Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin
Jake Fuss is no stranger to the scoresheet. He scored the first two goals of the Knights season last weekend just months after setting the tier-III junior hockey goals record.
It came as little surprise Saturday night when Fuss put the Knights on the board to kick things off in their competition with New York Apple Core on Saturday night. Fuss’ goal, assisted by Tyler Nielsen and new addition Austin Weber, kicked off an explosive Knights attack in the game’s opening frame.
Jake Nimeh tacked on the Knights second goal just over a minute later, following crisp passing from Zach Ouladelhadjahmed and Nick Peck. Nimeh struck again at 11:59 receiving another apple from Peck.
Jared Stahel backstopped a solid defensive effort in the first 20 minutes, stopping all 13 shots Apple Core generated. As the period wound to a close, New York committed a pair of penalties that would carry over into the second frame.
Alex Morawski cashed in on the 5-on-3 power play for the Knights just 1:02 into the second period (Weber, Fuss) to build a seemingly commanding 4-0 lead. Apple Core had other plans.
Eamann McMillon’s even strength goal at 8:10 energized the New York forecheck, as they began to control possession in the Knights zone. Their persistence, combined with intermittent Knights penalties led to Apple Core’s domination of the second half of the period.
At 13:41, Logan Scarlotta notched an even strength goal created Tanner Dalton and Race Bennett. Three minutes later, Patrick Sullivan ripped a laser of a power play goal (Mark Revniaga, Wilson McCloy) to bring Apple Core within one.
Jared Stahel preserved the Knights 4-3 lead late in the frame with a seemingly impossible, twisting save in which he was able to pin the puck to his back on an Apple Core power play offering. New York’s rally would not be deterred, as just under six minutes into the third period, Race Bennett tallied the game-tying goal, assisted by McCloy.
The Knights, having seen their lead evaporate, redoubled their efforts on the attack and were rewarded when Jake Fuss hammered a puck home off a breakaway at 8:53 to re-take the 5-4 lead.
Buoyed by a handful of strong saves by Stahel, the Knights fended off Apple Core late into the third period. With a minute and a half to play, New York pulled netminder Alex Henson for an extra attacker.
Fuss appeared to put the game on ice when he found the empty net (Brady Hanson, Tyler Nielsen) at 18:51. Ben Freatman and Apple Core would not go quietly into the night. With the net again vacant in their own zone, Freatmen willed a puck past Stahel’s toe to again bring Applecore within one with 53 seconds left in regulation.
The ensuing faceoff would be taken without Henson in net, again leaving an extra attacker on for New York. Following a near miss on the empty net, the Knights were able to grind out the clock, on their way to their first EHL win in the 2017-18 season.
The Knights will host a rematch this afternoon at 2:00 pm at the Revolution Ice Centre. Admission is free, and the game can be watched at hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to @WBSKnightsEHL on twitter for updates!