Guillemain posts four point game.
The Knights saw a three goal lead vanish, but were able to stay the course and regain the momentum for a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Titans Friday night at Revolution Ice Centre. The dramatic contest results in Wilkes-Barre not only getting their fourth consecutive win, but also earning the 100th regular season win in the organizations’ four year NAHL history.
Sacha Guillemain registered a career high four points to help the grey and blue jump to 18-23-4 to stay within a point of the Northeast Generals for the final playoff spot in the East Division. New Jersey falls to 24-22-1 with the loss.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton began the game with their best opening period of the season. A point shot from Jordan Strand got through for the 1-0 lead nearly eight minutes in. In the final three minutes of the frame, Gabe Temple and Blake Kryska would add for the Knights, giving them a 3-0 cushion through 20 minutes.
Temple scored on the power play for his team leading-15th goal of the season. 1:29 later, Kryska found a loose puck on the left side of the goal, beating Titans goalie Brandon Perrone to cap-off the dominant period.
New Jersey would tip the scales in their favor in the second, equaling the Knights first with a three goal period of their own. Two Titans goals came from the stick of Tim DeBord; a rookie making his NAHL debut after being called up from the EHL New Jersey 87’s.
Their opening goal belonged to Mitch Machlitt, who caught his own rebound from the right side to beat Knights keeper Zach Stejskal inside the first minute of the frame. At the 3:24 mark, DeBord scored his first NAHL goal off an awkward sequence, as a Titans player ran into Stejskal, knocking the goaltender out of sync while DeBord shot the puck in. A small debate ensued amongst officials, but it was quickly decided that the goal would stand.
DeBord’s second goal and game-tying mark would come late in the period when the forward used his skate to redirect Josef Glamos’ shot.
The third period suffered a lengthy delay when the Titans bench door failed to close. The game was stopped for repairs on the door, but continued after with less than 14 minutes to play in what was a tie game. This is where Sacha Guillemain came through as the hero for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The French winger failed to capitalize on a prime shot in front of the goal, but had the hockey sense to quickly find Jeffrey Bertrand for a pass the Penn State commit nailed home to regain the lead. New Jersey played a physical game right up to the finish, and with over two minutes left and continuous offensive zone pressure, the goaltender was pulled in favor of a six-on-five advantage. Just seconds into that scenario however, the Titans were called for too many men on the ice, giving the Knights their biggest break of the game.
New Jersey pulled the goalie once more for an even strength chance, but Guillemain stripped a man of the puck and skated down for the empty net goal, which counted as a power play goal due to the previous penalty.
February is in the books for the Knights. They’ll begin March in what serves as the biggest weekend of the season to date with three games on the road against the Northeast Generals.