NAHL Game of the Week
Friday, February 22nd- Revolution Ice Centre at 7pm
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (17-23-4, 38pts.)
New Jersey Titans (24-21-1, 49pts.)
After sweeping the Black Bears a weekend ago, the Knights are back from their lengthy road trip and the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for Billet Night at Revolution Ice Centre! It’s the final home meeting against the rival New Jersey Titans this season. The clubs meet in the Garden State for their final regular season encounter March 12th.
This is the 11th of 12 meetings on the year. Though New Jersey holds a 6-4 season series lead, the Knights edged them in the recent meeting earlier this month by a 2-1 final. The Knights have won three straight, while New Jersey has points in each of its last three.
Need an Ark
The Knights swept the Maryland Black Bears last weekend, but one too many 10 minute misconducts has forced veteran forward Adrian Danchenko out of Friday’s lineup. Because of this, head coach and general manager Tom Kowal has confirmed that EHL Knights call-up Denys Arkhypenko will remain in the forward group.
Arkhypenko played in both games last weekend, registering no points with a +/-1 in his NAHL debut. The 18-year-old scored 10 goals for the tier III Eastern Hockey League Affiliate over 36 games this season.
The Long Road Ahead
For Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Friday marks the first and only home game in February. The club spent the previous six contests away from home and the schedule does them no favors following Friday.
The game at home is merely a pit-stop for the grey and blue, who will begin March hitting the road for a season-long eight game road trip. In that stretch, they’ll play every other East Division team, minus Maryland. Every team the Knights play from now until the start of April will come against the four clubs ahead of them in the standings, starting with this pivotal matchup at home. Wilkes-Barre holds eight home wins this season, while the visiting Titans have taken 10 decisions away from their rink.
For What It’s Worth
With 17 wins, Knights goalie Zach Stejskal is three wins shy of tying Knights goaltender Grant Valentine, who won 20 games for the team in the 2016-17 campaign. Valentine’s win total sits as highest among goalies during the four year existence of the NAHL Knights.
Titans forward Kyle Jeffers leads rookies in goals with 22 on the season. He ranks eighth in the league among all players, while teammate Gavin Gulash sits tied with him for 22 tallies.
The Knights remain short on the offensive end. While Danchenko sits out, Anthony Mastromonica also remains unable to play. The big bodied forward was sidelined last month and remains in a no contact jersey at practice.
The next win for the NAHL Knights will be the 100th in franchise history.
Friday’s broadcast will be streamed for FREE on HockeyTV.