Tag Archives: Anthony Starzi

Fuss Scores 100th Career Goal as Knights Win Slugfest with Applecore

Saturday’s meeting of the Knights and Applecore brought with it plenty of EHL playoffs implications. After each team lost their first contest of the week, the onus was placed on this weekend’s two-game series to influence the 4th and 5th seeding in the South conference.

After a stint in the NAHL with the Philadelphia Rebels, Anthony Starzi returned to the Knights Saturday. Also back was Nate Chuckran, returning after serving a one-game suspension for butt-ending.

The offense, rolling since mid-December, saw early benefits from Starzi’s return when the lightning-fast forward collected his own rebound and fired it past Applecore’s netminder Mark Siegel 17:26 into the first period (Jake Fuss, Emerson Emery).

Riding the momentum into the middle period, Jake Fuss kicked off a dominant stanza for the Knights with a milestone. Just prior to the 3:43 marker, Bryan Whelan and Tyler Nielsen pushed a puck to the net front, where through a scrum, Fuss willed the puck over the goal line. The score marked his 100th goal with the Knights program, a monumental achievement for one of the organization’s hardest-working players.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would go on to control a good portion of the period, taking 12 shots and generating their fair share of high-quality chances. Tyler Nielsen would add his 13th goal of the season at 8:39, set up by Cody Rumsey and Tyler Watungwa, building a 3-0 lead.

Matthew Boring snapped the Knights momentum at 15:20, when the Kings Park, NY native powered his 18th goal by Knights starter Thomas Walker (Connor Woolley, Chaz Rometty).

The pendulum swung swiftly to Applecore’s attack, as New York came out in the third with a blistering pace. Brendan Conway and Mark Revniaga would set up Brandon Napoli to cut the lead to one just prior to the 2:00 mark of the period.

Applecore would draw even with their third-straight goal at 6:26, when Brett Reed fed Tanner Dalton on a successful 2-on-1. Brandon Napoli picked up the secondary assist on the score.

The Knights responded at 12:51 when Denys Arkhypenko generated a healthy rebound in front of Siegel that was buried by Emerson Emery for his third goal of the year.

Starzi set up Bryan Whelan less than 30 seconds later to build the Knights a two-goal lead. The Applecore didn’t blink, as Boring picked up his second goal of the night, set up by Logan Scarlotta and Ben Freatman just over a minute later.

New York pushed hard on the Knights backcheck and Thomas Walker in the final minutes including over thirty seconds with the reinforcement of an extra attacker. Walker stood on his head to seal the contest for the Knights, who skated away with the 5-4 win. The victory puts them just one point behind Applecore for fourth place in the conference.

The pair will meet again tomorrow for the finale of the two-game series at 9:30 am EST! Tune in at HockeyTV.com or follow @WBSKnightsEHL and easternhockeyleague.org for in-game updates!

EHL Standout Anthony Starzi Gets Call to the NAHL from Philadelphia Rebels

Photo via EHL

Anthony Starzi has been a mainstay for the Knights in the EHL this season. Through 27 games, the ’98 forward has registered 21 goals and 21 assists, ranked second on his team and eighth in the Eastern Hockey League. This week he’s been called up to the Philadelphia Rebels of the NAHL.

The Rebels enter Friday in second place in the NAHL’s East division, one point behind the Knights NAHL team. Starzi’s eye-catching speed, effort, and scoring ability will fit in with Philadelphia’s 3rd ranked offense.

“I’m very excited for Anthony,” said Knights EHL head coach Josh Fusco. “The hard work he has put in is paying off and I’m very proud of everything he’s done so far this season as a Knight. He has earned this opportunity.”

Starzi has been a machine in all situations for the Knights. His three shorthanded goals are tied for the second-highest mark in the EHL. His five goals and four assists while on the man advantage have helped spur a drastic turnaround for the Knights power play unit, currently ranked 7th in the league.

“It just goes to show what we are doing here works,” said Fusco. “Moving guys like Anthony on to the next level is rewarding for all parties. He’s been the hardest working kid day in and day out for this team. I hope he does well, and I will be cheering him on every step of the way.”

Starzi will join the Rebels in their final games before the holiday break. The entire Knights organization thanks Anthony for his tremendous effort on and off the ice to help better his team and the Knights program. They will be eagerly following him every step of the way of his career, rooting for him at every turn.

