The Knights traveled to New Jersey Friday night looking to win their second straight division matchup. To do so would mean toppling the potent New Jersey Titans, the team the Knights are chasing in the east division standings.
Things began on the right foot for the hometown Titans. With Dylan Healey and Greg Malafronte each recording their 13th assists on the set up, Kyle Perkowski achieved the double-digit goal scoring plateau at 6:45 into the first to give the Titans the early lead.
Khristian Acosta, enjoying another return to his hometown, buried an equalizer at the midway point of the period on helpers from Markuss Komuls (14) and Sam Antonitsch (15). Antonitsch’s assist extended his point streak to an NAHL-leading 9 games.
Mike Gelatt, fresh off a month on IR, would set up a Joe Schuler on a go-ahead goal in the period’s final minute to send the Knights to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead.
The advantage would last only 8:37 into the second when Danny Eruzione picked up a Ryan Wheeler rebound to beat Valentine for the 2-2 tie.
The score would remain in gridlock into the third period, where just 34 seconds after puck drop, Jim Elser gave the lead back to the Knights on assists from Joey Verkerke and Joe Schuler. The assist was Verkerke’s first point with the Knights and first in the NAHL. He’d add another two minutes later when on the power play, he dished it to Khristian Acosta who found Curtis Carlson on the back door for the 4-2 lead. Carlson now has a goal in five of his last six games and 12 on the season.
Grant Valentine, on his way to a 26-save night and being named the game’s top star,would slam the door on any comeback attempts with a handful of impressive saves, and the Knights would skate to the 4-2 win.
With the victory, the Knights are now just four points behind New Jersey for third place in the east with a game in hand over the Titans. While the Knights will have the benefit of a Saturday and Sunday without games, they will prepare for the Aston Rebels when they come to the Revolution Ice Centre at 12:30 pm, Tuesday.