Quick Hits: NAHL Game 47 Preview

Knights can leapfrog Generals in standings with a win.

Saturday, March 2nd- New England Sports Village at 6:30pm

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (19-23-4, 42pts.)
Northeast Generals (17-21-9, 43pts.)

Recap in a Snap
A three goal second period, coupled with a 39 save performance from Zach Stejskal helped the Knights secure a 4-0 shutout win over the Generals in Friday’s weekend opener.

Anthony Mastromonica returned to the lineup after missing a month of action and scored the contest’s opening goal. Davis Pennington, Max Klanow, and Adrian Danchenko each added goals in the middle period to bury Northeast from any idea of a comeback. Stejskal earned his fourth shutout of the season.

Discipline Helps
Taking just three¬†Penalties in a game is good. Having no penalties through two periods may be even better. Though Wilkes-Barre takes the 13th most penalty minutes across the NAHL, their lack of trips to the sin bin Friday only helped their chances on the ice. The club didn’t incur its first infraction until 5:16 into the third period.

The last meeting between these teams featured 14 PIM’s against the Knights, who ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard. This time around, they kept composed and played to the whistle, then stopped the extracurriculars. While Northeast didn’t seem guilty of much either, the Knights had to simply focus on their game plan. They did, and as a result they won.

Something’s Missing
You can’t lick your wounds this time of year, but you can certainly capitalize on another team’s misfortune. The Knights know all too well about the injury bug. In the last month, Anthony Mastromonica, Shay Donovan, Blake Kryska, and Tyrone Bronte all missed time with injuries.

Northeast suffered a similar fate with star player and leading scorer, Louis Boudon sidelined in Friday’s game. The Lake Superior State commit has 54 points in 44 games this year, but was missing in action for Friday’s weekend opener. The 20-year-old has 5 points against the Knights this season. No timetable exists on Boudon’s recovery time, but if he’s to be out of the lineup again, this offers a prime opportunity for the grey and blue to pounce.

For What It’s Worth
A win of any kind for the Knights would place them over Northeast and into the fourth and final NAHL East Division playoff spot. Winning in regulation would put the Knights a point ahead of the Generals, and while an overtime win would tie them in points, the Knights own more wins and have played one fewer game.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got to starter David Fessenden often in Friday’s game. The reigning East Division Star of the Week was pulled after surrendering four goals on 23 shots through 40 minutes. Marko Sturmo stopped all seven shots he faced in the third.

Friday’s 4-0 win marked the fifth consecutive victory for the Knights, tying their earlier season-best win streak set from November-December. Overall, this is the third time in NAHL franchise history the Knights have won five straight. The club has a chance to reach six consecutive for the first time ever.