Tag Archives: Britt League

Knights Streak Ends in Shutout Loss to Tomahawks

Coming off the roller coaster ride of a seven-round shootout Friday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton looked to extend their winning streak to six games. Two points would go along way in continuing to cement their current home atop the NAHL standings. Johnstown had other ideas. After skating well in game one, the Tomahawks entered play determined to finish this weekend’s series with the Knights on a high note.

The game began with both sides looking the part of teams that had skated 65 minutes the night prior. Neither forecheck could find a rhythm in the first period, while the majority of the frame was played with an abundance of transition but a lack offensive chances.

In net again for the Tomahawks stood Britt League. Coming off a tough-luck loss his memory was short as the netminder would again mount an impressive display between the pipes, stopping all eight shots faced in the first. His counterpart, David Tomeo was steady a well, blanking the Tomahawks through the first 17 minutes of the period.

Things finally broke at 17:41, when fresh off a penalty, the Tomahawks climbed the boards quickly, led by the puck handling of Andrew Andary. Just as he did Friday, Andary fed Christian Gorscak on a crisp, cross-ice set up that the latter deflected home for the game’s first goal.

Deja vu was the prevailing theme of the evening as a late period goal came back to bite the Knights again. Assisted by Andy Nedeljkovic, Samuel Solensky buried a power play one-timer past Tomeo to give the Tomahawks a 2-0 lead in the dying seconds of the first.

The second period that followed saw both sides traded chances and a penalty apiece, but neither League nor Tomeo flinched, as both teams were held off the board. Tomeo was especially impressive in a mid-period stretch of minutes in which the Tomahawks hemmed the Knights in their own zone for several straight shifts. The goalie from  West Caldwell, New Jersey would stare down multiple chances through traffic to keep the lead within striking distance.

The Knights would battle back in the third, outshooting and out-chancing the Tomahawks for much of the period, but the attackers could not solve Britt League. Johnstown would put the contest away late in the third when Roman Kraemer found the empty net off a helper from Andrew Quetell. The Tomahawks would go on to win 3-0, the first shutout loss the Knights have sustained this season.

The teams will meet again next Friday and Saturday November 17th and 18th at 3:00 PM and 2:30 PM, respectively.  Both games will be played at the Revolution Ice Centre in Pittston, PA. If you plan on attending Saturday’s game, bring three cans of food or three non-perishable items to earn a free ticket! The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to all Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!

Knights Jump to First Place with Shootout Win Over Johnstown

On Friday, the Knights entered Johnstown with the NAHL’s and East Division’s second-highest point total. They left the 1st Summit Arena at the Cambria County War Memorial in first place across the board. Getting there wasn’t easy.

A back-and-forth first period saw Wilkes-Barre/Scranton mount 11 shots on Johnstown’s veteran goalie Britt League. He answered them all. The Tomahawks responded with seven offerings on Knights starter Christian Stoever. Tomahawks forward Christian Gorscak squeezed the lone goal of the first past Stoever at 9:08 on the set up by Andrew Andary and Pavel Kharin.

In the second period the Knights would continue to plug away, increasing their shot total to 24 on League, while Stoever turned away all eight shots sent on his net in the frame. The Knights continued pressure was rewarded when at 6:31, when Michael Morrissey found Reed Robinson with space above the circles on a power play. The big-bodied forward continued his stellar season when he walked the puck down, picked his spot and fired a dart past League to tie the game at one with his 10th goal of the season.

The game went to the third period gridlocked 1-1. The Knights broke the tie when Jack Olmstead lofted a long stretch pass to Matt Kidney behind the defense. Kidney marched in on goal alone and ripped a shot by League to give the Knights the 2-1 lead.

It appeared the advantage would be the final score as time ran down to the final seconds with Tomahawks still trailing and their net emptied. Instead, in regulation’s final moments, Samuel Solensky dug a puck out of a pile on the Knights half wall, sent it behind the net, where Andy Nedeljkovic centered it in front to a crashing Toby Sengvongxay. Sengvongxay pushed the puck past Stoever with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to force OT.

