Tag Archives: Alex Morawski

EHL: Knights Charge Continues with Sixth-Straight Win

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

Following a December dominated by long road trips, broken up only by singular home stands and the holidays, the Knights enjoyed their home-cooking this weekend. Entering the new year on a hot streak, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has shown no signs of slowing down in the second half of their EHL season.

After a strong 5-1 win on Saturday, the Knights hit the ground running on Sunday. 17 first period shots from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton were largely kept at bay by the steadiness of Oilers netminder Will McEwen. Alex Morawski finally broke through at 12:07, recording his second goal of the weekend, his 10th on the season, off an assist from Nate Chuckran for the game’s first score.

Just prior to the 19:00 marker, Connecticut forward Val Sverdlov answered with his second score in as many days with Tyler Lapshanski picking up the lone assist.

Tied heading into the second, the Oilers struck first at 5:26 on a power play as the Knights continued to battle their second-period demons. This tally was recorded by Zach Withington with an apple from Tim Lopez to give the Oilers their first lead of the weekend.

The advantage was short-lived as just under a minute later Tyler Watungwa grew his scoring streak to six games with his fourth goal of his young Knights career (Cody Rumsey).

The Knights would tack on another as William Case picked up his second in a Knights sweater off a set up from old friend and longtime teammate Tyler Nielsen in the period’s final minute.

Backed by solid play in the own end and net from Thomas Walker, the Knights attack poured it on in the third. Zach Ouladelhadjahmed picked up a shorthanded goal at 3:36, unassisted. Jake Fuss kept the special teams streak going at 10:34 when the Knights leading-scorer tallied a power play marker from Nick Peck and Nate Chuckran. New addition Bryan Whelan rounded out the scoring at 12:25 when Fuss sent him the biscuit for yet another power play goal. Whelan kicked off his Knights debut with 16th score of his EHL season, following his acquisition from the New York Bobcats Royals.

The Knights rode Walker and his 26 saves through the remainder of the contest and cruised to the 6-2 win, on their way to sixth-straight victory and a convincing weekend sweep. Between Saturday and Sunday, the Knights outscored the Oilers 11-3, won the shooting contest 100-56, and took home the special teams advantage, going 3-for-8 on the power play and 9-for-11 on the penalty kill, scoring two shorthanded goals.

The team will look to continue their hot streak when they travel to the EHL’s January Showcase in Philadelphia next weekend for two games against the Boston Jr. Rangers and the East Coast Wizards. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media for news and updates!

EHL Recap: Knights Beat Oilers for Fifth-Straight Win

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

On Saturday the Knights hosted the Connecticut Oilers in game one of two on the weekend. With positioning in the South Conference on the line, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton didn’t misstep in their second contest of the new year.

With Jared Stahel in net once more, the Knights were bolstered early by the Texas netminder’s steady play in the crease. 11 first-period saves allowed the Knights forecheck to mount 11 of their own chances on goal, with Alex Morawski notching the lone tally of the opening frame at 7:35. On a power play, the Florida-native buried his ninth goal of the year off helpers from Tyler Nielsen and William Case.

Mick Heneghan kept the the offense rolling in the first five minutes of the second period. The Knights defenseman potted his first tally with the EHL team when Denys Arkhypenko found him off a solid sequence initiated by Austin Weber.

Connecticut would finally answer when a power play opportunity arose from the Knights lone penalty of the second period. At 14:29 Tim Lopez fed Fabian Zuccarello who in turn found Val Sverdlov to cut the deficit in half.

Holding strong into the third, the Knights put the game to bed with three more goals, two coming in the period’s first four minutes. Cody Rumsey and Tyler Nielsen combined to set up Tyler Watungwa for his third goal of his Knights career at 1:32. The Ottawa native now has an active five-game point streak, and has scored in all but one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Austin Weber followed suit just two minutes later when he bested Connecticut goalie Olof Djurberg for the Knights 4-1 lead (Heneghan, Jake Fuss). Following a scoreless stretch of over 15 minutes, Cole Wenner, fed by Zach Ouladelhadjahmed, picked up his first goal of the season in the form of a shorthanded, empty-netter to move the Knights ahead 5-1. The score would remain through the final horn, cementing the Knights fifth-straight win, their 15th on the season.

