NORTH CHARLESTON, SC — The last time the Norfolk Admirals came into North Charleston Coliseum, it was a difficult time, to say the least. Rod Taylor’s club had lost nine games in a row and the South Carolina Stingrays were virtually unstoppable in all facets. They were 9-1 overall and were systematically running roughshod over anyone that came in their way. Norfolk was assigned to stop the South Carolina hype train in its tracks.
But it went in a completely opposite direction.
Not only did the Stingrays take both games by outscoring the Admirals 11-4, Norfolk was decimated by injuries in two games, which included injuries to JC Campagna, Sebastian Vidmar, Roman Ammirato and Austin McEneny.
Campagna missed nearly a month, Vidmar missed eight games, Ammirato missed two games and McEneny was sidelined till December 27.
Since that time, the Stingrays and Admirals have met three times, with the South Carolina pulling out on top two of those times. The one win for Norfolk came back on December 13 when former Admiral Zack Phillips scored the game-winning goal in overtime on Stingrays all-star goaltender, Parker Milner. Back on January 24 and 25, South Carolina outscored the Admirals in two games 7-1 and picked up two more wins.
Friday night’s matchup at North Charleston Coliseum will be the ninth overall contest this season between the Admirals and Stingrays. Norfolk is coming off a 2-1 loss to open up their three-game road trip against the Wheeling Nailers on Wednesday night. Alex Tonge was the lone goal scorer for the Admirals that night, which was his fifth this year and second total with Norfolk.
-The Admirals have now lost six straight games as game number 45 commences on Friday night. The Stingrays come into the matchup having lost to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, 6-2, on Wednesday night. On home ice this season, South Carolina has gone 14-5, whereas on the road, things have been much smoother with a record of 18-2-3-1. Logan Thompson and Milner have continued to be the best one-two tandem in the entire ECHL, with Thompson leading the league in save percentage (.934%), while Milner leads the league in shutouts (7) and goals allowed (36).
-Brandon Halverson has started all but two matchups for the Admirals against the Stingrays this season, going 2-3-1 in those starts.
-South Carolina has scored the games first goal in six of the eight games thus far against Norfolk.
-In eight games this season vs South Carolina, the Admirals power play has gone 6/36 (17%), while the Stingrays have gone 8/41 (20%). Over the last seven games, Norfolk’s man-advantage is 2/29 (7%).
-Parker Milner has been lights out this season, once again. The Pittsburgh, PA native is 3-0-1 against Norfolk this season, with two shutouts. For Logan Thompson, he has rebounded quite nicely since his first matchup against Norfolk. On October 23, Thompson made 18 saves but allowed five goals in a 5-2 loss. Since that game, Thompson is 2-0 against the Admirals and allowed just three goals in those games.
-In the two home games against Norfolk this season, South Carolina’s power-play is 3/9.
-Alex Tonge has been a lightning rod since coming to the Admirals in a trade from Adirondack back on January 13. He’s currently spending time on both the power-play and penalty kill, while putting up five points in six games.
-Johnny Coughlin will not be in the lineup this weekend for the Ads. This will be the first time he has not been in the lineup since being acquired from Maine back in October.