Game Day: Three-In-Three Weekend Ends in South Carolina
Charleston, SC - The Norfolk Admirals, proud member of the ECHL, take on the South Carolina Stingrays for a Sunday afternoon game to conclude a three game weekend.
Game #43 Admirals (16-20-5-1) at Stingrays (26-10-4-1) North Charleston Coliseum 3:05 pm
Last Time Out: Norfolk was held scoreless for the first time this season as the Admirals fell 4-0 on Saturday night in Atlanta. The Gladiators scored once in each of the two periods, before tacking on two goals in the third and final frame. Atlanta's Sean Bonar made 34 stops in the shutout victory for the Gladiators.
The victory helped the Gladiators extend their lead to nine points over the Admirals in the South Division Standings.
Scouting the Rays: South Carolina currently holds the second spot in the South Division, and second position in the Eastern Conference as well.
The Stingrays (26-10-4-1) enter the Sunday matchup with Norfolk after sweeping both games of a back-to-back with Orlando. Kelly Zajac and Joe Devin lead the Stingrays with matching 32 point totals (12g, 20a). Both skaters trail former Admiral Steven Whitney (13g, 16a) for the team lead in goals by one. Tim McGauley and Frankie Simonelli (26 pts) round out the Stingrays top five scorers.
South Carolina's goaltending trio is helping hold teams to a league low 2.3 goals against per game so far this season. Jeff Jakaitis (18 gp), Parker Milner (19 gp), and Adam Carlson (4 gp) have all appeared in games while with the Stingrays and each have goals against averages under 3.00.
Head-to-Head: The Admirals claimed their first victory of the season over the Stingrays on January 20 as Norfolk got an overtime goal from Grant Besse to cap off a three-point weekend for the team. Despite only topping South Carolina once this season the Admirals and Stingrays have gone past regulation in three of the first five meetings this season. Including Sunday afternoon, Norfolk and South Carolina will play three more times this season, all at North Charleston Coliseum.
Since rejoining the ECHL the Stingrays have controlled the Admirals at North Charleston Coliseum winning five of six meetings. The only of those contests to go past regulation was the meeting on January 9 that saw the Stingrays use a Frankie Simonelli hat trick to take the OT victory.
Norfollk's Grant Besse (2g, 6a) leads all skaters from either side with eight points in the five games between the teams this season. South Carolina's leading scorer, Kelly Zajac, has filled the title of leading scorer netting seven points (4g, 3a) in the five games against Norfolk.
Three-in-Three Wrapping Up: Sunday will be the final game of a three-in-three for both South Carolina and Norfolk. The weekend marks only the second three game in three-day weekend for the Admirals this season. The team will take on two more three-in-threes before the season wraps up. So far this year the Admirals dropped the only Sunday end of a three in three, falling to Manchester 2-1 on December 10. Last season the Admirals were 3-2 in the third games of a three-in-three weekend.
Creeping Up the Standings: Despite failing to get a point on Saturday night the Admirals stayed within four points of the fourth spot in the ECHL's South Division thanks to a pair of losses from Orlando and Greenville. Norfolk, 38 pts, currently holds the sixth spot in the South Division while Orlando, 42 pts, holds onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the division. Greenville, currently in fifth, sits two points ahead of the Admirals.
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