A potent Wilkes-Barre/Scranton out-shot Connecticut 42-28, with Jared Stahel back-stopping the Knights defense with 27 saves in his 7th win of the year. With a one-point lead on fourth place in the South Conference, the Knights will look for their sixth-consecutive victory tomorrow morning with a rematch against the Oilers set for 10:30 am EST. Tune in at hockeytv.com, follow along on Knights social media, or come to the Revolution Ice Centre to watch the game in person, free of charge!

EHL: Knights Charge into New Year with Fourth-Straight Win

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

On Sunday, the Knights took the ice for the first time in 2018 at the Ice Line Quad Rinks against the Philadelphia Junior Flyers. With just three points separating third-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the fourth-place JR. Flyers in the Mid-Atlantic, Sunday’s  game carried plenty of weight and playoff implications.

In the first period, the Knights began with a solid tempo on the attack. The team carried play for much of the opening stanza, cracking Philadelphia’s goalie Albin Mulic and the scoreboard first at 9:26. Following a feed from Tyler Watungwa, Cody Rumsey centered a puck from under the goal line to the middle of the slot for a waiting Tyler Nielsen. Nielsen fired home his 12th goal of the season to give the Knights the early lead.

The Junior Flyers would respond shortly. Less than three minutes later, Philadelphia took advantage of the game’s first power play; Billy McDevitt flipped a pass to the blue line for Luca Pisani who pointed a shot to the front of the net. Parked in front, Justin Weinbrenner deflected the puck past Knights starter Jared Stahel to even the score at one.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would respond by maintaining their pressure through the end of the frame, out-shooting the Flyers 15-6, but they could not put another goal past Mulic.

Following a successful penalty kill to open the second, the Knights resumed their heavy forecheck. At 5:42, JP Natishan flipped a puck to Alex Morawski who threaded a pass to Nate Chuckran in front of the net. Chuckran flipped the puck over Mulic to regain the lead. Nick Peck would follow up with a snipe from the point at 11:35, his fourth tally in the last six games, to build the Knights a 3-1 advantage. Jake Fuss and Austin Weber were credited with the helpers.

Heading to the third, the Knights found themselves in control. They were dominating chances on goal and lead shots 25-11. Adding insurance to the cause in the early minutes of the third was Jake Fuss. The Knights captain pulled a Denys Arkhypenko pass in through traffic before turning and weaving his way around Mulic for the Knights fourth goal.

Fuss would strike again when Nick Peck stole a puck at the Philadelphia blue line, and fired it on net. Mulic made the initial save but the rebound was quickly corralled by Arkhypenko who found Fuss on the back door for the tap-in goal at 9:37.

Jared Stahel and the Knights defense buckled down in the last half of the period as the the Junior Flyer’s attack mounted a late surge. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered all challenges but one. On a power play in the game’s final minute, Kyle Harris, Luca Pisani and Connor Lenaghan cycled the puck through the top of the Knights zone before Lenaghan fired a top-shelf snipe past Stahel to cut the score to 5-2.

That would be all for the Philadelphia comeback effort as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton closed out the contest with the 5-2 victory, their fourth-straight. The active winning streak is the team’s longest on the season. The Knights currently hold the fourth seed in the South Conference, up one point over New York Applecore. The top six teams in each of the EHL’s two conferences advance to the postseason.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will try to keep their streak and their climb up the standings going when they host a home-and-home against the Central Division’s Connecticut Oilers on Saturday, January 13th and Sunday, January 14th at 2:30 pm and 10:30 am, respectively. Both games will be broadcast on hockeytv.com.

