Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin
In game two of a home-and-home set, the Knights looked to fend off the RoughRiders to avoid coming out on the wrong end of a weekend sweep.
Former Knight Alex Rowella quickly proved to be the biggest obstacle to the Knights efforts as the ’97 forward got his team off to a fast start. At 7:20 into the first, he potted a power play goal on a rebound generated off of a Mattijs Ossorio point shot.
Rowella would strike again at 9:48, unassisted after forcing a turnover in front of Knights goalie Jared Stahel. A third goal found the twine at 12:46 as Rowella completed a first-period hat trick after working his way in and flipping a puck home to put Connecticut ahead 3-0.
The Knights returned fired by mounting chances on RoughRiders netminder Ryan Bonnvie through the period, finally drawing a penalty at 15:35. Alex Morawski continued his tear on the man-advantage, notching his fourth power play goal of the season at 17:08, after going end-to-end off a Brady Hanson set up.
The second period, a frame in which the Knights have had issues with consistency in the young season, proved to be defensive-oriented and yielded no additional tallies for either team. Each penalty kill, after starting 0-1, rounded back into form as both teams killed off multiple second-period penalties, bolstered by strong play by both Stahel and Bonnvie.
The third period followed suit with many stoppages resulting in a lack of rhythm from both forechecks. The Knights pressed throughout the period, but Connecticut was able to limit chances from the middle of the ice. Jared Stahel made a few sterling saves in net to keep Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the game, but Bonnvie matched him save for save.
Finally, following a Knights penalty at 14:32, the RoughRiders put the game out of reach with their second power play goal, following a good cycle from Colin O’Connor to Alex Rowella, who went dot-to-dot with Cullen Kane, who pushed wrister home for the 4-1 advantage. Following the goal, Connecticut clamped down on the back check, limiting Knights opportunities in the game’s final minutes to secure their fourth-straight victory.
The Knights will look to bounce back next week with a home-and home series against the Philadelphia Revolution. Game one is on Saturday, October 7th at 2:30 pm. Game two is Sunday, October 8th at 2:00 pm. Admission at the Revolution Ice Centre is free for both games. The pair of contests will be broadcast on www.hockeytv.com. Follow live updates on twitter @WBSKnightsEHL and the score sheet at www.easternhockeyleague.org.