In the three-on-three extra time, neither side could solve each other’s netminder as Stoever and League stood down all chances on goal. The game moved to the shootout, and with the transition continued each goalie’s stellar play. Through the first two rounds, neither team scored. In round three, Reed Robinson buried his chance to give the Knights an opportunity to win. Andy Nedeljkovic kept his clutch night going by tying the shootout with a last-chance effort in the bottom of the third.

In hockey’s version of extra innings neither team found the net in the next three rounds. Christian Stoever made two incredible saves in rounds five and six  to rob Sam Solensky and Donovan Ott. Stoever’s save on Solensky came off a great move in front, while Ott was robbed with a mid-air puck deflection off of Stoever’s stick.

In the top of the 7th round, Knights first-round pick Gabe Temple ripped a puck past League to again move his team into the lead. Faced with another last-chance, down the ice came Tomahawks captain Cade Groton to attempt to tie the contest once more. He drove hard to the front of the net, but Stoever went down and turned the puck away for the Knights victory.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s fifth-straight win, and 10th-straight game with a point or more, now moves the team to 13-3-3. Their 29 points leads the East Division and the NAHL. They’ll look to keep their hot streak going with another competition in Johnstown tonight. Puck drop is at 7:00 pm EST. The game can be viewed on http://www.hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to Knights social media and nahl.com for updates!

 

 

Weekend Preview: Knights Set for Two-Game Showdown with Tomahawks

The Knights are riding high entering this weekend’s competition with the Johnstown Tomahawks. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has won four-straight games and has recorded a point or better in nine consecutive contests. Following last weekend’s sweep of the division-leading Generals, the Knights are one point behind Northeast for first place in the East  and the highest point total in the NAHL.

Across the ice this weekend stand the Johnstown Tomahawks. The blue-collar team may be in the midst some early season struggles, but that does not diminish their talent nor their competitive, physical style of play. Following two, one-goal defeats and an overtime point earned in their last two meetings with the Knights, the Tomahawks went on to beat the Philadelphia Rebels and New Jersey Titans in two of their next five games.

“Half our team are newcomers-getting in there and getting into that first period is a main goal of the staff right now,” said head coach Tom Kowal in the latest edition of Coach’s Corner. “It’s that first road trip to Johnstown. You can tell all your players all about the atmosphere and the rink, the history of Slapshot being there, but until you get there and get them into the first period-I think the staff will relax a little after the first period Friday night. Even when Johnstown is struggling, they’re tough to play against.”

In order to succeed this weekend, the Knights will have to slow down Sam Solensky and Joe Kile, the Tomahawks top two scorers this season. Solensky and Kile have each  scored a single goal in both of the prior two meetings between the teams. Johnstown is also bolstered by the East Division’s second-best power play, converting chances at a steady 21.3%.

For their part, the Knights would like to bolster a power play that has been inconsistent this season. While it has improved of late, it currently ranks last in the division at 16.1%. It will be faced by a Johnstown penalty kill that nullifies 70.9% of its penalties.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has had few issues scoring in all other circumstances, as the team is tied for the lead league in goals for per game at 3.61, and is third in shorthanded scores with 4.

Leading the Knights offense is Jack Olmstead, fresh off being named Eastern Division Star of the Week for his five points in three games against the Generals last weekend (2-3-5, 1 GWG). His 10 goals and 11 assists in 16 games played is tied for the fifth-most points scored in the league. His 1.31 points-per-game and +/- of +15 are best in the NAHL among qualified skaters.

He’s joined in the pont-per-game or better club by Reed Robinson, who’s second on the Knights with nine goals and 10 assists in 18 games. Matt Kidney is close behind with 5-12-17 in 18 games, as are Curtis Carlson 7-9-16 in 18 gp and new Bemidji State commitment Tyrone Bronte with 5-7-12 in 13.

