Tag Archives: Bryan Whelan

EHL: Knights Storm Back in Game Two Against Applecore

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

Round one of the Knights EHL playoffs continued Saturday when the team squared off against the New York Applecore for the second-consecutive day. To avoid elimination and force a definitive game three, the Knights would have to win or see their season end.

New York would quickly establish the pace in the opening period, out-shooting the Knights  12-5 in the first 20 minutes. Jared Stahel, taking the pipes for the Knights, and Benjamin Allard-Robitaille, back again for the Applecore, would not allow a goal through the first three quarters of the first.

Joseph Verboys ended the scoring drought when he bested Stahel off assists from Matthew Boring and Brett Reed at 16:10. The Knights responded less than a minute later, with Nate Chuckran burying a goal past Allard-Robitaille to even the game at one. A pair of apples came from Anthony Starzi and Austin Weber on the score.

On the very next shift, the Applecore would re-gain the lead when Brandon Napoli and Thomas O’Brien fed Connor Woolley for his first tally of the postseason.

In  the second, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton offense would start fast and maintain pressure through much of the middle frame. Chuckran would gather his second goal of the contest, following a New York penalty just 1:25 in. On the game’s only power play, Bryan Whelan and Rhett Padgett set the table for Chuckran’s second game-tying goal.

Stahel and Allard-Robitaille would hunker down to stop a combined 21 of 22 shots in the period to keep the score gridlocked after 40 minutes. The pair would continue their hot streak through the first half of the third as well, as each side entered the final 10 minutes of play looking for the go-ahead goal.

Rhett Padgett found such a tally at 10:35, unassisted to give the Knights their first lead of the evening. Insurance less than than three minutes later would be added when Anthony Starzi beat Allard-Robitaille to build a 4-2 Knights lead.

Stahel (35 saves) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s defense kept a lid on Applecore’s comeback into the final minute of play. As time wound down, Verboys would find the net for a second time, bringing New York back within one at 19:26 (Connor Woolley). Wounded but not beaten, the Knights would rally to defend their net for the final 34 seconds of play, concluding regulation with the 4-3 victory.

The rubber match of the best-of-three series will take place tomorrow, Monday, March 12th at 2:00 pm EST at Brewster Ice Arena. The Knights will look on to move onto round two of the postseason with a win. The game will be broadcast on www.hockeytv.com. Follow along on www.easternhockeyleague.org and at @WBSKnightsEHL on twitter!

 

Bryan Whelan Commits to Framingham State Rams

Bryan Whelan’s had a busy year. The EHL forward started the season with the New York Bobcats Royals before being traded to the Knights in January. Whelan had played 2016-17 with Knights NA3AHL nemesis, the Long Island Royals, before making the transition to the EHL this season.

Wherever he’s gone, Whelan has produced. In 29 games with New York this season, he tallied 15 goals and 23 points. Since coming to the Knights, he’s picked up six goals and seven assists in 16 games.

“I would say I bring speed and an offensive presence to the ice, with good vision and a quick release on my shot, Whelan said of his game. “I think I will be able to help Framingham out both during even strength and on the power play.”

The Framingham Rams are a member of the NCAA division three MASCAC conference. The university has been a member for the DIII level since 1971.

“I really liked the area of where the school was, and being able to walk not even a mile to go grab food or see a movie and stuff like that,” said Whelan of Framingham’s campus in Massachusetts. “The kids on the team were all welcoming when I went on my visit and I think this is a great fit for me.”

Whelan is confident that the EHL has prepared him for the next step in his career.

“Playing in this league has helped me because of its speed of play,” he said. “Seeing the few college games I have watched, I think I will be able to jump right into the college level and not have to make to major an adjustment to it.”

Standing at 5-9 with speed to burn, it didn’t take long for Whelan to make an impact with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the EHL. The right-handed forward scored in his first five games with the team, scoring six goals in his first nine appearances with the Knights. Needless to say, he’ll be a key piece for the team as it heads into postseason play.

“Bryan has been a welcome addition to our Knights family,” said head coach Josh Fusco. “He has progressed in his time here and I’m  very proud of the strides he has made. He came here on mission to make the playoffs in his last year of junior hockey and to prepare himself for college hockey. He wanted to be a Knight and we made it happen. He’s another kid that wants to be here and another kid for us to help. It couldn’t be any better than that.”

