Tag Archives: Ben Schmidling

NAHL: Time Runs Out on Knights Comeback

Looking to snap a four-game losing streak, the Knights took the ice on Saturday for their second-straight meeting with the Johnstown Tomahawks.

Riding off victory in Friday’s game, the Tomahawks came out swinging in the first. Just as they did in game one, Ben Scmidling and Roman Kraemer scored the contest’s first two goals, only in the inverse order. Schmidling struck first at 8:56, beating Knights starter David Tomeo unassisted for the 1-0 lead. Kraemer’s 16th goal of the season created a 2-0 advantage for the Tomahawks, set up by Andy Nedeljkovic at the 13:16 marker. Tomeo and Johnstown’s starter Jack Leavy allowed no further scores in a period controlled by the Tomahawks.

In the second, the Knights awoke. After being out-shot 11-3 in the first period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was boosted by an early tally from Reed Robinson. The Niagara commitment picked up his 15th goal of the season off of Adrian Danchenko’s 15th helper. Trailing by only one, the Knights offense rallied to wrack up 17 shots in the middle frame-including the first 11 of the period.

Unfortunately for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Tomahawks first shot of the second proved to be their eventual game-winner. At 6:53, Pavel Kharin notched his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Andrew Andary and Karim DelPonte to re-establish the two-goal lead. A cascade of penalties in the second half of the period sapped both teams of momentum as each side’s penalty kill and goal tending held firm.

Looking down a 3-1 deficit to start the third, the Knights did not relent in their effort to grind their way back. Neither did Jack Leavy in his crease. Though the Knights again dominated shots and chances, they were time-and-again turned away by the ’97 goaltender despite a shot tilt that favored them 17-4 in the third.

With just over a minute remaining, Adrian Danchenko broke through the Leavy dam with his 10th goal of the year (Anthony Firriolo) to trim the Johnstown lead to one. Despite the advantage of the extra attacker on in place of Tomeo, the Knights could not find the equalizer in the game’s final minute of play. The 3-2 loss drops them to 22-17-6 on the season and keeps them in third, one point behind the New Jersey Titans in the East Division.

Before the Knights next game on Friday, March 2nd, seven players and head coach Tom Kowal will be heading out to the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament on Tuesday, February 27th. Tune into hockeytv.com to watch the Tournament and stay tuned to www.nahl.com, www.wbsknights.com, and Knights social media for all news and updates regarding the Knights performance!

Recap: Knights Fall in Johnstown to Open Weekend

Looking to end February on a high-note, the Knights traveled to the First Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial to take on the Johnstown Tomahawks. After losing three straight, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went into the sixth of seven-straight road contests looking for an early spark.

Instead, Jack Leavy and the Tomahawks stood tall in the opening period of Friday’s affair. The aforementioned goalie stopped all 12 Knights shots he faced in the first period. Christian Stoever responded in kind for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, stoning 11 offerings from the Tomahawks offense. Johnstown took three tries at the power play but couldn’t find the net.

Minutes into the second period, Roman Kraemer would finally end thevscoring drought off a helper from Andrew Quetell giving the Tomahawks the game’s first lead. Ben Schmidling would re-direct Anthony Szurlej’s shot just over three minutes later to tack on Johnstown’s second tally. The Knights fended off another penalty, but were stopped on another 11 tries by Leavy, leaving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 2-0 deficit after 40 minutes of play.

Jack Olmstead would finally get the Knights on the board, 8:34 into the third period. On the their fourth power play of the contest, the Knights leading scorer would deflect his 20th tally of the year to the net off Gabe Temple’s shot. Samuel Solensky wouldn’t let the momentum last long after Joe Kile fed him the puck 55 seconds later for Solensky’s second of three points on the evening. His 13th strike of the season would reinstall the Tomahawks two-goal advantage.

As time wound down, the Knights were presented a power play chance down two goals with 2:38 left in the third. Not long into the man-advantage, the Knights called Stoever to the bench for an extra attacker. Despite being down 6-on-4, Johnstown found a seam to breakout shorthanded. Solensky would repay Kile’s earlier favor as the former slid the latter the set up to an easy empty-net goal.

The 4-1 lead would hold through the final horn, handing the Knights their fourth-straight loss. They’ll look to bounce back with a rematch tonight at 7:00 pm EST. Tune in on hockeytv.com for the game’s broadcast and follow along on Knights social media and www.nahl.com.

NAHL: Phipps, Penalties, Slow Knights in Series Split

The Knights and Tomahawks met again Saturday night for the second round of a two-game bout. The Knights went looking for a series sweep, following their 2-1 victory in game one. On Saturday, there were faced once again with yet another slugfest in Johnstown.

With a rematch of both of Friday’s goalies setting the table, the Knights and Tomahawks went to work with yet another defensive first period. Each team was held to single digit shots as David Tomeo and Kade Phipps each answered every test sent their way en route to a scoreless, opening 20 minutes.

Each side also continued the trend of steady penalty kill, as the Tomahawks did away with their lone infraction in the first, wile the Knights erased two.

The second frame saw more of the same. Both sides bogged themselves down with multiple penalties, with neither cracking the scoreboard whilst on the advantage.

It wasn’t until the game’s 33rd minute in which the scoring drought ended. Set up on a quick Johnstown entry, Joe Kile pulled up on the right half wall and threaded a perfect pass to Ben Schmidling in the middle of the slot. The latter hammered home the Tomahawks first tally at 13:05, his seventh of the season.

Try as they might to respond, the Knights could not stay out of the box long enough to establish an offensive rhythm. Though their penalty kill withstood an impressive power play (13/13 on the weekend), Johnstown was able to grind down key attackers by forcing them to chase in their own end while shorthanded.

During a 4-on-4 in the final minute of the period, the Knights took a delayed penalty. Before they could touch up on the puck, Tomahawks forward Donovan Ott took advantage of the scenario when he grabbed the puck and hopped over the right side of the Knights blue line. From there he fired a shot off a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defender before collecting his own rebound and firing it past Tomeo for the 2-0 lead.

That score would hold for the remainder of the game, as the Knights continued their march in the final stanza. Three more penalties added up to a limited forecheck in the third period, capped off by Phipps’ steady play in net. Unable to pull their goaltender until just past the 18:00 mark, the Knights saw time run out on any comeback effort.

With the loss, the Knights head into their final game before the holiday break firmly entrenched in second place in the NAHL’s East Division. They’ll have the opportunity to hop back into first when they play host to the New Jersey Titans on Wednesday, December 13th at 2:30 pm. The game will be broadcast on www.hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!