Following a weekend away from the rink, the Knights returned to East Division play against the Johnstown Tomahawks Friday. It was fitting that the most recent meeting between the pair was yet another closely fought contest. Four of the prior six tilts were decided by two goals or less.
Round seven of Knights-Tomahawks pitted David Tomeo anchoring the crease for second-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against Kade Phipps in goal for fifth-place Johnstown. Both netminders were supported by solid defensive efforts in a true-to-form blue collar battle.
In an opening period that saw just 12 combined shots on goal, the Tomahawks cashed in on their very first, courtesy of Samuel Solensky. At 1:59, the Tomahawks leading-scorer was assisted by Donovan Ott and Chase Davidson on the tally, Solensky’s sixth against the Knights this season. The remainder of the period saw both teams limited by steady back-checking and play in net, leaving the score at 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The second period saw an uptick in shots and as well as penalty minutes, as both sides took unsuccessful turns on the man-advantage. Both Phipps and Tomeo remained steady in net to keep the score 1-0 three quarters of the way through the middle frame. Tyrone Bronte ended the drought at 16:15 off a wrister set up by Reed Robinson.
The tie would linger well into the third with more failed power plays and saves coming on both ends of the ice. The Knights would at last find their go-ahead goal at 16:55 when Mike Morrissey led Shay Donovan over the blue line where the latter hammered slap shot past Phipps. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would go on to withstand the Tomahawks extra attacker for the final 1:17 of play to earn a 2-1 victory.
In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s third-straight win, Tomeo made 27 saves on 28 shots, good for his sixth win of the season. Phipps stopped 19 of 21 in his first loss. Both teams were 5/5 on the penalty kill.
Knights in the USHL: Stoever Stays Steady
Knights fans may have noticed the absence of Christian Stoever from the Wikes-Barre/Scranton lineup card Friday. Stoever is currently playing for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL. In his first start last night, the ’00 goalie stopped 19 of 22 shots on goal on his way to his first USHL win. The third round pick has a 10-2-2 record with a 3.00 GAA and .908 save percentage with the Knights this season.
The EHL Knights will kick off a two-game home stand this afternoon against the New England Wolves at 3:45 pm EST. Free admission will be granted to any fans attending the Revolution Ice Centre. The game will be available on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL on twitter for updates.
The NAHL Knights will take on the Tomahawks again tonight at 7:00 pm EST. The game will also be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow Knights social media and visit www.nahl.com for live updates!