Along the blue line, the Knights will continue to look for offense from Tom Farrell, who leads Knights defenders with nine points in 16 games, and Anthony Firriolo, who has seven assists in as many games since being traded to the Knights.

In goal, the Tomahawks can turn to recently acquired, East Division veteran Jack Leavy, or long-tenured Tomahawk Britt League. The duo have combined for 44 games played and record of 24-8-6 over their past two seasons in the NAHL.

The Knights will have a choice between 2017 third-round draft pick Christian Stoever and 2017 tender David Tomeo. Stoever went 2-0 last weekend, stopping 52 of 56 shots on goal against the other top-ranked offense in the NAHL. He’s 2-0 against Johnstown this year with an overtime victory. Tomeo’s  numbers have been steady when in the net this year as the 18-year old has a 4-1 record to go along with a 2.56 goals against and a .918 save percentage.

The Eastern Division clash will start tonight at 7:30 pm EST. :The game can be viewed at hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for updates!

 

Knights Win in OT Against Tomahawks

Round two of the Knights home-and-home against the Johnstown Tomahawks found the team looking for its second-straight victory.

Reed Robinson initiated their efforts early as just 4:10 into the opening period, he forced a takeaway inside the left circle of the Johnstown zone before firing a top-shelf snipe by Tomahawks goalie Britt League.

The score would serve as the period’s lone tally as League and the irons would stymie the Knights through the rest of the frame. For their part, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was steadied by netminder Christian Stoever, who began his second-straight start with a nine-save effort in the first.

The second period progressed similarly to its predecessor, as the grinding pace of play saw both teams fail to find much rhythm on the attack. Johnstown gained an edge with physical play in the middle of the period, forcing Stoever to make a few sterling saves before the Tomahawks finally broke through at 13:28.

Receiving the puck above the left circle, Joe Kile added to his team-leading goal total by ripping a power play shot through traffic to best Stoever and tie the game at one. Matyas Kacirek and Samuel Solensky chipped in the assists.

Hunter Carrick followed with a perfect screen shot from just inside the blue line at 15:55, beating Stoever off the smooth cycle by Mitchell Hale and Brendan White.

As has become a trend of late, a slew of penalties were handed out to both sides nearing the end of the second period. On a 4-on-3 power play, Knights newcomer Anthony Firriolo fired a shot to the net front, where second-round draft pick Justin Engelkes tipped it to twine to even the score at two.

Galvanized by the late-period boost, Reed Robinson came out swinging in the third, as the son of Rockwall, Texas crashed hard to the net, following League being caught out of the crease in a scrum for the puck. Off the savvy efforts of Matt Kidney and Mike Morrissey to center the puck through the diving League, Robinson buried the loose change to give his team the 3-2 lead just prior to the 3:00 mark of the third period.

Emblematic of their gritty effort throughout the weekend, the Tomahawks were quick to respond, as Samuel Solensky picked up his second goal of the series two minutes after Robinson’s second goal (Hale, White).

The remainder of the third period returned to the game’s roots, as each side found little success in settling pucks in the attacking zone. Christian Stoever made a lunging, stick-save to keep the game even at three, while the Knights mounted a few tests on Britt League, but as regulation expired, the teams remained tied at three.

To open the overtime period of 3-on-3, the Knights and Tomahawks made a few quick rushes up the ice with neither forecheck proving successful.

Off their second change, the Knights sent out the trio of Jack Olmstead, Matt Kidney, and Tom Farrell around the 1:00 mark of the third period. Kidney swept the puck ahead to Olmstead who brought it to the left circle before turning it back to a waiting Farrell at the blue line. Farrell walked the puck down to the top of the slot before ripping a perfectly placed shot over League’s shoulder to deliver the Knights an overtime win.

With the victory the Knights have picked up a point or more in four-straight games. They’ll look to keep their two-game winning streak active against the Titans today at 4:30 pm EDT. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com. Follow Knights social media for in-game updates:

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