Stay tuned to Knights Social Media and www.wbsknights.com for all Knights news and updates!

EHL: Knights Win Third Straight in Showcase Sweep

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

On day two of the EHL’s December Showcase, the Knights met the New England Wolves for the second time in under two weeks. The first meeting saw the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton foiled by the steady goal-tending of Brendan Boncore (37 saves on 38 shots) en route to a 2-1 Wolves win.

In round two, the Knights were determined to come home with a win and four points from the latest edition of the league’s showcase series. Monday’s matchup featured not Boncore, but Chris Mattone in goal for New England while Jared Stahel would man the pipes for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Both netminders were unflinching in the first half, as each side mounted quality on goal in a scoreless opening 24 minutes.

A three-penalty period for New England would finally come back to bite the Wolves, when with exactly one minute to spare in the half, Tyler Watungwa bested Mattone for the game’s first score. Power play helpers from Tyler Nielsen and Alex Morawski. Watungwa continues to be an asset since his Knights debut which came on December 9th against the same Wolves. After his scoreless first start, the Ottawa native has gone on to notch a point in each of his three games since.

The Knights used the momentum of the late score to start fast on the attack in the second. Just 3:27 into the half, Jake Nimeh found his third goal of the season, courtesy of a William Case helper. Acquired on December 1st, Case, like Watungwa, now has a three-game point streak over which he’s scored one goal and four assists.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would continue to be backed by a steady afternoon in goal from Jared Stahel. After stopping all seven shots he faced in the first, the goalie turned away a second half upswing in chances, making 15 saves over the final 25 minutes. In conjunction with a solid effort in the net, the Knights kept the Wolves off the board on four second half power play opportunities, after killing off one in the first.

Between Stahel and solid special teams, the Knights continued to add to their lead. Rhett Padgett picked up his fourth goal of the season and the Knights second power play score of the contest at 12:37. Nate Chuckran continued the trend of new Knights scoring as he stretched his point streak to a third game with an assist on Padgett’s tally.

Chuckran would go on to score the game’s final goal just past the 20:37 mark off assists from Alex Morawski and Nick Peck. Morawksi is yet another Knight with an active, three-game point streak heading into the holiday break, with one goal and three assists over his last three outings.

At the final horn, the Knights stepped off the ice with a 4-0 win. Capping off a December in which he recorded a .925 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against over three starts, Jared Stahel finished with 22 saves in his first shutout of the season. The Knights special teams finished on a high note as well with their power play registering two goals in back-to-back contests, while their penalty kill was a perfect 9/9 at the December Showcase.

Needless to say, the Knights will enter the new year on a hot streak. In their last ten games, the team finished with a 6-4 record, scoring 4.00 goals per game, to 3.30 goal’s allowed. In their seven games in December, the Knights have seen their special teams surge on both ends of the ice. The power play converted on 23.3% of all chances while the penalty kill nullified 88.9% of shorthanded chances against. The trio of Nate Chuckran, William Case, and Tyler Watungwa have now amounted seven goals and 14 assists in 24 combined games played for the Knights.

The team won’t play again until after the new year in early January. The Knights organization wishes all its fans, players, staff, and volunteers a very happy, healthy holidays and a wonderful new year in which the Knights will be waiting to continue winning hockey!

EHL Recap: Knights Strike Down Avalanche to Open December Showcase

Photo: EHL

On Sunday, the Knights kicked off game one of their December showcase with a rematch against the New Hampshire Avalanche. In their prior November meeting, the Knights narrowly fell to the North Conference’s point leader 4-3.

On Sunday, the Avs struck first with a goal 9:18 into the contest in the EHL showcase’s two, 25-minute halves format. Melker Kroon pushed a puck past Knights starter Thomas Walker off assists from Chris Adamsons and Devin Hines.

Jake Fuss would answer back in short order with goal number 26 on his 2017-18 campaign at 12:55. Just after the Knights transitioned from a 4-on-3 to 5-on-3, Tyler Watungwa found Fuss to tie the game at one. The apple marked Watungwa’s second point since making his debut for the Knights two games prior.

