The Knights took to the ice Sunday looking to avenge a 5-4 loss to the New Jersey Titans from their prior meeting Wednesday night. The Titans for their part, were looking to get back into the win column following back-to-back losses at the hands of the Johnstown Tomahawks.
Things got off to a speedy Titans start, only to see a flurry of solid looks on net turned away by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder Grant Valentine. The Knights quickly flipped the ice when Reed Robinson crashed the net and buried a rebound chance for the game’s first goal at 5:21. After a pitched stretch of scoreless play, Michael Morrissey potted the follow-up to build a 2-0 lead following his tip in of Markuss Komuls’ point shot at 16:51.
With the lead in the second the Knights applied more pressure, and New Jersey penalties began to mount. On the Knights first power play opportunity of the game, following crisp passing from Khristian Acosta and Sam Antonitsch, Matt Kidney stuffed a puck under the pads of Titans goalie Harrison Feeney to extend the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead to three.
Buoyed by a few sprawling saves made by Grant Valentine, the Knights found themselves on their third power play opportunity late in the second. In the period’s final minute, Keenan Sabatini started a symphony when he fed a puck down from the point to Sam Antonitsch in the near circle. Antonitsch turned, and while facing the opposite direction deftly slid the puck to Paul Maust at the near post. Maust sent the puck across the crease to a waiting Khristian Acosta, who in turn slammed the puck through the back door to build a 4-0 lead at the end of two periods of play.
The third period saw the exchange of many icings, unsportsmanlike penalties and sterling saves by both Valentine and Feeney. With both teams’ lineups consistently altered by one, sometimes two men taking residence in the penalty box, both offenses faltered in sustaining consistent momentum. This served the leading Knights well in holding their advantage. As time dwindled down, the Titans were finally granted some time on the power play. In the game’s closing seconds Valentine defended his shutout, his second of the year, with one more lunging save as time expired, putting a nice layer of icing on the victory’s cake.
With the win, the Knights move back to .500 at 19-19-1-1. They’ll travel to Johnstown Friday for the first of two road games at the Cambria County War Memorial.