The Knights endured the full list of emotions Friday night on their way to their 10th win of the season. Entering the game, the Knights carried a two-game losing streak and scoreless streak of 142:52 minutes. They squared off against a team facing their own struggles, with the Tomahawks having lost four straight games.
As an even first period wound to a close, Paul Maust snapped the Knights drought at 161:31 at the 18:39 mark of the first period with a puck that skipped past Drew Hotte. That score would hold into the first intermission after Grant Valentine stuck with the puck through a scramble in front as the period expired.
The Knights would come out with a blistering pace in the second. Sam Antonitsch picked up his 7th goal of the year on a perfect redirect of a Michael Morrissey shot to beat Drew Hotte at 2:20.
A flurry of three Johnstown penalties would allow the Knights power play to gain momentum before Keenan Sabatini buried a laser on the power play at 8:37.
In the second half of the period, the Knights would fall into the penalty rut themselves, committing four infraction in the final 7:17 of the period, but were a perfect four for four on the kill. Leaving the ice after forty minutes with a 3-0 lead, the Knights looked to close things out in the third.
It appeared the Knights were well on their way to an insurance goal following Chris Trouba’s 5 minutes major for contact to the head in a collision with Joey Kubachka, with the added advantage of a tripping call assessed to Johnstown midway through the penalty to create a full 2:00 of 5-on-3.
The Tomahawks had other ideas as they took advantage of a few Knights miscues and killed both penalties, with one near goal on a shorthanded breakaway. They parlayed the success into momentum, and despite Grant Valentine turning away a few grade-a chances, the Tomahawks began forcing the Knights to make mistakes. Four more penalties committed by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the final 9:20 of play left the door open for a Johnstown comeback. After nearly 57 minutes of being shut out, Nick Bruce redirected a puck past Valentine on the powerplay to cut the Knights lead to 3-1.
Just over a minute later Tommy Horn hopped on a rebound and ripped it home to make the contest a one-goal game. The goal brought about a knee-jerk reaction from the Knights, committing a post-whistle roughing penalty at 18:05 immediately after the score, leaving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shorthanded for the remainder of regulation.
Despite the breakdown in discipline, the Knights defense held in the final 1:55 to secure the win. The Knights will once again take on the Tomahawks Saturday at home at 7:30 pm. Fans that bring nonperishable food to the concession stand will be given a free medium drink to promote Feed-a-Friend night. WNEP’s Sharla McBride will be in the building to drop the puck.