Quick Hits: NAHL Game Seven Preview

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights welcome the familiar New Jersey Titans to Revolution Ice Centre Friday night for the start of a home-and-home on the weekend.

The encounter marks the first time since April 22nd the Titans and Knights meet. On that day,  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took a 5-2 decisive game five in the North American Hockey League East Division Playoffs.

Trending in Opposite Directions
Last week, the Knights swept the Maryland Black Bears on the weekend to get their first two victories of the season. With the Knights coming off wins, the Titans are the opposite. In fact, New Jersey has lost three straight and four of their last five after starting the year out 3-0-0.

It all started in their first defeat of the year, thanks to a third period rally from the Odessa Jackalopes at the NAHL Showcase. Odessa trailed 3-0 after two periods, but were able to pull off the comeback and send New Jersey their first loss.  During this losing skid, the Titans have surrendered 13 goals.

Titans Trade
Earlier in the week, the Titans sent Christian Barderson to the Lone Star Brahmas in exchange for defenseman Ben Pirko. The 6’3″ former Brahma is a Virginia Native and already committed to Union College.

Bronte’s Back
Last weekend, the Knights saw the return of winger Tyrone Bronte. The Bemidji State bound forward struck for three goals in two games, including the overtime winner against Maryland on Saturday.  Bronte scored 15 goals and 35 points last year during the regular season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  He added six points in the playoffs, including three against New Jersey in the opening round.

Stejskal The Star
If the Titans match up with Knights’ goaltender Zach Stejskal, then it could be a long night for New Jersey. the Wilkes-Barre net minder continuously frustrated the Black Bears a weekend ago and earned himself the NAHL East Divisions’ Top Star of the Week award.  Stejskal allowed just three goals and made 78 saves in less than 24 hours as he started both games against Maryland.

For What It’s Worth
Friday will mark the 40th NAHL regular season meeting between the Titans and Knights. Though New Jersey is favored with the all -time record of 21-18, Wilkes-Barre has taken seven out of 12 tilts in each of the last two seasons. The Knights are an even 10-10 when playing New Jersey at Revolution Ice Centre, but took four of the six home meetings last season. The Knights’ next win will be their 85th regular season win in the NAHL.