Jacob Badal struck twice, while Anthony Mastromonica and Sacha Guillemain each scored to help the Knights beat the Jamestown Rebels, 4-2 Saturday afternoon at Revolution Ice Centre. Wilkes-Barre earned their first win of the season against the Rebels who had won the previous six. The Knights improve to 12-19-2. The Rebels had a five game win streak snapped, dropping to 20-10-3 on the season. This marks the first Knights win of 2019.
Jamestown looked to sink the Knights early on Saturday with a goal less than three minutes in from Niki Jasko, who beat Zach Stejskal through the five hole. In what’s usually a low scoring team, the first goal is crucial for the Knights, as they entered Saturday with a 4-13-1 record when allowing the first goal.
Sacha Guillemain helped buck that trend, tying the game on a great breakaway feed from Gabe Temple 1:24 after the Rebels started the scoring. Guillemain’s seventh tally of the year also served as the 50th point of his NAHL career.
Before the period ended, rookie forward Jacob Badal put the Knights on top. At the 19:16 mark, the 18-year-old took the puck around the perimeter before bringing it in front and tucking home a backhand shot past goalie Ryan Keane. Getting an assist on the goal was John Kaljian, a newcomer from the Brookings Blizzard playing in his second game with the Knights after being traded. Kaljian would end up with two assists on the day.
In the second, it was Badal again, this time on the power play. Auggie Moore was called down for hooking, giving Wilkes-Barre the man advantage. Adrian Danchenko fed Badal on a terrific cross-ice pass for a one-timer in the right circle that was buried top shelf to give the Knights a 3-1 lead.
After Wilkes-Barre notched a last minute goal in the first, it was Jamestown’s turn, as Jake Felker scored his 12th of the season with 56 seconds left in the period to get within one.
With a one goal difference, the nail biter continued until 7:49 into the third, when Anthony Mastromonica gave Wilkes-Barre the cushion they needed to secure two points. The 6″4′ forward crept toward the high slot for a powerful wrist shot to surprise Keane, giving the Knights a 4-2 lead they wouldn’t look back on.
Zach Stejskal got the win in goal, improving to 12-10 on the season. Badal’s pair of goals brings him to 13 on the year, leading the team in both goals and points with 22 points.
Saturday’s win brings the Knights within a single point of the fourth and final playoff spot, sitting behind the Maryland Black Bears.
The Knights and Rebels will meet again for two games in Jamestown next weekend.