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: Knights Complete Weekend Sweep of Rough Riders

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

Don’t look now but the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights are on a hot streak. The EHL Knights went to work this weekend in avenging a home-series sweep, suffered at the hands of the Connecticut Rough Riders at the beginning of October. On Sunday, the team had the opportunity to repay the favor at the SoNo Ice House in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Austin Weber got things going early for the Knights as the Alabama-native scored his second goal of the season, just 1:29 into the first period, assisted by Cody Rumsey and David Pfoestl. Starting again in goal for the Knights was Thomas Walker. The ’99 netminder slammed the door on all chances sent his way in the opening period, as the Knights defense limited Connecticut to 10 shots in the first.

Into the second, the penalty bug bit the Knights once more, as five infractions resulted in four power plays and the ejection of Knights captain and points-leader Jake Fuss. The Rough Riders turned those opportunities into a game-tying goal at 14:56, when Colin O’Connor potted a power play goal, set up by Nicholas Kukuris.

Tied at one after 40 minutes, both offenses turned up the heat in the final frame. The two sides each registered double-digit shot totals, as pressure mounted on both ends of the ice. At the 9:24 mark, Anthony Starzi kept his hot streak going, scoring the go-ahead goal off helpers from Denys Arkhypenko and Tyler Nielsen.

The Rough Riders answered back when August Nyblom scored unassisted on a power play at 12:45 to even the score once more.  Heading into the game’s final minute, the Knights found themselves shorthanded again. This time, it worked to their benefit. Nick Peck spearheaded a breakout that ended with Anthony Starzi feeding Tyler Nielsen for the go-ahead score with 49 seconds remaining.

The Knights and Thomas Walker (31 saves on 33 shots in the win) proceeded to hold off Connecticut with an extra attacker on the ice for the remainder of regulation on their way to their third-straight victory. With the win, the Knights improve to 10-16-0, putting them in fourth place in the South Conference, two points ahead of the Connecticut Oilers.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will next take the ice on Friday at 2:30 pm against the Philadelphia Little Flyers inside the Revolution Ice Centre, before hitting the road on Saturday and Sunday to play the Junior Flyers and Little Flyers in Philadelphia.

Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for news and updates!

EHL: Knights Storm Back to Stun Rough Riders

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

On Saturday, the Knights EHL affiliate traveled to so SoNo Ice House to take on the Central division’s Connecticut Rough Riders. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went with the aim of avenging two losses to the Rough Riders suffered on home ice nearly two months ago.

The contest did not begin in an ideal manner. Alex Rowella continued his success against his former organization with a goal at 6:22, set up on a power play by Nicholas Kukuris and Cullen Kane. The tally was Rowella’s 16th of the season and fifth against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2017-18.

Connecticut took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play at 11:26 when Nicholas Kukuris bested Knights starting goalie Thomas Walker on assists from Stephen Pantera and Brendan Dowler. The 2-0 lead held for the remainder of the first as the Rough Riders limited Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to just four shots on goalie Ryan Bonnvie.

Down two goals entering the middle frame, the Knights offense awoke. Anthony Starzi put the Knights on the board at 4:52 into the period with helpers from Emerson Emery and Jake Fuss. Starzi would strike again at 18:50 (Nate Chuckran, Fuss) to tie the game with his 16th tally of the year.

The rally was enabled by the Knights defensive efforts in the second period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton turned away all chances sent their way as Thomas Walker saved all 20 shots he faced, while the Knights penalty kill went two-for-two to hold the Rough Riders off the board.

In the third, a quick start propelled the Knights to their first lead of the game. At 8:57 Tyler Nielsen put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ahead 3-2, with assists from Chuckran and Alex Morawski. On the ensuing face off, Nicholas Kukuris responded with his second goal of the contest (August Nyblom, Connor Boyce) to tie the score at three.

Jake Fuss countered with goal number 23 at the 10:40 off Starzi’s 14th and Deny Arkhypenko’s ninth assists of the season, respectively. Arkhypenko then rotated into the goal column with Fuss and Starzi setting up the Ukrainian forward for a power play score  one minute later.

Down 5-3, Connecticut received a late boost from Kukuris, who completed a hat trick at 15:18. Assists were credited to Cullen Kane  and Colin O’Connor on Kukuris’ sixth goal in his last three games played.

In the final minute of play, Jake Fuss put any thought of a Connecticut rally to bed, as he picked up his second tally of the contest assisted by Starzi at 19:33. In his last two outings Fuss has four goals and five assists to go with Starzi’s 4-3-7 in that same span.

At the buzzer, the Knights recorded their ninth win of the season, and second in a row. They’ll look to keep their momentum going with a rematch against the Rough Riders at 3:00 PM EST this afternoon. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Check back www.wbsknights.com and www.easternhockeyleague.org for all news and updates!

