals prior to being recalled to Bakersfield.
TJ Melancon became the fifth Admiral to net a hat trick this season with his trio of goals on Tuesday night. Melancon, the first defenseman to complete a hat trick, joins Brady Vail, Trevor Mingoia, Darik Angeli, and Christian Horn as the Admirals to record a hat trick this season. The rookie blueliner also became the 12th Admiral to score more than once in a game this season, and only the third defenseman to do so.