Admirals (23-30-5-1) at Brampton (23-29-1-2)
Last Time Out:
The Admirals claimed their fifth straight home-victory on Saturday night, topping Atlanta 4-1 in front of a crowd of 6,321. After a scoreless first period the Admirals got on the board twice in the second before surrendering a goal. Tommy Schutt opened the scoring with a penalty shot goal before Grant Besse scored his 26th of the season just over a minute later. Atlanta cut the lead back to one shortly after Besse’s goal, however, bringing the Glads within one before the end of the middle fame.
The score sat at 2-1 until late in the third period. Norfolk got empty net goals from Grant Besse and Darik Angeli to round out the scoring in the final minute of play. The victory moved the Admirals within five points of Atlanta, and gave Norfolk the weekend sweep over the South Division foe. Ty Reichenbach, recording his second straight victory, stopped 39 of 40 shots in the win. Norfolk finished the night 1-for-6 on the man-advantage for the second straight night. The Admirals have scored a power play tally in four of their last five games.
Friday is the second and final meeting of the season between Norfolk and Brampton. It will also be only the third time that the teams have played since Norfolk rejoined the ECHL. Each team has won one of the first two meetings, all three having come in Brampton.
The Beast topped the Admirals in the first meeting of the season 4-2 on November 10. Darik Angeli and Tommy Schutt scored for the Admirals, while former Admiral Scott Jacklin led all skaters with three points (1g, 2a). Jacklin was the only skater to record more than one point, and six different players scored. Chris Driedger got the start for the Beast against Norfolk, while both Jamie Murray and Ty Reichenbach saw time against the Beast.
Scouting the Beast:
Brampton enters the weekend in sixth place in the North Division, 13 points out of fourth place. Forward Brandon Marino leads the Beast offense with 50 points (16g, 34a) in 59 games this season. Marino is also the only player to have skated in all 59 games for the beast this season. Chris Leveille is tied for second on the team with 45 points (16g, 29a). Brampton bolstered their offense when they acquired former Admiral Erik Bradford at the trade deadline yesterday. Bradford joins the Beast tied for second on the team in points (15g, 30a).
The Beast have used a total of nine different goaltenders this season. Andrew D’Agostini has played the most games out of any Brampton goaltender (20), while Marcus Hogberg (14 gp) leads the netminders in victories with seven.
Taking on the Unfamiliar Faces:
With 13 games left in the regular season the Admirals will play seven of their remaining games against teams from outside the South Division. After concluding the weekend’s three-in-three taking on Brampton, Adirondack, and Manchester the Admirals will play six straight games against South Division opponents. Three of those games come against Florida, whom the Admirals haven’t seen since November. The Admirals then wrap up the season with four straight games against non-division opponents (Kalamazoo, Reading). Kalamazoon will be the first and only team from the Central Division Norfolk plays this season.
Back in the Old Barn:
For Domenic Alberga a return to the Powerade Centre is a homecoming of sorts. The forward grew up near Brampton and played two seasons with the Brampton Battallion, then in the OHL. The Battalion played their home games at the Powerade Center where the Beast play theirs. In 133 games with the Battalion Alberga netted 38 points (13g, 25a). A native of Maple, ON, the Norfolk forward was a fifth-round pick of the Battalion in the 2009 OHL draft.