Admirals (25-34-6-1) at Florida (44-13-2-4)
Florida has skated away victorious in three of the first four meetings between the teams this season. Norfolk’s lone victory came on November 25 in the form of a 3-2 overtime victory at the Scope. Since the Admirals rejoined the ECHL the Everblades have seemed to have the Admirals number, winning eight of the 11 matchups between the teams.
Florida’s Stephen MacAulay, who scored twice on Wednesday night, leads all skaters in head-to-head contests with seven points (4g, 3a). Fellow ‘Blade Michael Kirkpatrick is one of four skaters in the series to have scored twice, and ranks second with five points (2g, 3a). Grant Besse(2g) and Trevor Mingoia (3g) are the only Admirals with more than a single goal against the Blades. Darik Angeli and Kenton Helgesen are right behind Besse with three points each (1g, 2a).
Scouting the Everblades:
Florida has already clinched their spot in the playoffs, and currently holds the top overall seed in the South Division and Western Conference. With ten games left in the regular season Florida currently holds a five-point lead on second place South Carolina.
Leading scorer Mitchell Heard carries a nine-game point streak into Wednesday’s game. Heard has tallied 17 points (6g, 11a) during the nine-game stretch pushing him past Stephen MacAulay for the team lead in points. Heard’s 57 points (22g, 35a) is followed tightly by MacAulay (56 points) and McCarron (55 points).
Martin Ouellete has appeared in exactly half the Everblades games this season, posting a record of 27-5-1-2, with a 2.14 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Rookie Callum Booth has played in 25 games, going 16-6-1-2 and allowing 2.46 goals per game.
A Gladiators victory on Thursday night put the Admirals eight points back from fourth place Atlanta in the South Division standings. Norfolk is currently tied with Jacksonville for fifth place in the South Division with 57 points. The Icemen, however have played two less games than the Admirals.
A first period tally from Domenic Alberga on Wednesday night extended the forwards point-streak to five-games, the second longest of his career. During the five-game stretch Alberga has tallied eight points (5g, 3a). A native of Maple, ON, Alberga has notched three multi-point games during the streak as well. Altogether he has eight multi-point games this season. The 2017-18 season has marked career highs in goals, assists, and points for the fourth-year pro.
Topping the 30-Goal Mark:
Grant Besse’s goal on Wednesday made him the first Admiral since the 2011-12 season when Cory Conacher (39) and Tyler Johnson (31) surpassed the 30-goal mark. The thirty tallies ranks first among all ECHL rookies. Besse is also currently in a tie for the fourth most goals in the ECHL with 30.
Wrapping Up in the South:
The Friday and Saturday games against the Everblades are the Admirals final games within the Division this season. Norfolk finishes up the final four games of the regular season against foes from the Central and North Division, Kalamazoo and Reading. The Admirals are currently 19-15-4-1 within the South Division.