Admirals (17-23-5-1) vs. Adirondack (26-18-2-2)
Last Time Out:
Ty Reichenbach and Mark Dekanich found themselves in a goaltenders duel that ultimately ended with the Royals squeaking away with a 2-0 victory on Saturday night. The netminders kept the game scoreless for the first 50 minutes before Reading’s Matt Willows broke the deadlock. Reading would add an empty net goal in the last minute of regulation to double the lead to 2-0. Ty Reichenbach finished the night stopping 32 of 33 shots, while Mark Dekanich stopped all 22 shots he faced. Norfolk was held scoreless on the man-advantage going 0-for-5.
Scouting the Thunder:
The Thunder currently hold the fourth spot in the North Division, however they trail first place Manchester by only three points. Adirondack is also one point back from second place Reading with a game in hand.
Adirondack heads into the weekend led offensively by James Henry who has tallied 40 points for the Thunder this season. Henry is one of only two Thunder skaters to have appeared in each of the teams 48 games so far this season, Pierre-Luc Mercier being the other. Shane Conacher, brother of former Admirals Corey, ranks second on the team with 37 points (9g, 28a) in 33 games this season.
Drew Fielding is the only goaltender with significant playing time this season, following the trade of former Admirals Nick Riopel. Fielding, who has appeared in 21 games, is 12-6-1-0 with a 3.17 goals against average and a .896 save percentage. Tomas Sholl notched a win in his ECHL debut with the Thunder, making 36 saves on 38 shots.
Adirondack topped the Admirals in each of the previous meetings this season, winning by scores of 3-2 on November 16 and 4-2 on December 9. After the three-game series Norfolk and Adirondack will play one more time. Last year the Thunder took the season series, claiming six victories in seven games.
Brodie Dupont is the only skater from either side to have scored more than once in the season series. He’s also the only Admiral with more than one point. Adirondack’s Tim Harrison and Brian Ward have each recorded a goal and an assist in the series, while Austin Orszulak and Terrence Wallin have picked up a pair of assists. Both Ty Reichenbach and Jamie Murray have faced the Thunder surrendering four and three goals respectively.
Game Number 600:
Admirals captain Brodie Dupont will skate in his 600th professional game on Friday night when he takes the ice. The captain, in his 11th professional season, skated in 385 AHL games between Hartford/ Connecticut, Milwaukee, and Bakersfield. Dupont skated in 127 games overseas, and has added another 86 games in the ECHL over the last two seasons. In addition, the forward has made his NHL debut with the New York Rangers on January 22, 2011 vs the Atlanta Thrashers. Norfolk’s captain was a third-round draft pick of the Rangers in 2005 (66th overall). In his 599 games Dupont has tallied 363 points (136g, 227a).
New Faces on the Blue Line:
A pair of new faces joined the Admirals blue line corps this week as the team ECHL Hall of Famer Sam Ftorek and signed rookie defenseman Romain Chuard. Ftorek, who joins the Admirals after a two-year retirement, holds the ECHL record for games played (837). The defenseman who will embark on the 18th season of his professional career, ranks tenth in ECHL history in assists (359), 17th in points (547), and 29th in goals (188). The son of Admirals coach Robbie Ftorek, Sam was inducted to the ECHL Hall of Fame on January 15.
Chuard, who joins the Admirals after beginning the season in the National League, the top Swiss league, is in his second full professional season. The 6’6 defenseman has appeared in 42 games in the National league, netting one assist and six penalty minutes.