“Being a Knight has been a very fun experience,” said Whelan. “They are a top class organization, and I enjoy playing for them. Getting here, and now heading into college, I would like to thank my parents who have traveled this path with me since I was six years old, driving me to 6:00 am practices all over the US. I thank my brothers, for pushing me every day to be the best I can be and telling me to never give up and follow my dreams. This isn’t possible without them. I would also like to thank the Royals coach Ken Hoey, for always believing in me since my first junior year in 2015. I want to also thank Coach Fusco and the staff I’m with now for taking me in half way through the season and believing in me to go out there and play my game of hockey. Finally, I would like to thank all of my teammates since I have first started playing hockey as a little kid. They have helped me grow as a player and as a person of the ice and have bettered me in every which way possible.”

The Knights would like to thank Bryan for his dedication in his time with the organization. They wish him the best of luck in his career!

“Very happy for Bryan and his decision in pursuing his academic future and playing hockey at Framingham,” said Fusco. “I wish him all the best and much success with his future.”

EHL: Knights Close Regular Season with Win

Photo: EHL

On Saturday, the Knights took on the Philadelphia Junior Flyers for the teams’ final contest of the 2017-18 regular season. Following their loss Friday, the Knights were determined to finish on a high note before the playoffs kick off next weekend.

A tight first period saw Garrett Stenberg and Jared Stahel trade saves while both offenses searched for their rhythm. The Knights would finally break through in the final second of the first, when Evan Green picked up his first tally of his Knights career. Staying with the puck at the point, Green took a pass from Denys Arkhypenko and fired it past a fooled Stenberg for the 1-0 lead.

The Junior Flyers wouldn’t wait long to answer in the second period. Connor Lenaghan broke free in front of Stahel on a power play as a shot from Kyle Harris deflected off Lenaghan’s blade and into the net. Billy McDevitt was credited the secondary assist on the game-tying goal.

The Knights would strike on a power play of their own just prior to the halfway point of the period. Off Emerson Emery’s point shot, set up by Bryan Whelan, Anthony Starzi deflected the puck past Stenberg to retake the lead.

A physical second half to the period yielded no goals, despite each side taking another try on the man-advantage. Jared Stahel played a key role in preserving the Knights lead as he stood down 22 of 23 Philadelphia shots in the frame.

In the the third, the score remained tight for the first half of the period. The Knights power play could not capitalize on an early Junior Flyers penalty, but their forecheck picked up steam, out-shooting Philadelphia 17-11 over the final 20 minutes. At 9:42 Austin Weber put home his sixth goal of the season, unassisted to establish a 3-1 Knights lead.

The Junior Flyers answered a minute and a half later when Gianni Dini ripped home a Nick Kiemel rebound, set up by Patrick Sullivan. The score brought life to the Flyers legs, but the visitors were kept at bay by Stahel’s steady effort in the pipes.

Despite having the extra attacker on late in the contest, Philadelphia was undone by the Knights strong defense, capped off by Austin Weber’s second goal of the day, an empty-netter set up by former Junior Flyer Nate Chuckran at the horn.

With the win, the Knights head into the postseason locked into the fifth seed and a first-round matchup with the fourth-seeded New York Applecore, a team they beat three times in four meetings during the regular season. The best-of-three series will take place exclusively in the Applecore’s Brewster Ice Arena in New York.

For dates and times for series, stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com, www.easternhockeyleague.org and follow @WBSKnightsEHL on twitter!

EHL: Nimeh’s Late Goal Drives Knights to Victory

(Photo: EHL)

Still chasing fourth place in the South Conference through the final weeks of the 2017-18 regular season, the Knights entered their lone game of the weekend just four points behind their future playoff opponent, the New York Applecore. With New York idle until Monday, the Knights Saturday contest against the Junior Flyers provided an opportunity to climb another step closer to home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stormed out to an early advantage Saturday, dictating the early pace of play. In a period they out-shot Philadelphia 18-9, the Knights built an early 2-0 lead via goals from Tyler Nielsen at 8:58 and Nate Chuckran at 11:26.

Nielsen’s tally was a breakaway set up by Tyler Watungwa and Rhett Padgett in which Nielsen bested Junior Flyers goalie Garrett Stenberg for the 1-0 lead. Chuckran followed suit on a power play several minutes later when Emerson Emery found him alone in front of Stenberg for the quick score.

