Admirals (25-36-6-1) vs Kalamazoo (33-28-4-2)
Since the Admirals returned to the ECHL they have faced off with the Wings at least once in each season. Kalamazoo has held the upper hand winning four of the five matchups, including all four meetings last season. The teams opened the 2016-17 regular season facing off for a pair of games at the Scope, in which Kalamazoo outscored the Admirals 6-1. Later in the season the teams faced off again in Kalamazoo, with the Admirals dropping both ends of a back-to-back by matching scores of 5-3. Defenseman Jordan Abt netted his first professional point, an assist, in the first of the two losses.
Norfolk’s lone victory over the Wings came during the 2015-16 season when Norfolk skated out of Wings Event Center with a 5-2 victory.
Scouting the Wings:
With five games left in the regular season the Wings are in the midst of the playoff race in the Central Division. Kalamazoo is hanging onto the fourth spot in the division, but is only three points clear of sixth place Indy. The Wings finish the regular season with four of the final five games coming on the road.
The Wings have one of the league’s most potent offenses averaging 3.60 goals per game (tied for third best). However, defensively the Wings find themselves in a similar position to the Admrials, allowing 3.55 goals per game. That ranks the Wings 23rd in the ECHL, one spot better than Norfolk.
Forwards Justin Taylor (32g, 21a) and Josh Pitt (30g, 23a) are currently tied at the top for the Wings with 53 points each. Right on their tails is rookie forward Brendan Bradley (49 pts), who leads the team with a plus-18 rating through 67 games. Bradley is the only player who’s appeared in every game for the Wings this season. In net Joel Martin has shouldered the load seeing time in 45 games. Martin is 21-18-3-2 this season, allowing 3.23 goals per game while stopping just under 90% of shots faced.
Called Up, Pt. 2:
Captain Brodie Dupont signed a PTO with the Stockton Heat on Thursday evening, earning his first call-up of the season. Dupont, who led the Admirals in points (68), joins the Heat with eight games remaining in the AHL regular season. This is the second straight season that Dupont has earned a call-up near the conclusion of the regular season. Last year the forward played 21 games with Bakersfield, netting eight points (2g, 6a).
To help fill the gap left by Dupont the Admirals signed forward Jordan Haskell, who recently finished his college career at Hobart College.
Admirals Iron Man:
With Brodie Dupont called up to Stockton, Domenic Alberga is the lone Admiral who has played in every game this season. If he plays in each of the Admirals last four games, Alberga could become the first Admiral since the team rejoined the ECHL to appear in all 72 games. Linemate Alex Pompeo has played the second-most games among active Admirals (61).
Defenseman TJ Melancon rejoined the Admirals on Thursday after being released from his PTO with the Syracuse Crunch. Melancon appeared in four games with the Crunch and posted a plus-one rating. It was the defenseman’s second call-up of the season. With 42 points (14g, 28a) in 56 games with the Admirals the defenseman is currently fourth on the team in points, and ranks eighth among all ECHL blueliners.