Strand ties it with 8.3 second left
Jordan Strand helped the Knights complete a rally from being down by two, but the Generals scored in three-on-three overtime to take a 5-4 final at Revolution Ice Centre Friday night. Louis Boudon scored the overtime winner with 47 seconds left.
To even get to overtime, the Knights needed to overcome adversity. Northeast came in with a physical, aggressive pace that overwhelmed Wilkes-Barre at times, and notched a three goal second period that featured them outshooting the Knights by a 20-5 difference.
Both teams played hard in the opening 20 minutes, but the Knights were able to escape with a lead. On their first shot of the game, Zak Currie got a shot through traffic for his 7th goal of the season. The tally ended a 15 game drought for the 19-year-old.
That lead would hold up until 13:01 into the second. Gerard Maretta caught a bouncing puck in front and beat Zach Stejskal low for his first goal in the North American Hockey League. That sparked the visitors, who made a three goal run in less than six minutes.
John Jaworski would be the next opportunist and break through for the 2-1 lead. Wilkes-Barre failed to clear traffic in and around the net, and on sustained zone pressure, Jaworski benefited from a shot on bended knee inside 10 feet of Stejskal. Over three minutes later, Alex Cohen got by the defender for a cross-ice pass that he took to the front of the net with a backhand goal, making it 3-1.
The grey and blue didn’t quit. Early in the third, Jake Fuss got credit on a power play goal, giving the buzzing forward his 11th in the last 18 games. A left wing perimeter shot from Blake Kryska caught a piece of Fuss in front of the net for the biscuit to bounce in on goalie David Fessenden.
After the Generals retaliated to make it 4-2, the Knights again refused to bow out. A known “General killer”, Adrian Danchenko was able to pull his team within one on a booming one-timer that was fired top shelf just 53 seconds after Northeast scored. With seven minutes to play, the Gens’ played keep away, though the Knights still found opportunities through the sticks of players like Tyrone Bronte and Gabe Temple. It wasn’t until the dying seconds of the game that they would find their needed answer.
With Stejskal pulled, A six-on-five took place for over a minute and Jordan Strand cashed in from the middle of the blue line, driving it through the five hole of the stick-less Fessenden, thus earning the Knights a critical standings point by making it 4-4.
In the north-south style that is three-on-three overtime, the Knights’ blemish led to a Generals goal. Adrian Danchenko weaved through a defender in the slot, but misfired the puck leading it to go the other way. From there, Aurel Naus and Louis Boudon went in on an odd man rush where Boudon would finish it for the Generals win.
Northeast improves to 21-24-9, while the Knights go to 22-27-5. The teams are separated by two points. Zach Stejskal earns 37 saves, while Fessenden gets the win in goal stopping 25 pucks.
The clubs play game two of the three game weekend Saturday night at 7pm.