The Knights appeared to be destined for a 2-0 lead after one, but with 42 seconds left in the first, the Junior Flyers nabbed a late-period strike to halve the deficit. Connor Lenaghan beat Knights goalie Thomas Walker on a scramble around the net created by Billy McDevitt and Drew Platt.

When play picked up again in the second, it was Philadelphia building off the momentum of their score in the first. The Junior Flyers flipped the script, out-shooting the Knights 10-6 and nullifying each of their chances. For their part, the Knights would withstand Philadelphia’s attack for 19 of the second period’s 20 minutes. It would be yet another final-minute goal that would tie the contest. Nick Kiemel rallied the Junior Flyers to their second goal of the afternoon off feeds from Adrian Martinez and Gianni Dini.

Renewed push from both sides saw an uptick in physicality in the third. Each side traded an unsuccessful power play, while Walker and Stenberg stayed steady to keep the score locked at two. With overtime nearly a forgone conclusion, the Knights prepared a final push to close the period. They were rewarded just shy of the 19:00 mark when Jake Nimeh ripped home his sixth goal of the season, with assists coming from Bryan Whelan and Austin Weber.

With a minute remaining, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shut down the Junior Flyers last-ditch efforts to secure the 3-2 victory. The win pulls the Knights within two points of fourth place in the South Conference with two games to play in the regular season. The Knights will next take the ice at home against the Philadelphia Revolution on Friday March, 2nd at 4:00 PM EST. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and easternhockeyleague.org for all news and updates as the Knights prepare for their playoff push!

EHL: Knights Fall to Seahawks

The third and final contest of the Knights weekend saw the team travel to Hyannis, Massachusetts to take on the Total Athletics Seahawks. In the teams’ second meeting of the season, the Knights got out to an early start.

Just 6:24 into the opening period, Tyler Watungwa recorded his seventh goal of the season after Bryan Whelan found him in front of Seahawks starter Brandon Collett for the 1-0 lead.

A testy first would set the tone for a chippy day of hockey. Just past the halfway point of the period, both William Case of the Knights and Austin Johnson of the Seahawks were handed game misconducts.

Despite losing a reliable blue-liner early, the Knights were able stay even and even carry play through most of the remainder of the frame. The Seahawks reversed the trend with an explosive final two minutes of the period.

At 18:05 the Seahawks would tie the game off Braxton Walby’s third goal of the season. Walby beat Knights starter Thomas Walker on a rebound following a solid set up from Derric Trudeau and Korey Muzzy.

Just over a minute later, Walby would come right back down the ice and bury a power play rebound to give his team their first lead of the game (Alex Friend, Matthew Stewart).

The middle stanza saw its pace grind to a temporary crawl as the pair of teams combined for 26 minutes of time spent in the box. Two of those penalties would bite the Knights as on a 5-on-3 advantage at 9:56, the Seahawks would add their third goal. John Banovetz would get the last deflection on a puck fired in by Cory Ellerton, assisted by Kolton Smith.

As time ticked away, the Knights found themselves frustrated by Brandon Collett’s savvy play in net (38 saves). Thomas Walker answered with a strong 41 save performance of his own, but the Knights offense never found its rhythm. A scoreless third period that saw the Knights spend the final three and a half minutes killing off a 5:00 major sealed the 3-1 win for the Seahawks.

The Knights will continue their attempt to climb upward in the South Conference playoff seeding with a two-game series against the Connecticut Oilers this weekend. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is two points out of fourth place in the conference with five regular season games to go. To stay up to date with Knights news stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and follow our twitter (@WBSKnightsEHL), Facebook (WBS Knights Hockey), and Instagram (@WBSKnights).

Knights Blank Bobcats-Royals, Roll to Series Sweep

Friday afternoon kicked off the Knights and Bobcats third meeting of the past two weeks. Winners of the last two exchanges by a combined score of 12-0, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton looked to keep rolling into a three-game weekend.

The game began with the Knights controlling the pace of play. Just shy of the 4:00 marker, Nick Peck flipped a puck to Bryan Whelan, who found Anthony Starzi in front of the net. Starzi pushed his 23rd goal of the season past New York goalie Tyler Shugrue for the opening tally.

A wave of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton chances would continue to bolster a steady forecheck in the first. An 18-shot frame would be capped off by JP Natishan’s snipe at 14:26 off passing from Austin Weber and Jake Nimeh.