 

EHL Weekend Recap: Knights Split Weekend in Massachusetts

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

FRIDAY:

Entering play this weekend, the Knights looked to bounce back following two losses in the November EHL Showcase. Their first opponent, the Boston Jr. Rangers, began Friday as the leader of the league’s Boston division.

Things began slowly for the Knights, as the Jr. Rangers carried early play, out-shooting the Knights 20-10. Boston notched their first goal halfway through the opening frame. Zach Norby fired in off the rush to bury the puck, assisted by Filip Steussloff and Daniil Ovchinnikov. Anthony Nikoloplous followed that up by flipping a puck by Knights goalie Thomas Walker off helpers from Bobby Kinsey and Damien Dangueuger to put the Rangers up 2-0. A third Boston goal would be put on the board at 18:26, when John Grealish capitalized just 10 seconds into the Knights first penalty of the game (Jared Bernis, Norby).

The Knights would not quit. Their captain and leading-scorer, Jake Fuss fired a puck past goalie Ben Parker in the 1st period’s final second. The tally was Fuss’ 20th of the season. The lone assist was attributed to Anthony Starzi, as the Knights went to the locker room down 3-1.

In the middle frame, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton found themselves plagued by penalties. After taking just one in the first, the team was assessed four in the second. While serving their second infraction, they received a major boost when Nate Chuckran broke loose to register his first goal since being traded to the Knights. He was assisted by Emerson Emery on Chuckran’s fifth tally of the season to pull Wilkes-Barre/Scranton within one.

The Jr. Rangers reclaimed their two-goal lead just over a minute later when Tyler Gardiner pushed a puck past Walker on the set up from Ryan Tierney and Jared Bernis. The Knights came back in the period’s final minute to trim the score to 4-3 when Alex Morawski found the net off of Chuckran’s assist. Unrelenting, Boston struck a final time before the period closed, when at 19:51, Ryan Tierney picked up his second point to rebuild the two-goal lead to end the second (Gardiner, Danny Dorabella).

In the third, the Knights penalty troubles continued, sapping their efforts to draw even. Both offenses found less success mounting chances on net, as Walker and Parker were tested for just 10 shots combined.

At the final horn, the Knights took a 5-3 loss.

SATURDAY:

Saturday brought with it another road game against a team from the EHL’s Boston Division. The Knights continued their Massachusetts trip with a showdown against the East Coast Wizards.

The Knights offense began on the right foot, when Jake Fuss threw a puck on net off a face-off win. The rebound off of Wizards netminder Korbinian Lutz’s pads found its way to the stick of Anthony Starzi. Starzi poked it home for the game’s first goal at 3:34. Emerson Emery followed with his second of the year, assisted by Alex Morawski just shy of the 7:00 mark, to put the Knights up 2-0.

In the second half of the period, the Knights penalty woes appeared to continue when they found themselves facing 1:27 of 5-on-3 shorthanded play at 13:38. The Wizards promptly took a penalty eight seconds later and another at 14:53. The see-saw swing in penalties eventually put the Knights on an abbreviated 5-on-3 followed by a similarly shortened period of 5-on-4. Through it all, neither team found the net, and the first ended with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton up 2-0.

To begin the second period, the Wizards came out swinging with strong pressure off the forecheck. Thomas Walker turned away all East Coast offerings to keep the Knights up by two. East Coast’s aggressive attack turned against them as they took back-to-back penalties to give the Knights another 5-on-3. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton capitalized when Tyler Nielsen buried a power play offering on the two-man advantage to create a 3-0 lead at 5:21.

Following the expiration of the second penalty at 7:08, the Wizards took another penalty at 7:37. Their penalty kill took matters into their own hands when Michael Namon finished off a shorthanded 2-on-1 with a goal to put East Coast on the board (Devin Panzeca, Mike Bermingham).

Unable to find a goal on the remaining power play time, the tide turned against the Knights. In short succession they took a 5-minute major accompanied by a bench minor to create a long 5-on-3. Just 45 seconds into the disadvantage the Knights took another penalty for cross-checking to extend the 5-on-3 further.

After testing Walker unsuccessfully for an extended span, the Wizards finally broke through on the power play at 10:52 when Mike Bermingham found a rebound off a Josh Loveridge shot. East Coast pulled within one, but the Knights survived the rest of the 5-on-3. As David Pfoestl stepped out of the box to return his team to full-strength, the Knights found numbers on the rush. Anthony Starzi buried his second tally of the game off a feed from Rhett Padgett to regain the two-goal lead.

The Wizards refused to halt their comeback. At 17:37, Devin Panzeca’s bouncing shot found the twine, set up by Matt Fuller and Chase Davenport, again pulling East Coast within one. After the dust settled at the end of the frame, the Knights found themselves still ahead 4-3.

