Norfolk, VA. – The Norfolk Admirals, proud member of the ECHL, return home to the Scope to begin a nine-game home stand Friday night against the Reading Royals.
Admirals (17-21-5-1) vs. Royals (25-19-2-0)
Last Time Out:
The Admirals snapped a two-game skid on Tuesday night as they used three goals in a 1:08 span to sail past the Stingrays 5-3.
After giving up the first two goals of the night Brodie Dupont got the Admirals on the board with just over five minutes left in the first period. Trailing by one the Admirals offense sprung to life six and a half minutes into the middle period. Brodie Dupont, Thomas Frazee and Alex Pompeo all scored within 68 seconds of each other, giving the Admirals the lead at 3-2, and then again at 4-2. Norfolk’s four consecutive goals allowed the Admirals to head into the first intermission leading by two. Norfolk and South Carolina traded goals in the third, but the Admirals lead was unsurmountable as the visitors wrapped up the road trip with their third victory in five games.
The victory was the Admirals second over the Stingrays in their last three games, and moved the Admirals within four points of the final playoff spot in the South Division.
Scouting the Royals:
Reading enters the weekend without top netminder John Muse, who was recalled to Lehigh Valley on Friday morning. Muse, who went 9-2-0-0 in the month of January, has appeared in 23 games for the Royals posting a record of 17-5-1-0. In his place Reading will look to former Nashville Predators draft pick Mark Dekanich to tend to the net. The 31-year-old goaltender has appeared in 23 games, posting a record of 8-13-1-0, to go along with a save percentage of .905 while allowing just over three goals a game.
Offensively the Royals got a boost on Friday as third leading scorer Chris McCarthy (13g, 12a) rejoins the team in Norfolk. Linemate Matt Willows leads the Royals with 43 points (14g, 29a) and 14 goals this season. He is the only player to have surpassed the 30-point mark for Reading this season.
Friday is the first of four meetings between the Royals and Admirals this season. Former division foes, Norfolk and Reading faced off 11 times during the 2016-17 season. The Admirals managed to notch at least a point in six of the 11 games going 5-5-1-0.
Since Norfolk rejoined the ECHL the Admirals have struggled with the Royals at home, winning three of ten matchups at the Scope.
After the weekends pair of games the Admirals and Royals won’t meet again until the last weekend of the regular season.
Home For the Month:
Friday kicks off a nine-game home stand for the Admirals that will last until the last week of February. The home stand comes after a January where the Admirals played ten of 13 games away from home. Each of the next five games will come against North Division opponents.
Among the Top:
A three-point night on Tuesday for Brodie Dupont pushed the Admirals captain back into the top five in the ECHL in scoring. Dupont (47 points) is three points off of Casey Peirro-Zabotel’s (Allen) league leading 50 points. The captain’s 31 assists this season is also tied for second among all ECHL skaters, trailing Pierro-Zabotel (37 a) once again.
Grant Besse also ranks third among rookies with 40 points (18g, 22a), sitting five points back from Cincinnati’s Justin Danforth.
Tuesday marked the eighth time in the last 12 games that the Admirals have scored at least two goals within a three-minute span. It was also the second time in the last six games that the Admirals have scored twice in a 0:20 span. Tuesday’s second period tallies (0:18 apart) were the fastest back-t0-back goals that the Admirals have scored all season.