The Knights wouldn’t leave the first half without the lead. Against Nick Sorgio in net for New Hampshire, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton mounted an end of half charge that culminated in Brady Hanson setting up Fuss for his second goal of the evening at 24:28.

Down one to open the second, the Avalanche’s potent offense responded in the first five minutes, when Tyler Uravage tied the game at two at 4:34. The goal came via helpers from Derek Britner and John Scala.

In the follow up to the score, both teams found themselves bogged down by trips to the penalty box. Both Walker and Sorgio hunkered down and kept the score tied through the first 15 minutes.

The holding pattern lasted until the Avalanche’s third infraction of the half. Just 13 seconds into their fifth power play, the Knights drove home the go-ahead goal off the blade of their power play savant Alex Morawski (William Case, Nick Peck). Morawski’s tally was his eight of the season, his sixth on the power play. The Knights blue-line continued its recent scoring surge as Case’s assist marked his fifth point in his last six games. Peck’s helper was his fourth point in his last five games.

Walker and the Knights back check stymied New Hampshire in the final nine minutes of play. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalty kill put the icing on the cake with a crucial pair of tests late. In a game in which they killed all five power plays they faced, the Knights were able to nullify nearly back to back Avalanche power plays in the game’s final 2:39. With 13 seconds left in the game, Nate Chuckran found the empty net, shorthanded to put the game on ice.

Chuckran, Case, and Watungwa, the three most recent additions to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster, have now combined for five goals and 12 assists in their 21 combined games with the Knights.

With the 4–2 win, the Knights have picked up two-straight victories. They’ll look to extend the streak to three as they close out their showcase with a contest against the New England Wolves at 12:30 pm EST. Tune in at my HockeyTV.com!

EHL: Offense Carries Knights Past Lumberjacks

Photo: EHL

Sunday afternoon saw the Knights host the Vermont Lumberjacks for the teams’ second head-to-head of the season. Coming off a frustrating loss in which the Knights out-chanced their opposition, they looked to bounce back in the weekend finale.

The offense was given an early jump-start when Jake Fuss turned and fired a puck past Lumberjacks starter Chris Stangarone just two minutes into the first period. Austin Weber, centering Fuss and Anthony Starzi on the afternoon, was credited with the primary helper with Starzi collecting the second.

The Knights would strike again at 8:52, when Fuss kept the lid on the zone, tapped a puck to Weber who found an open Anthony Starzi in front of Stangarone. Starzi buried his 20th tally of the season to move the Knights up by two.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton controlled much of the rest of the period, as they out-shot the Lumberjacks 18-7 in the opening 20 minutes, on their way to one of their best starts of the season.

The second period saw the script flipped. As has been the case in the past this season, the middle frame saw the Knights shorthanded often, resulting in an opening 10 minutes dominated by Vermont. The Lumberjacks buried three goals in the first 8:38 to take the lead.

Patrick Manning nabbed the first when he threw a bouncing puck on net from a sharp angle before it was pushed past Knights starter Thomas Walker (Wade Weeden). The second was scored by Kyle McDonald on the power play off helpers from Andrew Barber and Conor Leonard. On the third, set up by Kyle McDonald, Andrew Bechard fired a cross-ice feed that squeezed through Walker in the crease to Logan Discanio on the back door for the tap-in score.

The Knights regrouped in the second half of the period, pushing back on the attack when playing at even strength, but at the horn, they went to the dressing room down by one. Vermont out-shot the Knights 21-10 in the period.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton quickly righted the ship out of the gate in the third. Just 3:07 in, Nate Chuckran buried a goal shortside off helpers from Alex Morawski and William Case to tie the game at three. Chuckran was the first man on to start a change near the 5:00 mark, where his shot-denied by a spectacular stick save from Stangarone-rebounded to Tyler Wantungwa, who ripped it home for his first goal in a Knights sweater.