Beginning the third on carryover power play time, the Knights capitalized as Austin Weber picked up his first goal with the Knights with helpers coming from Fuss and Padgett at 1:30. Three minutes later Jake Fuss tacked on the Knights sixth goal of the evening to put his team in front 6-3.

Midway through the period, East Coast was assessed a five-minute major for high-sticking, giving the Knights time to add insurance. A good bounce off a David Pfoestl shot found Jake Fuss on an open post, where the Knights captain promptly notched his second goal of the game at 8:28.

Down 7-3, following their return to full-strength, the Wizards swapped Lutz for Alec Marshall. Marshall stayed steady as East Coast chipped at the Knights lead with an even-strength tally at 13:59 from Alec Deluca (Matt Gulack).

The 7-4 score would hold through to the end of the game, as the Knights earned their eighth win of the year. The team will enjoy Thanksgiving before heading off to Connecticut for a two-game road trip against the Rough Riders on November 25th and 26th. The games will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL on Twitter and visit www.wbsknights.com and www.easternhockeyleague.org for updates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EHL: Knights Fall to Walpole to Close November Showcase

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

On day two of the EHL’s Novemver Showcase, the Knights took on their second-straight Boston division opponent in the Walpole Express. The Express entered play second in their division with a record of 12-5-3, having lost game one of their showcase to the Philadelphia Revolution.

After a quiet start, both teams began to pick up their pressure as the first half progressed. With Austin Smith in net for Walpole and Jared Stahel anchoring the pipes for the Knights, both goalies faced a high number of chances in the opening 25 minutes. Smith stopped all 13 shots he faced, but the Express bested Stahel and the Knights defense twice in 19 tries.

The first goal came at 13:57 when Chris Peters poked a George Thurston wraparound rebound home to put the Express on the board. A second Walpole tally came at 19:12, when on the power play, Ryan Campbell ripped a puck from the circle past Stahel off assists from Chris Gratton and Eric Wright. The 2-0 lead held for the Express through the end of the first half.

Coming out of the intermission, Walpole quickly built a 3-0 lead when Peters found the net for a second time, assisted by Bryan Colburn just over two minutes in. Steady play from Smith in net held the Knights at bay until the 9:27. On a power play, Anthony Starzi and Denys Arkhypenko sifted the puck through traffic in front to find Jake Fuss on the back post for the Knights captain’s 19th goal of the season.

The Express responded 28 seconds later when William Lebel put home a 2-on-1 rush started by Peters. Smith and Stahel then engaged in a 10-minute trade of strong saves, with the Express holding the edge in number of chances. The Knights would finally break through Smith’s steady play at 19:49 when JP Natishan picked up his second goal of the season off a redirect of Zach Ouladelhadjahmed’s shot, set up by a Brady Hanson pass.

Within two, the Knights forecheck picked up its pace and intensity but could not solve Smith. Following an unsuccessful power play that expired at 23:42, the Knights pulled Stahel, who finished 36/40 on the day, shortly thereafter. The Express didn’t take long to ice the game, as Tyler Pietrzyk buried an empty-net goal, unassisted at 24:38.

At the horn, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton found themselves on the wrong side of a 5-2 final. They’ll look to get back on track against the Boston Jr. Rangers at the Breakway Ice Centre this Friday, November 17th, at 7:50 pm EST. The game can be viewed on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to @WBSKnightsEHL on twitter and visit easternhockeyleague.org for updates.

EHL: Knights Undone by Avalanche, Penalties

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

Coming off a tough loss against the Valley Junior Warriors, the Knights faced a tough task in hosting New Hampshire Saturday. Entering the day, the Avalanche had won six in a row, their most recent victory coming in a 5-2 affair over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Revolution.

With all of that set aside come puck drop, the Knights flew out of the gates Saturday afternoon. On their first power play of the day, just 4:26 into the first, Denys Arkhypenko sent a puck to Jake Fuss, who found Anthony Starzi parked in front of the net. Starzi tapped the puck by New Hampshire starting goalie Nick Sorgio to build a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later the Knights struck again when off the rush, Chris Petrone threaded the needle to a crashing JP Natishan for his first goal of the season. Austin Weber set up the sequence and was awarded a secondary assist.

On the very next shift, the Avalanche responded on a strange, yet savvy play by forward Melker Kroon. Kroon picked up a puck behind the net of Knights goalie Thomas Walker and flipped it off the back of a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skate and into the twine. The score would lock in at 2-1 for the remainder of the period, but both teams began a parade to the penalty box that would span the entirety of the game.

