Admirals (13-17-3-1) vs Gladiators (16-18-1-2)
Infinite Energy Arena
Last Time Out:
Norfolk pushed the Stingrays to overtime garnering a point for the eighth straight game, however South Carolina topped the Admirals 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday night.
Former Admiral Frankie Simonelli scored a hat trick for the Stingrays including the OT game-winning goal. Norfolk led 2-1 and 4-2, seeing the Stingrays cancel out both leads. Thomas Frazee and Grant Besse each led the Admirals offensively with a goal and an assist, and TJ Melancon added two assists in the OT loss.
The matchup was the first of five games in the next month that Norfolk and South Carolina will play against each other.
Scouting the Glads:
The Gladiators currently sit five points ahead of the Admirals with three games in hand in the South Division standings. Atlanta sits only two points out of the final playoff spot in the South Division at the halfway point of the season.
Atlanta is led offensively by Lindsay Sparks (6g, 26a). Prior to signing a PTO with Binghamton on Wednesday morning forward Phil Lane was second on the team in points (31) and first in goals 19. Former Admiral Brady Vail is one of only two other players with over 20 points (12g, 14a, 26 pts) and has netted 16 points (8g, 8a) in 17 games with the Gladiators.
Between the pipes Dan Vladar has seen the bulk of the action playing in 20 games while going 8-10-1-0 with a 3.06 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. Sean Bonar (10 gp) and Matt Ginn (6 gp)
Head to Head:
Wednesday night is only the second meeting this season between the Gladiators and Admirals. Atlanta won the first meeting on Nov. 8 at Scope Arena, topping the Admirals 5-4 in overtime. Last season the Gladiators controlled the season series with the Admirals winning four of the five meetings, however Norfolk managed to get at least a point in three of those four losses.
Grant Besse led all Admirals skaters in the previous meeting netting a pair of goals and an assist. Ads captain Brodie Dupont was the only other player for Norfolk with multiple points, (1g, 1a). Now with the Admirals, Thomas Frazee had two assists with the Glads in the matchup.
Only three players who notched a point in the first meeting remain on the roster for Atlanta. Taylor Doherty (1g), Alex Gacek (1g), and Ben Marshall (1a), are the only remaining point getters. Playing with the Admirals at the time, Brady Vail netted an assist for the Admirals. Netminder Matt Ginn got the start and the victory for Atlanta.
An assist Tuesday night gave Admirals captain Brodie Dupont points in each of his last six games, and eight of his last night. Tuesday’s game was the first time in the last five games that Dupont had not tallied multiple points.
The six-game streak matches Dupont’s longest since going on a seven-game streak last season (Dec. 31- Jan. 20). Last season’s seven game point streak was the longest in the captain’s North American professional career.
Dupont leads the Admirals with 37 points (11g, 26a). In 74 career ECHL games he has 78 points (27g, 51a).
Since the Swap:
Wednesday will be the first time that multiple players on either side have faced their former squad. Norfolk and Atlanta made a five-player swap in November as the Admirals sent forwards Angelo Miceli and Brady Vail to the Gladiators in exchange for Thomas Frazee, Patrick D’Amico, and Chase Witala. Since that deal two of the five players have left their respective teams to play in Europe (Miceli, Witala). In addition to Vail, former Admirals defenseman Rick Pinkston, who was reassigned to Atlanta by Milwaukee will also be facing his former team for the first time.
Thomas Frazee, who played parts of three seasons with the Gladiators will make his return to Infinite Energy Arena for the first time since leaving being traded. Frazee played 143 games with the Gladiators from 2015-17. Patrick D’Amico played with the Gladiators during the 2015-16 season as well as the 2017-18 season appeared in 60 games with Atlanta during that time.