Entering Friday night, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights were looking to get off a three-game losing streak and bounce back from a home loss to New Jersey. They would have their opportunity for revenge with a road trip to the Titans home at the Middletown Ice World Arena.
Following a lopsided, high-scoring affair Thursday, tempers were high in a testy first period of play. Six power plays were assessed-four for the Knights and two for the Titans, but neither side could take advantage as David Tomeo and Brandon Perrone did their part to put goose eggs on the board.
Following a slow start that saw the Titans take the lion’s share of shots to begin the game, the Knights used their power plays to draw nearly even on offensive chances in the first period. The team used the momentum to come out with a fast pace in the middle frame.
In a period that they out-shot New Jersey 14-8, the Knights forecheck was finally rewarded at 8:54. Generating a two-on-one rush, Mike Gelatt led Jack Olmstead to the net, where Olmstead buried his 19th tally of the season to put his team up 1-0.
After dictating the second, the Knights saw play even out in the third. Tomeo and Perrone traded strong saves in a hotly contested period. Though each side would go 0-6 on the man advantage on the evening, the Titans would find gold at the expiration of their fifth power play.
Set up by Jimmy Dowd Jr. and Ryan Naumovski as the Knights returned a man to the ice, Ryan Wheeler ripped a puck from the top of the slot, past Tomeo to tie the game at one at 12:48.
The Knights would have their opportunities to re-take the lead, but would be foiled late in the frame. The first was a three-on-one, even-strength rush stopped by Brandon Perrone. On the Knights final penalty kill with under 2:00 to play in regulation, the Titans netminder would again stymie Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, this time on a shorthanded two-on-one.
Three-on-three overtime would follow 60 minutes of play, as the Knights attempted to avoid being swept by a division opponent for the second consecutive weekend. After a brief trade of zones David Tomeo (35 saves on the night) would come up with the save of the evening on a glove robbery of Ryan Naumovski on a breakaway.
The victory was short-lived however, as on the ensuing faceoff, Naumovski won the draw, charged ahead around the back of the net, and stuffed a backhand wraparound home for the New Jersey win.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s search for a bounce back will resume next weekend in Alaska when the team travels to Kenai River for a two-game set on February 9th and 10th. Both games will be played at 11:30 pm EST/7:30 pm AKST and will be available on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media for all team news and updates!