Admirals (12-17-2-1) vs Swamp Rabbits (16-14-2-0)
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Last Time Out:
Christian Horn provided all the offense that Norfolk needed, including his third of the night only 0:22 into the overtime period as the Admirals topped Wheeling 3-2 on Wednesday night. Horn became the second player this season to record a hat trick, netting all three of the Admirals goals in a victory. After scoring first, Norfolk gave up back-to-back goals early in the second period, putting themselves in a one goal hole heading into the final period. Horn would tie it up less than a minute into the third period and followed up with the game-winner less than a minute into overtime.
The victory pushed the Admirals point-streak to six games, tying a high since returning to the ECHL in the 2015-16 season.
Head to Head:
Norfolk and Greenville face off for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The Sunday meeting will be the first of six between the South Division foes this season. It is the first of only two meetings that take place at Bon Secours Wellness Arena this season.
Last year the Swamp Rabbits edged the Admirals in the season series taking four of the seven games. Since rejoining the ECHL the Admirals and Swamp Rabbits have split the contests with each team claiming victory six times. Norfolk has been more successful on the road than at home going 3-1-1-0 at Bon Secours.
Scouting the Rabbits:
The Swamp Rabbits are without leading scorer Caleb Herbert, who signed a PTO with the Hartford Wolf Pack on December 18. At the time of his departure Herbet was leading the ECHL with 36 points (16g, 20a) in 23 games. In his absence Branden Troock has taken over the title of scoring leader for the Swamp Rabbits with 35 points (15g, 20a). Evan Jasper, Joe Basaraba, and Joe Houk are all tied for second on the team with 26 points each. No other player has topped the 20-point mark so far this season.
Brandon Halverson and Ty Rimmer have split games in the Swamp Rabbit cage playing 20 and 18 games respectively. Halverson (7-9-2-0, 3.90 GAA, .898 sv) has started each of the least three games for Greenville, including Saturday’s 3-0 shutout loss to Atlanta. Rimmer, a former Admiral, (10-5-0-1, 3.43 GAA, .913 sv) started four of the previous five before Halverson’s three game stretch.
Christian Horn scored three times on Wednesday night against Wheeling giving the Admirals four hat tricks this season, and hat tricks in back-to-back games. Horn joins Brady Vail, Trevor Mingoia and Darik Angeli on the list of players to score a hat trick in a Norfolk uniform this season. The four hat tricks by the Admirals this year doubles the total from last season (2) and ties the total of hat tricks that the Ads had scored in the previous two seasons combined.
Horn also joined Trevor Mingoia as the only players to score a hat trick, and all three of their teams’ goals in a victory this season. Wednesday night was also the third consecutive game that an Admiral had notched a multi-goal game.
Sunday’s game kicks off a seven day stretch during with the Admirals will play five games against four different opponents. After playing in Greenville on Sunday the Admirals will have a day off before heading to Charleston, SC to face the Stingrays. Wednesday pits the Admirals against the Gladiators before Norfolk wraps up the busy week with a pair of games in Wheeling against the Nailers on Friday and Saturday.
Three of the five games pit the Admirals against South Division opponents that Norfolk is currently trying to chase down in the standings. The Admirals go into Sunday
Forward Grant Besse was named the Admirals representative for the ECHL All-Star Classic on Thursday afternoon after averaging nearly a point per game in his first professional season. In 28 games this season the rookie has tallied 27 points (13g, 14a). The forward is expected to join the Admirals in Greenville after being released from a PTO with the Tucson Roadrunners on Saturday. Besse missed each of the Admirals last three games while with Tucson.