That march swung decidedly to the Knights end in the middle frame, as the team took 6 penalties, twice finding themselves down 5-on-3. They killed off the first, but couldn’t stop the second, when Christopher Adamsons found a puck bouncing through a scrum in front of Walker and pushed it home. John Scala and Melker Kroon picked up the helpers on the equalizer at 17:14. With four seconds to spare in the period, Kroon settled a puck in the slot and flipped it over a diving Walker to take a 3-2 lead (Devin Hines, Christopher Adamsons).

The third period saw no relief in penalty time as the Knights continued to take frequent trips to the box. New Hampshire wasn’t a stranger to sin bin either, and neither team could capitalize on multiple power plays. Midway through the third, during 5-on-5 play, the Avalanche found necessary insurance. John Scala was fed a perfect cross-ice pass from Tyler Uravage on an odd-man rush. Scala flipped it home to build a 5-3 lead. Zachary Ahola was credited the secondary assist.

The Knights would not fade quietly as less than two minutes later, Anthony started a 2-on-1 back into the attacking zone. Starzi had Fuss to his left as he crossed the line, before Fuss cut inward to the slot. Starzi fed a puck in front where the Knights leading scorer went backhand over the shoulder of Sorgi to pull Wilkes-Barre/Scranton within one.

A penalty with just over three minutes to spare would slow the Knights comeback effort, as they were forced to their ninth kill of the night. While successful, it left little time for the team to pull their goalie for the extra attacker, thanks in large part to heavy pressure applied by New Hampshire’s forecheck. At the final horn, the Avalanche skated to the 4-3 win.

After the dust settled, the Knights play 5-on-5 play was encouraging, as they skated and battled well with the North Conference’s points leader. They’ll look to avoid penalties moving forward as they look to regroup on the road next week.

EHL: Knights Can’t Fend Off Junior Warriors Rally

Photo: Eastern Hockey League

In a rematch of the Knights best performance from the EHL showcase, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went searching for their fourth-straight victory. Things started slowly for both sides, as Riley Sims and Jared Stahel went save-for-save through a scoreless first period.

The second opened with the Knights on the attack, with 3:47 of carryover on a Jr. Warriors double-minor. Though the Knights generated solid chances, they could not solve a steady Sims. Valley responded with an offensive surge at the mid-way point of the frame, ending the scoring drought at 10:40 when Jimmy Pelton let go a perfect shot on a 2-on-1. Steve Tettoni picked up the lone assist on the game’s first goal.

The Knights battled back, answering at 16:09 when Tyler Nielsen tipped a puck in front, off assists from Cody Rumsey and Austin Weber. Capitalizing on the momentum swing and a Jr. Warriors penalty, Jake Fuss threaded a stretch pass across neutral ice to an open Anthony Starzi. Starzi burned through Valley’s last line of defense and flipped a puck past Sims for the 2-1 lead at 17:56.

On a Knights carryover penalty, the Jr. Warriors came back with an equalizer just 35 seconds into the third. Chris Lemay tipped an offering from Jimmy Pelton, set up by Dominic Norris, past Stahel to even the contest at two.

The Knights came back at 1:12 when off a face off, Jake Fuss flipped the win off the draw to the back door for a waiting Denys Arkhypenko for the score. The 3-2 lead did not last, as at 8:53, Cooper Fowler tipped home a loose puck through a scrum in the crease to tie the game at 3 (Haytham Oeid, Tim Kalinowski).

Valley kept up the attack adding two more goals at 10:19 and 17:03 to take a two-goal lead. The first of the pair saw Charlie Davis deke his way into a 2-on-1 rush before sliding a puck perfectly to Brandon Crowther for the tap-in tally. The second score came off the efforts of Dominic Norris, who planted himself in front of the net before tipping home a Steve Tettoni shot. The secondary assist went to Davis.

Facing a 5-3 deficit, Jake Fuss responded, dragging a puck through the slot off the helpers from Starzi and Rhett Padgett to pull the Knights within one at 18:40. With the puck floating at the top of the Jr. Warriors zone toward neutral ice, a miscommunication resulted in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton taking a too-many-men penalty while they tried to swap Stahel for an extra attacker. The infraction led to a penalty kill with under a minute to go and nullified what could have been a man-advantage with an empty net.

Time ran out on the Knights comeback efforts, despite a few close misses even after the penalty. The loss snaps a three-game winning streak, but the Knights will have a chance to bounce back when they play host to the New Hampshire Avalanche tomorrow at 2:45 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL and visit easternhockeyleague.org for in-game updates!