In the second, the tempo again belonged to the Knights offense, as the team more than doubled its shot count from the first. Anthony Starzi repaid Bryan Whelan the favor from the first, with the former finding the latter for the 3-0 lead at 8:29. Matt Proski picked up the secondary helper on the goal.

Tyler Shugrue did his part to limit the damage thereafter, but at 16:10 the dam broke open. At 16:10, Tyler Nielsen ripped a rebound past Shugrue for the forward’s 14th tally of the season (Peck, Starzi). Josh Edwards found his first goal of the year exactly one minute later off of a rebound from Matt Proski  set up by a David Pfoestl assist.

Pfoestl decided to join the scoring parade 45 seconds later, when he carried the puck over the blue line, dropped it back to Proski, and then put Proski’s ensuing rebound by for the 6-0 advantage. Cole Wenner was credited with the secondary helper on the score.

In the third, Nate Chuckran tacked on goal number seven, coming off of assists by Tyler Watungwa and Zach Ouladelhadjahmed, putting the contest’s scoring to rest.

At the final horn, the Knights came away with both a 7-0 victory and a series sweep of the Bobcats Royals. The win also brings the Knights back to .500 and keeps them within two points of the New York Applecore for the 4th seed in the South Conference.

Jared Stahel’s steady play between the pipes earned him his third shutout of the season, his second in his last five starts.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will look to keep the momentum going with a road contest today against the Walpole Express at 4:50 PM EST. Tune in on HockeyTV.com and follow @WBSKnightsEHL on Twitter for in-game updates!

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 Preview: Knights Look to Keep Rolling with Busy Week Ahead

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

With three games on the docket this week, the Knights are focused on keeping their hot streak alive and well as the season winds into February. Winners of nine of their last 10 games, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the current occupant of third place in the Mid-Atlantic division and fifth place in the South Conference. The top six teams in each of the EHL’s two conferences advance to the playoffs scheduled for just over a month away.

“We have to keep playing with emotion,” said Knights head coach Josh Fusco. “I think the biggest thing is the compete level. We’re coming off a good weekend.”

In a two-game series with the New York Bobcats Royals, the Knights picked up a pair of shutouts and four points to keep pace in a competitive South.

“The biggest thing was the compete level-knowing what was at stake all the time with the standings being real tight, playoff implications on the line every day,” said Fusco. “We played good hockey in all three zones both days. I think the backcheck was the best it’s ever been. Our penalty kill was phenomenal-our power play was much, much better so I think we can see the progress there.”

The Knights defense held the Bobcats Royals to just 26 shots on goal, while increasing their season shutout total from one to three. The team was also a perfect 7-for-7 on the penalty kill while registering two shorthanded goals.

“Overall we’ve been stressing to get the puck to the net, to shoot the puck,” said Fusco of his team’s efforts on the other end of the ice. “I thought our defense did a tremendous job of doing that. Our forwards did a tremendous job getting there, generating rebounds and making chances happen. The biggest thing at the end of the day was that we were able to capitalize on their breakdowns and miscues.”

Scoring Leaders Over Last 10 Games
Player G A TP
#11 Jake Fuss, F 9 10 19
#27 Nate Chuckran, F 4 6 10
#14 Tyler Watungwa, F 6 3 9
#2 William Case, D 1 7 8
#10 Nick Peck, D 4 4 8
#18 Alex Morawski, F 3 5 8
#20 Austin Weber, F 2 6 8

The Knights are just three points behind this weekend’s opponent, New York Applecore for the fourth seed in the South, but will start competition this week with a meeting against the owners of the EHL’s best record, the Philadelphia Revolution.

“We’re excited for this Revolution game,” said Fusco. “It’s another chance for two big points. That’s what we’re stressing in practice, when we’re on the bus, and the second we step foot into their building. It’s a mentality of ‘We’re here to do a job and two points is our paycheck today.'”

The Knights are 0-4 against the Revolution this season, but haven’t met since mid-October. Philadelphia enters play today with an 8-2 record over their previous 10 contests, second only in the league to the Knights 9-1 mark in that stretch. The Revolution boast the EHL’s top-ranked offense (4.94 GPG) and second-ranked defense (1.97 GAPG).

