Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin
Rookies lead the way as Knights climb standings
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights kicked off their regular season in thrilling fashion, winning 3-2 over the Titans in overtime Friday night. Entering Saturday’s road rematch, they were in search of two points that would move them into first place in the East.
Things started off quickly; just one 1:01 into the first, Lincoln Hatten buried his first goal of his NAHL career on assists from Tyrone Bronte and Tom Farrell.
Just under two minutes later Jack Olmstead picked up his first tally of the year and second of his Knights career on an assist from Lincoln Hatten.
New Jersey would not waste much time with their response. 16 seconds after Olmstead’s goal, Hunter Alden pitched in one of his own (Nick Boyagian) to cut the lead in half. Despite a slew of penalties to close the period, the game would remain 2-1 at the end of the first 20 minutes of play.
Tiernan Seningen would open the second by tying the game at two just 52 seconds in, set up by Ryan Naumovski and Matthew Cameron. The Knights were back in the lead 48 seconds later when Tyrone Bronte notched his first career NAHL goal on assists from Jack Olmstead and Paul Luebke.
17:15 into a pitched period that saw a both teams combine for 26 shots, Jack Olmstead added his second goal of the night to regain the two-goal lead (Bronte).
Keeping the theme of early-in-the-period scoring, the Titans cut the Knights lead to one after Matthew Headland added his first goal of the season at the 3:44 mark in the third period, set up by Tyler Barrow.
Like it’s predecessor, the third period saw 26 combined shots between forechecks. Goalies Kevin Lake (37/40) for the Knights and Brandon Perrone (32/36) held their own in between the pipes to keep the game at a 4-3 tilt.
In the contest’s dwindling moments, New Jersey pulled their goalie in an effort to tie the game with the benefit of the added attacker. Instead, Tom Farrell and Adrian Danchenko slid the puck up ice to Curtis Carlson for the game-sealing empty net goal.
With the victory, the Knights earned a weekend sweep of the Titans and move into a tie with the Northeast Generals for first place in the East Division. All totaled, Knights rookies combined to score four goals and five assists on the evening.
Their next contest will come Wednesday in the team’s first game of the NAHL Showcase, held in Blaine, Minnesota. Face off against the Amarillo Bulls will take place at 2:15 pm eastern time and can be watched on hockeytv.com.