Admirals (11-17-2-1) vs Nailers (16-14-2-0)
Last Time Out:
The Admirals kept their five-game point streak alive as they pushed the Icemen into a shootout before falling 5-4. After digging out of an early three-goal hole the Admirals found themselves trailing late in the third period. Darik Angeli capped off his first professional hat trick with less than three minutes to play in regulation, tying the game at 4-4. After a scoreless overtime period the teams headed to the shootout.
Jacksonville scored the only goal in the skills competition, taking the extra point for a second straight night. Norfolk scored on the man-advantage for the sixth time in the last seven games.
Head to Head:
Norfolk and Wheeling meet for the fourth time this season, and the final time at the Scope. The Nailers won the first two meetings of the season before the Admirals took the third, 4-1. In recent history the series has been nearly split, with Wheeling holding a slight edge 4-5-0-0.
Brodie Dupont leads all Admirals against the Nailers this season with five points (1g, 4a). Domenic Alberga (1g, 1a) and TJ Melancon (2a) are the only other skaters with multiple points in the season series so far. Wheeling’s Garrett Meurs (4g, 2a) tops all scorers on either side with six points. Cam Brown (1g, 2a) is the only other available skater with more than two points for the Nailers. Top scorers Derek Army, Freddie Tiffels, and Cody Wydo have all been recalled to the AHL, making them unavailable.
Ty Reichenbach started two of the three games against the Nailers allowing 3.50 goals per game while going 1-1-0-0. Will King is the only netminder on the Wheeling roster who has faced Norfolk, going 1-1-0-0 with a 3.60 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.
Climbing the Standings:
Riding a season long five-game point-streak the Admirals are now only six points out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the South Division. With a pair of games in hand, a Norfolk win tonight paired with Jacksonville and Florida victories would put the Admirals only two games out of the playoffs heading into the weekend.
Month on the Road:
Wednesday is the first of only three games that the Admirals will play at home during the month of January. The Admirals play a total of 13 games during the first month of 2018, yet ten come in After a rare Friday and Saturday nights void of hockey, the Admirals will begin a five-game road-trip on Sunday afternoon in Greenville. Norfolk will then travel to South Carolina, Atlanta, and Wheeling before coming home. Norfolk will then hit the road again for another five-game road trip at the end of the month. Of the ten road games, eight come against South Division opponents. Included in that trip is the first games with Greenville.
Back in Blue and Gold:
Defenseman TJ Melancon will make his return to the Admirals lineup after being released from his PTO with the Belleville Senators (AHL) late last week. Melancon, who made his AHL debut on December 20, is second among Norfolk defenseman in scoring with 13 points (5g, 8a) in 26 games with the Admirals. Prior to signing a PTO with the Senators Melancon was one of only four players who had appeared in every game for the Admirals this season.