Up 5-4, the Knights found what would turn out to be more than key insurance when William Case picked up his first Knights goal on a dart through a screen at 9:41. Jake Fuss and Anthony Starzi were credited with the assists on the score that came during 4-on-4 play.

It appeared the Knights would have the perfect set up to put the game away when the Lumberjacks took a penalty past the halfway point of the third. While on the power play, Wade Weeden’s exit pass gave Vermont a 2-on-1, shorthanded breakaway. Andrew Bechard faked the pass before ripping a shot top-shelf, over the glove of Walker to bring the Lumberjacks within one.

The score would hold until the final minute of play. Just before Vermont pulled Stangarone, the Knights committed a slashing penalty. The infraction put them down two men after the Lumberjacks successfully emptied the net. The Knights penalty kill didn’t blink as they were quick to find pucks and clear the zone. With under 30 seconds to remaining, Case flipped a puck to Fuss, who found Starzi streaking through center ice. The speedy forward skated the puck to the twine to put the game on ice, 6-4.

With the win, the Knights snap a four-game skid and improve to 11-19 on the season. Their final games before the holiday break will come on the road next weekend against the New Hampshire Avalanche on Sunday, December 17th at 5:20 pm EST and the New England Wolves and Monday, December 18th at 12:10 pm EST. Both games will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL on Twitter and visit www.wbsknights.com and all Knights social media for news and updates!

EHL Weekend Recap: Knights Drop Pair in Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

The Knights played games two and three of their weekend in Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday, looking to bounce back from a tough loss Friday.

First on tap were the Philadelphia Junior Flyers, the occupants of 4th place in the Mid-Atlantic division. Meeting for the third time of 2017-18, the Knights hoped to further their unbeaten streak against the Jr. Flyers with a win.

In the opening two minutes of the contest, Marko Bohatiuk put Philadelphia on the board with his second tally of the year, set up by Bayley Kubara. In a relatively even period in which each side combining for 31 shots, the Knights would find an equalizer at 16:04, when Anthony Starzi potted his 18th goal of the season, assisted by Jake Fuss. On the very next shift, Nicholas Harris connected with Kubara, who fed Drew Platt for the Junior Flyers second score.

Down 2-1 to open the second, the Knights offense kicked their attack into high gear. At 5:04 Nick Peck picked up a goal in his second-straight contest off of helpers from Fuss and Cody Rumsey. On a power play halfway through the period, William Case registered his first point with the Knights when he set up Alex Morawski for the game-tying goal. Tyler Nielsen picked up the secondary assist.

Into the the third period, the score remained even until the 5:39 mark, when Adrian Martinez kicked off a Philadelphia scoring surge with his sixth goal of the season (Nicholas Harris). David Waterman followed with the next Jr. Flyers tally at 9:40 (Matthew Mood). Adrian Martinez notched his second score exactly one minute later on helpers from Gianni Dini and Nick Kiemel.

Down 5-3, Anthony Starzi did his part to keep the Knights afloat, scoring a shorthanded goal, his 19th marker of the year, at 14:08. Despite the boost, the Knights could not climb all the way back, as Jr. Flyers goalie Albin Mulic closed the door in the final minutes, securing Philadelphia the 5-4 victory. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton starter Jared Stahel made 48 saves in the loss.

Sunday’s rematch featured the Knights final regular season tilt against the Little Flyers.

Philadelphia wasted little time getting into the goal column, as Nick Magill-Diaz notched the game’s first tally on its’ first power play, just 3:40 in. Magill-Diaz scored off assists from Joey Savel and Mitchell Hall.

Alex Henson, the EHL’s defending goaltender of the month, kept the Knights offense at bay until 14:14. Set up by David Pfoestl and Nate Chuckran, Austin Weber notched his fourth tally of the season to even the score.

