Adrian Danchenko scored a goal and an assist, but the Northeast Generals were able to salvage their weekend, upending the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in a high scoring, 6-4 contest Saturday afternoon at Revolution Ice Centre.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (5-5-1, 11pts.) took two of three games from the Generals (4-5, 8pts.) in the week, picking up four points in the North American Hockey League’s East Division.
Northeast’s Brady Gaudette started the game with a high slot slapper past Knights’ goaltender Samuel Vyletelka 1:23 into the first. Vyletelka managed 27 saves on the afternoon, while Generals’ goalie Marko Sturmo earned the win with 24 stops.
The Knights would retaliate with a late goal in the first frame, thanks to Jake Fuss on the power play, who completed a tic-tac-toe sequence with Blake Kryska and Gabe Temple to even the score.
Temple found the crowded scoresheet once more in the second, stuffing home a shot initially taken from the point by blue liner Jordan Strand to give the Knights a 2-1 lead just 46 seconds in.
Down by one, the Generals had back-to-back strikes in the middle period to regain the lead. Just under seven minutes in, Liam McCanney redirected one beyond Vyletelka for the tying goal, before Northeast scoring leader Louis Boudon fired one home 30 seconds after.
Another late period equalizer for the Knights came in the form of Danchenko’s wrist shot in-between the hashmarks with 1:55 to play in the second. For Danchenko, the forward capped off a three game, six point week (3G-3A) Saturday, and now has eight points in half a dozen games for the 2018-19 campaign.
Unfortunately, the tying goal didn’t hold. Just 50 seconds after Danchenko’s tally, Connor Marshall buried the puck to make it 4-3 favoring the Generals off a face-off in the zone won right to him by Trevor Smith.
Prior to Saturday, the Knights had gone a perfect 12-for-12 against Northeast on the penalty kill. Saturday’s effort resulted in two more successful kills, but the one that didn’t work out proved to be the big goal of the game.
With Wilkes-Barre down by one, Temple was sent to the box for a high-stick spotted with under six minutes to play in the third. After a quick setup, Ryan Bogan shot atop the blue line for Northeast with traffic in front. Part of that logjam was Gaudette, who tipped in the shot past Vyltelka for his second goal of the day.
With the goalie pulled and under two minutes to play, Kryska kept things interesting for the Knights, as the defenseman scored off what appeared to be a harmless shot from the right wing wall. The puck apparently handcuffed Sturmo for Northeast, making the game 5-4, before Boudon added an empty net goal to package the win for the visitors.
Home cooking continues for the NAHL Knights Friday night for the start of a two-game weekend against the East Division-leading Johnstown Tomahawks. Friday’s puck drop is scheduled for 7pm, with a 3:30 rematch set to follow Saturday.