“It’ll be a good gauge of where we’re at against a team like that,” said Fusco. “They’re on a roll, they have the league’s highest winning percentage, and they have one of the league’s most experienced rosters. We feel like we owe them. We played pretty well the last time we faced them, but we had a few too many breakdowns. Now we have a very different lineup.  The way we’re competing across the board lately, there’s no reason in my mind that we can’t beat them, so we need to go out there and get it done.  I have 100% faith in my team.”

Goaltending Last 10 Games
Player Record Minutes GAA Saves Shots Save % Shutouts
#30 Thomas Walker 5-0-0 304:34 1.97 133 143 .930 1
#31 Jared Stahel 4-1-0 257:00 1.40 95 101 .941 2
Totals 9-1-0 561:34 1.71 228 244 .934 3

Indeed, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster has gone through several renovations in the time elapsed. It began with Nate Chuckran coming over from the Philadelphia Junior Flyers in the middle of November.

“With Chuck-what more can you say?,” asked his head coach. “He’s hungry, he’s a competitor, he gives 110%. He’s constantly going-the kid’s got a good motor on him.”

The EHL veteran added much-needed experience to the roster while exerting his physical style of play on the ice to the tune of 17 points in the 20 games since his acquisition. His six assists on the power play has helped the Knights man-advantage catapult itself to the league’s fourth-highest success rate at 21.7%.

Unfortunately for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, they will not have him for today’s contest against the Revolution due to a one-game suspension being served for butt-ending. Despite that, Fusco looks forward to leaning heavily on his veteran forward.

“He’s been a great addition,” he said. “He’s got a lot on the line being a ’97. His play’s been showing it and his leadership has been showing it. There’s not a negative bone in his body. He’s going to be a guy who carries a big piece of the workload with the end of the season on the way.”

William Case was added to the blue line just prior to the beginning of December. The 6-4 defender has been an asset to the Knights in his own end as well as on the attack.

“Will Case brings steady, rock-solid defense on the back end,” said Fusco. “He’s starting to find his groove on offense. He’s getting more confident with the puck. He’s making plays, getting pucks going north. He’s stepped up to the plate-the expectations are at a higher level now. ”

Special Teams
Last 10 Games
PP 12 for 37 32.43%
PK 33 for 38 86.84%
Shorties 5 for, 1 Against

Like Chuckran, Case’s impact can be seen on the power play, where he has recorded four of his nine assists since joining the team. His ten total points rank him third on the Knights blue line in production despite having only played in just over a dozen games.

“He’s the go-to-guy on the power play,” said Fusco. “He’s finding ways to get the pucks through. He’s scored, but more importantly he gets the puck somewhere around the cage where we’re driving home rebounds or keeping pucks hemmed in the zone. He’s a great locker room guy. I think he’s been a great addition in that aspect. He’s a ’99, but he plays like he’s a veteran hockey player.”

The Knights next addition was one that Fusco admits he wasn’t overly familiar with initially, with forward Tyler Watungwa. The Ottawa native had spent previous seasons in the EHL before coming over to the Knights from the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League in mid-December.

“I’ll be honest and say I didn’t know a whole lot about Tyler before we picked him up,” said Fusco. “One of the reasons we added him was because he was a ’97. He was a veteran of junior hockey and we needed that in the lineup. He’s got a bigger body, he likes to muck and grind, he’s kind of a meat and potatoes guy, but he’s brought the scoring touch as well.”

The beginning of Watungwa’s Knights career couldn’t have gone much better, as he scored in six of his first seven games, recording two game-winning goals in that span. The gritty forward has been an asset to special teams as well, especially on the penalty kill.

“Tyler is probably one of the hardest working guys because he doesn’t stop, said Fusco. “He’s constantly back-checking and constantly playing the position the correct way. He moves the puck, he’s got silky hands-ever since he’s been here he’s been finding the back of the net.”

Mick Heneghan has has bounced his way back and forth between the Knights NAHL and EHL roster, but when with the latter, he’s produced well.

“Heneghan’s received some time with us from the NAHL team, said Fusco. “When he comes in for us, he steps in and fills a role. He’s a great addition. Obviously he’s had a lot of NAHL experience and he has that talent in his game. He’s another guy who’s good with the puck, plays up on the rush, and generates plays.”

In three games in January, Heneghan’s notched a game-winning goal and two assists and has played with a physical edge to accompany his puck-moving ability from the blue line.