A closely fought first gave way to a uneven second, as the same period that foiled the Knights Friday came back to bite them on Sunday. Joey Savel found the twine on a helper from Alex Ochterbeck at 6:59. The pair rotated spots on the score sheet when Savel slid Octherbeck the puck to beat Knights starter Thomas Walker on a power play at 17:26. Mitchell Hall picked up his second assist of the game with the secondary helper.

The Knights offense was slowed by the Little Flyers defense and strong penalty kill, as Philadelphia nullified all six of the Knights opportunities on the man-advantage. Down two late in the third, the Knights pulled Walker after the Little Flyers took a too-many men penalty with just over two minutes remaining. With the 6-on-4 advantage, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton mounted a few chances on net, but none that bested Henson. The game was put on ice at 19:11 when Avery Smith pushed a puck free to neutral ice before burying it in an open net.

Coming off the 4-1 loss, the Knights will look to regroup this week as the team prepares for its final home games before the holiday break. They’ll play host to the New England Wolves on Saturday, December 9th at 3:45 pm and then the Vermont Lumberjacks on Sunday the 10th at 1:45 pm. Both games will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and www.easternhockeyleague.org along with Knights social media for all news, player, and staff content and updates!

EHL: Ochterbeck Leads Little Flyers in Comeback Over Knights

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

The Knights kicked off a three-game weekend with their fifth meeting against the Philadelphia Little Flyers Friday afternoon. With both teams missing regulars in the lineup, the contest would prove a good test of mettle and depth for both benches.

JP Natishan put the Knights ahead early after Anthony Starzi found the forward streaking through a soft-spot in the Little Flyers back check. Natishan scored the game’s first goal when he skated in alone through the slot and put a shot past the glove of Philadelphia’s starter Brendahn Brawley.

Both sides exchanged solid looks on net with Brawley and Knights starter Thomas Walker fending off their remaining tests in the opening 11 minutes. Even without leading scorer Jake Fuss, the Knights forecheck continually applied pressure on the attack, drawing a penalty just after the halfway point of the period.

Less than a minute into the Knights man advantage, the Little Flyers capitalized on a bouncing puck through neutral ice as Joey Savel and Trevor Lewandoski fed Alex Ochterbeck through the middle to set up a shorthanded chance. Ochterbeck worked his way in alone on Walker where he backhanded a puck to the twine to tie the game at one at 11:00.

The Knights wouldn’t dwell on the miscue, and would draw another penalty at 11:15 to create a 5-on-3 advantage. With three seconds left in the initial penalty, Nick Peck fired a shot through traffic to best Brawley and give the Knights back the lead at 12:07. Anthony Starzi picked up the lone assist on the tally.

Before the end of the first, the Knights would get an added lift, when off a board battle on the left wing of neutral ice, Tyler Nielsen dragged the puck into the offensive zone before flipping a pass to an oncoming Alex Morawski. The latter forward barreled into the slot and ripped a shot through the pads of Brawley to give the Knights a 3-1 advantage at 16:34.

With a two-goal lead heading into the middle frame, the Knights looked to continue their impressive start with a clean, physical attack. Instead, the team was assessed four penalties in a sequence of events that would turn the second period into a costly quagmire. On a 5-on-3 power play at 8:48, Mitchell Hall found a rebound off an Ochterbeck shot, burying it past Walker from the middle of the slot to cut the lead to one. The play was set up on the cycle from Brendan Coughlin.

Five minutes later, the Little Flyers created an odd-man rush when Ricky Walsh, from Brendan Coughlin, found a streaking Ryan Vogt, who hammered the puck past Walker to tie the game at three. On their fourth power play of the afternoon, Alex Ochterbeck found himself open to the side of Walker following crisp passing from Nick Magill-Diaz and Joey Savel. The Little Flyers leading scorer paused just long enough for a space to open as Walker moved to meet him. Seeing his spot, Ochterbeck pulled the trigger for his second goal of the game.

