Looking to get back in the win column following a Sunday overtime loss, the Knights turned their eyes toward the Johnstown Tomahawks Friday night. In their first meeting of the year, the Knights looked to flip the script following a 2016-17 head-to-head dominated by the Tomahawks.
After a gridlocked first period, the Knights found the twine just before the 18:00 mark when Mick Heneghan made a savvy pass under the goal line to a waiting Jack Olmstead who put the biscuit home from the back post of Johnstown netminder Vinnie Purpura. The goal saw both Mick Heneghan and Shay Donovan pick up their first points with the Knights on the helpers.
The Tomahawks responded quickly, breaking a Knights 16-for-16 streak on the penalty kill with a power play goal at 19:26 off the stick of Samuel Solensky, assisted by Karim Del Ponte.
A 1-1 score didn’t survive the first five minutes of the second period. Jack Olmstead struck again off a flurry of Knights rebound-producing shots from Lincoln Hatten and Tyrone Bronte, with both picking up assists on the play at 4:34.
Johnstown would again respond, tying the game at 10:18 when Roman Kraemer took a Carter Dwyer feed and put it past Knights goalie Christian Stoever. The Tomahawks kept pressuring and off a turnover, Mitchell Hale worked his way in behind the Knights defense on a breakaway. He was hooked in the effort and awarded a penalty shot which he fired past Stoever to give the Tomahawks their first lead at 15:28.
During a wild-trade of penalties in the final minutes of the second frame, Shay Donovan tallied his first goal of the year on a top-shelf snipe during 3-on-3 play (Reed Robinson). The Tomahawks came right back with a 4-on-4 goal from Joe Kile, giving him a team-best 6 on the season (Chris Trouba, Brendan White) to take a 4-3 lead to close out the period.
Facing a one-goal deficit entering the third has become an all-too-familiar scenario for the Knights, but while they’d like to face it far less-often, the team has become accustomed to finding the equalizer. Justin Engelkes did just that 43 seconds into the period, following a deflected shot off the stick of Tomas Koblizek which found its way straight to the aforementioned Miami University commit, who fired it past Purpura to even the game at 4. Anthony Firriolo earned his first point with the Knights on the secondary assist.
After a back-and-forth 15 minutes, it appeared the the Tomahawks re-gained the lead following a Hunter Carrick shot from the right circle that bested Stoever. Instead, the goal was disallowed after it was ruled that Stoever kicked the net off its moorings, resulting in a 2:00 delay of game penalty but no goal. The Knights killed the ensuing penalty and moved to the attack.
Jack Olmstead completed a hat trick in dramatic fashion after Tyrone Bronte set him up on a 2-on-1, putting the Knights ahead 5-4 at 18:47. Before the Tomahawks could pull their goalie, Adrian Danchenko forced a turnover inside Johnstown territory and ripped a shot past Purpura to provide the game-sealing insurance.
With the 6-4 win, the Knights keep pace in the third spot of the East division, moving to 7-3-2 on the season. They’ll play the Tomahawks again tonight at 7:30 pm. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com, while in-game updates will be provided via Knights social media:
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