On a Thursday afternoon road game in Massachusetts, it’s entirely possible the Knights were feeling a little nostalgic, even if they didn’t like the reason as to why.
For two periods they watched as the Northeast Generals built a 2-0 lead and a strong case for their first victory in the NAHL. The veterans of both the Knights roster and coaching staff no doubt remember the clamor and struggle it took for their own program to achieve the same feat just under 13 months ago.
Still, as the third period started and time began winding down, the Knights didn’t lose sight of their focus in year two; win in all circumstances.
The context of the 2-0 hole they found themselves in wasn’t overly complicated. Generals captain Colin Bilek had found the back of the net twice in the first period and Central Scouting Watch List member Gabe Vinal had been perfect through 40 minutes of play.
He would remain that way through the first 12 minutes of the third. Finally at 12:22 the Middletown line that had spurred the Knights to victory on Sunday, initiated the comeback effort Thursday. Matt Kidney beat Vinal on assists from Mike Gelatt and Khristian Acosta.
The Gelatt name would be re-entered on the scoresheet twice more a minute and a half later as Mike then set up his brother Tim to tie the game at 2 at 13:52. The goal was Tim’s first on the season.
The score would hold for another six minutes, where again the memories of the Knights first NAHL victory had to be swimming somewhere in the consciousness of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton bench. It was in early October of 2015 that the Knights, winless for an extended stretch in their inaugural season in tier-II hockey, topped the Johnstown Tomahawks at home and in overtime to secure their first victory.
With 59 seconds to play, Sam Antonitsch snapped any chance at a deja vu, with a goal to put the Knights ahead for good with the assist off the stick of Jesse Anderson.
The Northeast first victory celebration will have to wait once again, despite the team getting closer and closer to surmounting that first major hurdle.
For the Knights, they earned a much needed road-win and two points. The win was their second straight and sets the table for another road face off with Northeast today at 1 PM EST.
Mike Gelatt: 0-2-2, +2
Matt Kidney: 1-0-1, +2
Khristian Acosta: 0-1-1, +2
Tim Gelatt: 1-0-1, +2
Grant Valentine: 30/32, 2.00 GAA, .938 sv%
Colin Bilek: 2-0-2, +/- 0
Gave Vinal, 38/41, 3.00 GAA, .927 sv%