Ochterbeck wasn’t done. In the final 30 seconds of the frame, he skated to the middle of a 3-on-1 rush from which he netted a hat trick on assists from Cale Coor and Magill-Diaz. At the end of the period, the Knights found themselves down 5-3.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton started the third quickly, as Tyler Nielsen brought his team back within one on a power play goal at 3:01 (Nate Chuckran, Alex Morawski). Nielsen’s 10th tally spurred more pressure from the Knights, as they rebounded from a quiet second with several quality chances and extended time in the offensive zone. Despite the improvement, Brendahn Brawley settled in, diverting the remaining chances sent his way, with help from an active defense that blocked a number of shots on goal.

After enduring the Knights fifth power play of the game, the Little Flyers found the insurance they needed when Octherbeck notched his fourth goal of the contest at 14:12 (Stanislav Haurus, Savel). The renewed two-goal lead proved too steep a hill to climb.

At the final horn, the Knights dropped the contest by a score of 6-4. They’ll look to bounce back against the Junior Flyers in Philadelphia tomorrow at 5:00 pm EST, before visiting the Little Flyers for a Sunday rematch at 12:45 pm. Both games will be broadcast on www.hockeytv.com. Follow the Knights on Twitter @WBSKnightsEHL and visit www.easternhockeyleague.org for updates!

EHL Recap: Knights Fall to RoughRiders in Game Two of Weekend Series

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

In game two of a home-and-home set, the Knights looked to fend off the RoughRiders to avoid coming out on the wrong end of a weekend sweep.

Former Knight Alex Rowella quickly proved to be the biggest obstacle to the Knights efforts as the ’97 forward got his team off to a fast start. At 7:20 into the first, he potted a power play goal on a rebound generated off of a Mattijs Ossorio point shot.

Rowella would strike again at 9:48, unassisted after forcing a turnover in front of Knights goalie Jared Stahel. A third goal found the twine at 12:46 as Rowella completed a first-period hat trick after working his way in and flipping a puck home to put Connecticut ahead 3-0.

The Knights returned fired by mounting chances on RoughRiders netminder Ryan Bonnvie through the period, finally drawing a penalty at 15:35. Alex Morawski continued his tear on the man-advantage, notching his fourth power play goal of the season at 17:08, after going end-to-end off a Brady Hanson set up.

The second period, a frame in which the Knights have had issues with consistency in the young season, proved to be defensive-oriented and yielded no additional tallies for either team. Each penalty kill, after starting 0-1, rounded back into form as both teams killed off multiple second-period penalties, bolstered by strong play by both Stahel and Bonnvie.

The third period followed suit with many stoppages resulting in a lack of rhythm from both forechecks. The Knights pressed throughout the period, but Connecticut was able to limit chances from the middle of the ice. Jared Stahel made a few sterling saves in net to keep Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the game, but Bonnvie matched him save for save.

Finally, following a Knights penalty at 14:32, the RoughRiders put the game out of reach with their second power play goal, following a good cycle from Colin O’Connor to Alex Rowella, who went dot-to-dot with Cullen Kane, who pushed wrister home for the 4-1 advantage. Following the goal, Connecticut clamped down on the back check, limiting Knights opportunities in the game’s final minutes to secure their fourth-straight victory.

The Knights will look to bounce back next week with a home-and home series against the Philadelphia Revolution. Game one is on Saturday, October 7th at 2:30 pm. Game two is Sunday, October 8th at 2:00 pm. Admission at the Revolution Ice Centre is free for both games. The pair of contests will be broadcast on www.hockeytv.com. Follow live updates on twitter @WBSKnightsEHL and the score sheet at www.easternhockeyleague.org.

 

EHL Recap: Knights Complete Comeback Thriller against Bobcats Royals

A slow start gave way to a dominant finish as the Knights erase 4-goal deficit to stun New York in overtime

It’s not how you start, but how you finish. The famous line may be uttered often, but it makes it no less relevant in the world of ice hockey.

