Quick Hits: NAHL Game 43 Preview

Six game road trip ends in Maryland.

Friday, February 15th- Piney Orchard Ice Arena at 7:45pm

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (15-23-4, 34pts.)
Maryland Black Bears (14-27-5, 33pts.)

What’s Been Going On
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s gathered points in six of the last 10 games, while Maryland has gone 3-7 over that same stretch. Since the turn to 2019, The Knights have played 11 games compared to Maryland’s  13, yet the Black Bears have scored just once more than the Knights this year. Maryland has also played four more games than Wilkes-Barre this season and trails them by a point in the East Division standings.

No More Breaks
The Knights return to action after a nine day break, having last played on February 6th in a win over New Jersey. Wilkes-Barre will play its remaining 18 games over the next eight weeks, with all of them coming on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The Knights play at least one game each weekend the rest of the way.

Crease Call
Joining Zach Stejskal as the second goaltender will be 19-year-old Jacob Urban, who was added to the Knights roster earlier in the week. Urban comes in place of Samuel Vyletelka, who the Knights dealt to Corpus Christi.

“I’m ready,” said Urban.  “I’m here to prove myself and show that I do belong here, so I’m just really excited to be with the team moving forward.”

More EHL Kids
With forward Anthony Mastromonica still nursing an injury, head coach and general manager Tom Kowal has elected to recall forwards Matthew Bielinski and Denys Arkhypenko from the EHL Knights affiliate.

The pair becomes the latest example of EHL players getting an opportunity to work their way up to an NAHL opportunity. Matt Passaretti, Hunter Bersani, Joshua Edwards, and Thomas Walker have already had opportunities to join the NAHL team in practice and some of these players have even played games at the tier II level. Bielinski, 18, has 19 points on the year, while fellow call-up and 18-year-old Arkhypenko is second on the EHL club in scoring with 10 goals and 27 points.

For What It’s Worth
This will be the fifth of eight scheduled meetings between the clubs. The Knights have won every game against the league’s newest team so far, going 4-0 on the season.

Expect Wilkes-Barre to be favored in the special teams department. Their power play ranks 12th, while the penalty kill sits 11th. Maryland has the league’s 20th best power play, and their penalty kill is third from the bottom.

Former Knights goalie and current Black Bear, David Tomeo has seen the 5th most shots against of any goalie in the NAHL this season. Zach Stejskal has seen the most, with over 1200 coming his way.

Both teams are led by multiple players with 13 goals. Jacob Badal and Gabe Temple carry the weight for the Knights, while Maryland has a trio of 13 goal scorers, with Coonor Pooley, Daylon Mannon, and rookie Luke Mountain leading the pack.