EHL Weekend Recap: Knights Drop Pair in Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

The Knights played games two and three of their weekend in Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday, looking to bounce back from a tough loss Friday.

First on tap were the Philadelphia Junior Flyers, the occupants of 4th place in the Mid-Atlantic division. Meeting for the third time of 2017-18, the Knights hoped to further their unbeaten streak against the Jr. Flyers with a win.

In the opening two minutes of the contest, Marko Bohatiuk put Philadelphia on the board with his second tally of the year, set up by Bayley Kubara. In a relatively even period in which each side combining for 31 shots, the Knights would find an equalizer at 16:04, when Anthony Starzi potted his 18th goal of the season, assisted by Jake Fuss. On the very next shift, Nicholas Harris connected with Kubara, who fed Drew Platt for the Junior Flyers second score.

Down 2-1 to open the second, the Knights offense kicked their attack into high gear. At 5:04 Nick Peck picked up a goal in his second-straight contest off of helpers from Fuss and Cody Rumsey. On a power play halfway through the period, William Case registered his first point with the Knights when he set up Alex Morawski for the game-tying goal. Tyler Nielsen picked up the secondary assist.

Into the the third period, the score remained even until the 5:39 mark, when Adrian Martinez kicked off a Philadelphia scoring surge with his sixth goal of the season (Nicholas Harris). David Waterman followed with the next Jr. Flyers tally at 9:40 (Matthew Mood). Adrian Martinez notched his second score exactly one minute later on helpers from Gianni Dini and Nick Kiemel.

Down 5-3, Anthony Starzi did his part to keep the Knights afloat, scoring a shorthanded goal, his 19th marker of the year, at 14:08. Despite the boost, the Knights could not climb all the way back, as Jr. Flyers goalie Albin Mulic closed the door in the final minutes, securing Philadelphia the 5-4 victory. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton starter Jared Stahel made 48 saves in the loss.

Sunday’s rematch featured the Knights final regular season tilt against the Little Flyers.

Philadelphia wasted little time getting into the goal column, as Nick Magill-Diaz notched the game’s first tally on its’ first power play, just 3:40 in. Magill-Diaz scored off assists from Joey Savel and Mitchell Hall.

Alex Henson, the EHL’s defending goaltender of the month, kept the Knights offense at bay until 14:14. Set up by David Pfoestl and Nate Chuckran, Austin Weber notched his fourth tally of the season to even the score.

A closely fought first gave way to a uneven second, as the same period that foiled the Knights Friday came back to bite them on Sunday. Joey Savel found the twine on a helper from Alex Ochterbeck at 6:59. The pair rotated spots on the score sheet when Savel slid Octherbeck the puck to beat Knights starter Thomas Walker on a power play at 17:26. Mitchell Hall picked up his second assist of the game with the secondary helper.

The Knights offense was slowed by the Little Flyers defense and strong penalty kill, as Philadelphia nullified all six of the Knights opportunities on the man-advantage. Down two late in the third, the Knights pulled Walker after the Little Flyers took a too-many men penalty with just over two minutes remaining. With the 6-on-4 advantage, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton mounted a few chances on net, but none that bested Henson. The game was put on ice at 19:11 when Avery Smith pushed a puck free to neutral ice before burying it in an open net.

Coming off the 4-1 loss, the Knights will look to regroup this week as the team prepares for its final home games before the holiday break. They’ll play host to the New England Wolves on Saturday, December 9th at 3:45 pm and then the Vermont Lumberjacks on Sunday the 10th at 1:45 pm. Both games will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and www.easternhockeyleague.org along with Knights social media for all news, player, and staff content and updates!