On Monday afternoon’s contest with the New York Bobcats Royals, the phrase had to have been present in the back of the Knights collective thoughts as they watched their opponents race ahead to a 4-0 lead.

Things began clicking for the Bobcats Royals out of the gate, as in the game’s first minute, forward Bryan Whelan hopped on a turnover under the Knights blue line and in alone, made a nifty move in front of Knights goalie Thomas Walker for the 1-0 lead. From there, the Bobcats Royals attack ultimately ran through their captain Matthew Araujo. The left-handed defenseman scored the game’s second goal at 5:44 with a power play rocket off assists from Bryan Whelan and Anthony Zyller.

Arajuo would strike again at 16:18 on another well-placed shot (Thomas Fagan, Connor Blair) to build a 3-0 lead that would hold through the end of the period.

With the Knights looking to turn things around in the middle frame, they came out with an aggressive tempo to start the second, but an offensive zone turnover forced by Araujo led to his assist on former Knight, Louie Kuka’s breakaway goal, putting New York up 4-0 in the game’s first 22 minutes. After the score, Knights coach Josh Fusco replaced Thomas Walker with Jared Stahel in net.

Stahel settled in and made few tough saves to keep the game from getting out of hand. It was around the 15 minute mark of the period that the Knights began to find their stride. As their forecheck gained steam in the attacking zone, the Bobcats Royals took a two-minute penalty for interference, sending Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to their first power play of the game at 15:22. Just 38 seconds in, Rhett Padgett poked and weaved the puck through the offensive zone, before burying it through the traffic in front of New York goaltender Niklas Butchma.

The Knights first goal was quickly answered by an Araujo hat trick assisted by Jason Santoriello and Thomas Fagan 54 seconds later. With the period winding down, the Knights attack refused to quit. At 18:12 Alex Morawski set up Anthony Starzi, who notched his first goal of his junior hockey career, beating Butchma to trim the deficit back to three.

With their forecheck humming through the end of the period, the Knights drew another penalty and power play opportunity with just 14 seconds left in the second. Though they were unsuccessful in scoring on the man-advantage that bridged 1:46 into the third period, the Knights were able to generate sustained offensive pressure and scoring chances. Niklas Butchma’s steady play kept them at bay, as it had for the majority of the first 40 minutes, but the disadvantage of New York having a short bench finally showed its effect in the third period.

The Knights presence in the offensive end of the ice built rapidly in the opening minutes of the frame as the Bobcats Royals were consistently caught chasing in their own end. At the 4:17 mark, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman David Pfoestl fired a missile from the point that banked off a New York leg and past Butchma to bring the Knights within two.

Another Bobcats Royals penalty followed at 4:45, and while the Knights again were kept out of the net by several strong saves by Butchma, their was no shortage of quality chances.

At 8:20 the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forecheck drew their fourth power play of the game, an area that Alex Morawski is quickly turning into a specialty. The Lake Worth, Florida native found the twine for the third time this season, assisted by fixtures Jake Fuss and Rhett Padgett.

Having seen their lead shrink to one, the Bobcats Royals pushed their way back on the attack, but were turned aside by Stahel’s steady relief effort and a Knights forecheck that was quick and dangerous in transition. In a game they had once trailed 4-0, the the Knights drew even when Anthony Starzi, parked in front of the net, tipped home an offering from Morawski at 15:09 for his second goal of the game.

Regulation would prove to be too short to name a winner, as both teams headed to overtime desperate to earn two points. The Knights wouldn’t take long as just 49 seconds into the extra period of 3-on-3, Starzi started a cycle to Padgett who ripped a shot to the front of the net where a waiting Jake fuss tipped it home for the Knights exhilirating win.

The team improved to 3-3 on the young season. They’ll be back at it for a home-and-home on Saturday, September 30th at 2:30 pm and Sunday, October 1st at 2:00 pm against the Connecticut Rough Riders. Both games are free to attend at the Revolution Ice Centre, and the game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL on twitter and the live box score at easternhockeyleague.org for live updates!