The dust didn’t even get the chance to settle on the Knights thrilling, 5-4 win Saturday before the team rolled back out to Brewster Ice Arena for a 9:30 am rematch Sunday.
The Knights and Applecore met for round two of two with fourth place on the line in the South Conference. Sunday’s affair picked up slowly. Shot totals were abundant for each side-including an 11-0 run for New York in the last four minutes of the first period. Starting goalies Thomas Walker and Benjamin Allard-Robitaille did their part stop a combined 32 shots, good for a scoreless first period.
The scoring drought continued well past the midway point of regulation, with the game’s first goal finally being scored 16 minutes into the second period. On his team’s second power play, William Case was fed the puck from Emerson Emery and Nate Chuckran before he fired a puck by Allard-Robitaille for the 1-0 lead.
The advantage would prove to be short-lived when Applecore, shorthanded just over two-minutes later, would cash in on a Knights power play breakdown. Allard-Robitaille would connect with Tanner Dalton, who out-raced the Knights back to Thomas Walker, who was beaten for the shorthanded equalizer.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power play would redeem itself on its next trip down the ice, when Jake Fuss pushed an Anthony Starzi rebound through to regain the lead. Nick Peck picked up the secondary helper on the Knights second power play goal of the contest.
The Knights lead would last through the final 24 seconds of the middle frame, as well as the duration of the second intermission. Connor Woolley decided that was long enough. Just over a minute into the third period, the New York forward continued his strong weekend with his second goal of the season, set up by Chaz Rometty and Brandon Napoli, once again evening the score.
A similarly dissatisfied Austin Weber would hand the puck to red-hot Knights defender Emerson Emery at 6:21, where he ripped a quick shot past Allard-Robitaille to reclaim a one-goal lead. The strike marked Emery’s fourth point of the weekend, his seventh in the last five games.
The see-saw would even out yet again at 13:57, when the big-bodied Race Bennett would find the back of the net, assisted by Woolley and Patrick Sullivan. Despite New York out-gunning the Knights by 10 shots in the third, the 3-3 tie would hold through the end of regulation, sending both teams to play in overtime.
Each second of overtime would provide an opportunity. A Knights goal would mean a tie in points for fourth place in the South. A New York score would preserve a two-point cushion for the Applecore. Neither goalie would oblige.
Allard-Robitaille stood down seven shots, while Walker made five saves, including a robbery of a late New York breakaway. The Knights would ring three posts but could not bury the puck. With overtime failing to produce a winner, both teams moved onto the shootout.
In the best-of-three setup, neither side found the net through rounds one and two. Allard-Robitaille stopped the Knights in round three. Matthew Boring came down the ice and fired the game-winner past Walker.
At the end of the series, the Knights were able to pick up three out of four possible points, but the two points won by New York Saturday keeps them ahead by two in the South. They’ll look to bounce back with a contest against the New York Bobcats Royals at home this Friday at 3:00 pm EST. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!