“A guy like that who’s willing to come and help out the affiliate team, that’s big,” said Fusco. “It’s not always easy. He’s come in, worked hard and has a great attitude. He brings a lot to the table. He’s been positive the whole time. I commend him for that.”

The final acquisition and newest Knight is forward Bryan Whelan. Picked up from the Bobcats Royals in the middle of January, Fusco is happy to no longer have to scheme against a former nemesis.

“I’ve gotten to know Bryan coaching against him last year and this year,” he said. “He’s another ’97 we brought in. I compare him to a Jake Fuss and Anthony Starzi. He’s speedy, he’s got hands, he can shoot, and he’s got a knack for sticking with the puck.”

The right-handed forward came to the Knights with an already impressive 15 goals and eight assists in 29 games on the season. He’s scored in every game he’s worn a Knights sweater, picking up an additional four goals and two assists in six contests.

“He and Jake Fuss are tic-tac-toe out there,” said Fusco. “I’ve been talking to college coaches. I say ‘I know you’ve been looking at Fuss and Starzi. Well Bryan’s the same way.’ He’s a similar guy. With him, you’re bringing that speed and go-to-guy factor to the lineup. He’s another one that doesn’t stop. He’s been a welcome addition. His junior career is winding down and he wants to win a championship. That’s the mentality we want around here.”

After taking on the Revolution today in what is sure to be a measuring-stick contest, the Knights will head to back to New York to take on the team just ahead of them in the South Conference playoff seeding. Entering Wednesday, the New York Applecore are three points ahead of the Knights in the standings, good for fourth-place in the South Conference.

“Like I said, we know what’s at stake,” said Fusco. “For awhile now we’ve figured that this Applecore weekend would be a telltale sign of what’s going to shake out here at the end of the regular season. We can’t take our foot off the pedal against them. They’re a good team.”

In two prior meetings with New York, the Knights are 2-0, having won both games played between the pair at the Revolution Ice Centre in the first few weeks of the season. Still, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won’t be content to rest on the laurels of their previous results.

Like the Revolution, the Applecore are 8-2 over their past 10 games. Like the Knights, New York will have one contest to play this week before meeting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. After traveling to Connecticut to take on the Oilers Friday, Applecore will host the pivotal two-game Saturday-Sunday series that could play a large role in deciding the first round of match-ups in the South Conference with playoffs set to begin in March.

With their game as good as it’s been the Knights will be ready for the fights ahead.

Today’s 2:00 pm EST contest against the Philadelphia Revolution will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. You can also follow the Knights EHL twitter at @WBSKnightsEHL and visit www.easternhockeyleague.org for in-game updates. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com for all the latest happenings in the Knights kingdom!

Weekend Recap: Knights Roll to Weekend Sweep of Bobcats Royals

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

Heading into a Saturday-Sunday series in Long Island, the Knights looked to extend their winning ways that can trace their roots back to mid-December. Winners of seven of their last eight games, the Knights hit the ground running Saturday night.

In what could be considered their most-disciplined win of the season, the Knights were kick-started by Denys Arkhypenko, who scored the opening tally at the 16:00 mark of the first period (Emerson Emery). In a period that they out-shot New York 17-5, the Knights entered the first intermission with momentum, but the scoring was kept in check by the steady play of New York netminder, Timothy Carpenter.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s heavy presence in the attacking zone would not relent in the second. Two early New York penalties would allow the forecheck to get off to a quick start. Though both power plays would be killed off, the pressure would not relent, finally giving way to Bryan Whelan at 8:44. The forward would strike against his former team off assists from Austin Weber and Jake Fuss.

Nick Peck would keep the momentum rolling with his seventh goal of the season at 14:13 (Zach Ouladelhadjahmed, Rhett Padgett). The team’s fourth score was tallied with 24 seconds left in the period, when Cody Rumsey and Tyler Watungwa set up JP Natishan for the 4-0 lead.

In the third, the Knights power play would put the game to bed. Austin Weber struck just past the three minute mark (Arkhypenko, Emery), followed by Tyler Watungwa, set up by Emery’s third assist of the game, and William Case’s secondary.

At the final horn, the Knights would skate away with a 6-0 win, capped off by Thomas Walker’s 16-for-16 performance between the pipes, his first shutout of the season.

