Game 2: Elmira Jackals (0-1-0-0) vs. Norfolk Admirals (0-3-0-0)
7:05 p.m., First Arena, Elmira, New York
The Elmira Jackals play their first of 36 regular-season home games tonight as they host the Norfolk Admirals for the first of nine head-to-head matches between the clubs in 2016-17. They'll play a rematch tomorrow night at First Arena to conclude home opening weekend. Last season, the teams split their eight meetings.
The Admirals opened the week with a 2-0 shutout loss to Greenville Wednesday night in Norfolk, dropping them to 0-3-0-0 on the season. They have been shut out in each of the last two games and have scored just one goal in three games to begin the season under new Head Coach Rod Aldoff. This is their first road game of the season.
The Jackals have played just one game so far this season, dropping a 6-2 decision in Reading last Saturday. After this back-to-back set with the Admirals, Elmira plays three against the Adirondack Thunder next week.
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Jackals Pregame at 6:50 p.m. Radio: 1410 WELM
Last time out
The Jackals dropped the opening game of their 2016-17 season, 6-2, to the Reading Royals Saturday night at Santander Arena in Reading.
Reading raced out to a 3-0 lead halfway through the first period before the Jackals began to mount a comeback. Charlie Mosey started the scoring for Elmira with a power-play goal, his first ECHL goal, at 12:54 of the first, cutting the deficit to 3-1. Mike Radja scored a power-play goal of his own at 7:18 of the second period as the Jackals pulled within one. The Royals wrestled momentum back with a goal with just 9.1 seconds left in the second period, taking a two-goal lead into the third.
In the third, Reading added two more to go on to win, 6-2, while outshooting the Jackals, 38-20.
Scouting the Royals
The Admirals opened the 2016-17 season by dropping a two-game set to the Kalamazoo Wings at the Norfolk Scope last week before falling to Greenville Wednesday. They have been shut out in each of the last two games, being outscored 8-1 overall to start the year.
Norfolk's captain Josh Brittain has scored the only goal so far for the Admirals, with Danick Gauthier getting the lone assist.
In goal, Eetu Laurikainen started the first two games for the Admirals before being recalled by the AHL's Bakersfield Condors. Connor Knapp, a sixth-round draft pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 2009, made his Admirals debut Wednesday night, allowing two goals on 30 shots. Norfolk signed goalie Keegan Asmundson prior to their game Wednesday night. He has appeared in 23 ECHL games in his career with Indy, South Carolina and Evansville.
The Jackals and Admirals will meet nine times in the 2016-17 regular season, with five games at First Arena and four games at the Norfolk Scope. After this two-game weekend set, they don't meet again until Dec. 30 in Elmira.
Last season the teams split eight head-to-head matches, with the Admiral winning three of the five in Elmira. The Jackals finished with one more point head-to-head because of an overtime loss.
Among returning players, Steven Whitney led the Admirals in scoring against the Jackals in 2015-16, posting five points (3g, 2a) in six games. Defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst also had five points (1g, 4a) in seven games against the Jackals. Only one healthy player, Guy Leboeuf, appeared in a game with the Jackals against the Admirals last season.
Through their first three games the Admirals have not lit the lamp on the power play. After going 0-for-5 in Wednesday's loss to Greenville, the Admirals' power play sits at 0-for-11. Among teams without a power-play goal, only Missouri (14) has had more chances with the man advantage.
The Jackals' power play was one of the strong suits in Elmira's season-opening loss last week. They scored both of their goals with the man advantage, going 2-for-8 (25.0%) against Reading. That ranks fifth in the ECHL.
The Admirals' penalty kill started the season 11-for-11 in their first two games before allowing their first power-play goal Wednesday against the Swamp Rabbits. They are now 13-for-14 (92.9%) on the penalty kill in 2016-17, currently 11th in the ECHL.
After not allowing a power-play goal in the preseason, the Jackals surrendered two in four shorthanded situations against Reading in the season opener.
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Friday, October 21st: Elmira Jackals vs. Norfolk Admirals - 7:05 p.m. HOME OPENER!
Saturday, October 22nd: Elmira Jackals vs. Norfolk Admirals - 7:05 p.m. - Drop the Puck on Hunger
Tuesday, October 25th: Elmira Jackals at Adirondack Thunder - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, October 28th: Elmira Jackals vs. Adirondack Thunder - 7:05 p.m. - Hat Trick or Treat
Saturday, October 29th: Elmira Jackals at Adirondack Thunder - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 3rd: Elmira Jackals at South Carolina Stingrays - 7:05 p.m.