EHL Knights drop Opener to Little Flyers

Fuss notches pair of goals, but Little Flyers attack proves to be too much

The Knights return to the Eastern Hockey League pitted them against the Philadelphia Little Flyers, owners of the EHL’s best record in 2016-17.

Things began on the right foot for the Knights as veteran forward Jake Fuss weaved his way around Brendahn Brawley for the 1-0 lead. The play was set up by J.P. Natishan, who forced a turnover deep in the offensive zone before dishing the puck to Fuss for the score.

Ryan Galvin was quick to respond as less than two minutes later he beat Jared Stahel  from the slot, set up by sharp passing from Alex Ochterbeck and Sasha Miniouchine. The 1-1 tie would hold through the end of the period.

A quiet first half of the second period came to an abrupt end when the Knights were assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct at 11:54. After 2:50 of sound Knights penalty killing, the Little Flyers broke through.

Following a second Knights penalty that made it 5-on-3, Brendan Coughlin blasted a shot from the point to the twine for Philadelphia’s first power play goal (Magill-Diaz, Savel). Alex Ochterbeck (Coughlin, Hall) tacked on another power play score just 34 seconds later to give the Little Flyers a 3-1 lead.

Shortly after the major penalty expired, Philadelphia added another score off the efforts of Sasha Miniouchine from Nate Mickey. Avery Smith capped off the explosive end to the frame with a shorthanded goal after Cale Coor and Miniouchine flipped the ice from their own end.

The third period opened with the Knights trailing 5-1, but Jake Fuss’ dazzling puck work at 8:46 led to his second tally of the afternoon with Rhett Padgett picking up the helper.

Any chance of a rally was put to rest when Miniouchine picked up his fourth point and second goal of the game at 14:56, pushing the score to 6-2. The advantage would hold through the final horn, handing the Little Flyers their first win of the season and the Knights their first defeat. The two teams will meet again tomorrow at the Knights Revolution Ice Centre with puck drop at 1:45 pm.