In game two, the rematch saw an earlier start but a parallel finish. The Knights struck first on the afternoon after Rhett Padgett buried a shot from the blue line, extending his point streak to four games (Austin Weber, Jake Nimeh). Tyler Shugrue did his part in net for the Bobcats Royals, facing 23 shots in the first period alone, saving all but two.

The second tally came off the stick of JP Natishan, scoring  for the second-consecutive game, assisted by captain Jake Fuss. The Knights defense did their part, limiting New York to just four shots on goal. Knights starter Jared Stahel stopped all four en route to another solid start for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

In the middle frame, Nick Peck struck for the Knights third goal (Padgett, Arkhypenko). The game took a decidedly chippy turn as each team traded a grand total of 95 penalty minutes. The Knights penalty kill not only survived, but thrived, killing off each penalty they faced. Top cap it off, in the process of killing off a major penalty, Bryan Whelan added a shorthanded goal (Fuss) in the final minute of the second period. Whelan has now scored points (4-2-6) in all five games he’s played in since being traded to the Knights.

In the third, the Knights thwarted another major penalty and added another shorthanded goal. After assisting the first shortie, Jake Fuss recorded one of his own, finishing off a three-point game. The Knights captain has recorded points in seven-straight games.

In the game’s final minute, fresh off games with the NAHL on Friday and Saturday, Tyler Nielsen hammer a puck through traffic, where Jake Nimeh tipped it home for the score. Brady Hanson picked up the secondary assist.

When the dust had settled, the Knights found themselves with their second-straight 6-0 shutout. For Jared Stahel, his 14 saves on 14 shots marked his second shutout for the season.  The special teams excelled as well: the kill was 7-for-7 with two shorthanded goals. The power play went 2-for-7. The 12 total goals were scored by nine different players, and the Knights mounted 107 shots over two games.

With the victory Sunday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has won nine of their last 10 games. They’ll look to keep rolling with a mid-week match up with the Philadelphia Revolution on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 pm EST. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!

EHL: Knights Battle for OT Win

After coming out on the wrong end of a 3-2 final Friday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went searching for a better outcome on Saturday against the East Coast Wizards. Both teams entered the day occupying third place in their divisions and fourth in their respective conferences.

The pair began on a even ground, trading goals in the opening eight minutes of the first half. Dylan Schuett struck first on a power play at 5:16, beating Knights starter Thomas Walker off the set up from Trent Pitser and Devin Panzeca. Jake Fuss answered two minutes later on a nice feed from Mick Heneghan to knot the score at one.

At 14:41, Pitsner solved Walker on a feed from Panzeca to re-take the lead. Thankful for the extra five minutes supplied by the showcase’s two halves of play, the Knights came back with a 5-on-3 power play equalizer at 21:48. Nate Chuckran pinched in from the top of the zone and through contact, willed a puck to Bryan Whelan. Finding the biscuit on the front door, Whelan ripped the puck by Wizards starting goalie Alec Marshall to once again even the contest and conclude scoring in the opening 25:00.

To start the second, the Wizards swapped out Marshall for  goalie Jordan White. The move saw no halt in East Coast’s steady play from the crease. White followed up a strong start from Marshall by blanking the Knights in the second half.

Complicating the pace of play for both sides was the repeated trade of penalties on power plays. The second half began with 4-on-4, then saw it re-occur twice as each team shortened one of their own man-advantages with an infraction. Each power play cooling off, coupled with solid goal-tending from Walker and White throttled down the pace of play in the second. Though the Knights and Wizards combined for 28 shots, not one found its way home, bringing about 3-on-3 overtime.

East Coast jumped out to a fast start in the extra period. Thomas Walker was forced to make a tremendous save in the first minute, where the goalie stoned a 2-on-1 with a sprawling, flick of the glove. Walker would finish with 29 saves on the afternoon.

After a regroup, the Knights attack pushed back to force a power play at the 1:34 marker. Given a 4-on-3 advantage, the Knights didn’t blink. In the attacking zone, Nate Chuckran again played power play hero, sliding a puck through bodies to the back door for a wide-open Rhett Padgett. The Knights defenseman buried the game-winner over White’s shoulder to send the Knights home with a 3-2 win.

With the victory, the Knights split the January showcase, and keep pace in third in the Mid-Atlantic Division and fourth place in the South Conference. Their next game will come against the New York Bobcats Royals at the Dix Hills Ice Rink on Saturday, January 27th at 7:30 pm EST. Tune in on hockeytv.com and stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com for news and updates!