Knights ride three-goal third period to 4th-straight win
Entering Sunday, the Knights looked to continue their strong start to 2017. They would have to do so against the defending Robertson Cup Champions in their consecutive meeting.
A first period dominated by penalties saw each team gain multiple opportunities on the power play. On the period’s fourth penalty and the Knight’s second power play, Curtis Carlson tallied the game’s first goal and his eighth of the season at 12:23 on assists from Markus Komuls (10) and Joe Schuler (6).
Penalties would again prove prevalent in the second period, and with both kill units having plenty of ice time in the first, it came as little surprise that neither power play could find twine. What did stand out was Ryan Kero’s shorthanded effort at 17:10. Dorian Dawson had a bouncing puck skip his stick at the point, and in his effort to hold the zone, lost his footing. Kero surged ahead, grabbing the loose puck and moving his way in alone on Grant Valentine, beating him unassisted for the first shorthanded goal allowed by the Knights on the season. The score would remain knotted at one heading into the dressing room.
Fairbanks would parlay the momentum into the opening of the third period when Nick Rogers would beat Valentine, unassisted to give the Ice Dogs their first lead at 4:23.
The advantage would hold for the visitors well into the second half of the period thanks in large part to a tremendous effort by goalie Joshua Sarlo. Following a growing number of opportunities for the Knights, the dam would finally break at 13:20 when Joe Schuler ripped his second goal of the season by Sarlo to knot the game at two.
Five minutes later, Paul Maust would give the Knights lead with his team-leading 12th goal of the season, set up from Vince Marino (9) and Curtis Carlson (15). Markuss Komuls would seal the deal on an open net at 19:05 set up by Grant Valentine (2), and Sam Antonitsch (11). In addition to the assist, Grant Valentine would stop 25 of 27 shots to earn his 11th win of the season.
Following wins in six of their last seven 7 games, the Knights find themselves eight points behind the third-place New Jersey Titans in the NAHL East Division. They’ll travel to New Jersey to take on the Titans in their next game at 7:45 pm this Wednesday night, January 18th.