Tag Archives: East Division

Knights Close Out 2017 With Sweep

Saturday brought with it the Knights final game of the 2017 calendar year. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton entered the tilt with the opportunity to gain sole possession of first place in the NAHL’s East Division with a win. Their opponent for the second straight day was the Kenai River Brown Bears.

After a strong offensive showing in a 5-2 win, the Knights looked to their forecheck to lead the way again on Saturday. After a quiet first seven minutes in which each side traded an unsuccessful power play, the Knights awoke.

At 7:25 Adrian Danchenko kicked off an impressive outing when he fired a shot through a screen to best Kenai River goalie Gavin Enright. Anthony Firriolo picked up his 12th assist, while Gabe Temple added his sixth to set up the game’s first score.

31 seconds later Temple would fill in the goal column as well as the Knights first-round pick willed a puck through Enright on a wraparound set up by Danchenko and Tomas Koblizek. The 2-0 lead held through the end of the period as Christian Stoever, fresh off a stint in the USHL, coupled with the Knights defense to hold the Brown Bears off the board.

A quiet opening to the second frame gave way to a penalty parade featuring 11 combined infractions. Both power plays were stymied by steady penalty kill play on each side of the ice, holding the score in place at 2-0. A fight between Michael Morrissey and Michael Spethmann kicked up the intensity in what had already proven to be a chippy weekend just past the halfway point of play.

As the second wound down, 4-on-4 play ensued at 16:49 following a Kenai River penalty. With added space on the ice, Tom Farrell and Luke Robinson set up an Adrian Danchenko deke and drive to the net where he bested Enright for his eighth goal of the year, his second of the day.

Leading 3-0 to start the the third, the Knights penalties finally came back to bite them, as former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton blue-liner Markuss Komuls cashed in a perfectly placed power play goal at 5:46 (Zach Krajnik, Filip Karlsson).

The Knights would bounce back, capitalizing on a power play of their own when Curtis Carlson fired a puck home at 11:29 from Jack Olmstead to re-gain a three-goal lead. Olmstead would combine with Matt Kidney to put the game to rest a few minutes later. Just past 17:40, Kidney executed a brilliant poke check in neutral ice before carrying the puck back the other way to create an odd-man rush. In front of the net, Kidney faked to Curtis Carlson before passing back to Jack Olmstead in the slot where the latter buried the puck for a 5-1 lead.

Christian Stoever would close out the contest with a stellar 32 saves on 33 shots in his first game back, on his way to his 11th win of the season. Gavin Enright was solid, despite the five goals allowed, making 36 stops on 41 shots. The Knights and Brown Bears both went 1/7 on the power play and 6/7 on the penalty kill on the afternoon. The win and subsequent two points puts the Knights ahead of the Philadelphia Rebels in the East by one point.

The Knights will look to continue building on a three-game winning streak with a two-game series against the midwest-leading Fairbanks Ice Dogs next weekend. The first will take place on Friday, January 5th and 1:00 pm. The second will be played on Saturday the 6th at 6:30 pm. Both games will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media for all news and updates!

On behalf of the entire organization, the Knights would like to wish all their fans, players, families, and staff a very healthy and happy New Year and look forward to bringing you more wins in 2018!

RECAP: Knights Kick Off Second Half With Convincing Win

Fresh off Christmas and holiday festivities, the Knights returned to home ice on Friday to take on the Kenai River Brown Bears. The first of four meetings between the pair kicked off quickly in favor of the home team.

Just 3:37 into play, Matt Kidney notched his 10th goal of the season when he fired a Jack Olmstead rebound past Brown Bears starting goalie Artur Pavliukov. Paul Cimilluca picked up a secondary assist for his third helper of the season.

The Knights kept their foot on the gas pedal largely dictating play through the opening 20 minutes. The back check limited quality chances on starting goaltender David Tomeo, while the forecheck spent ample time in the attacking end.

Curtis Carlson capped off the strong period when off a faceoff win, the Knights captain fed a pass to Matt Kidney waiting in the middle of the slot. Kidney flipped his second goal of the night past Pavliukov to send the Knights to the first intermission with a multi-goal lead.

Three minutes into the second, during a stretch of 4-on-4 play, Gabe Temple followed Carlson’s example, immediately flipping a face off win to Justin Engelkes in the slot. Engelkes hammered a one-timer to the twine for his seventh goal of the season and a 3-0 Knights lead.

Tomeo and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defense weathered the Brown Bears push-back in the second half of the period before the Knights drew a penalty at 15:52. 16 seconds into the team’s third power play of the evening, Reed Robinson fired a puck home to build a 4-0 lead. Adrian Danchenko and Blake Kryska registered the assists.

The final frame of regulation kicked off with the Knights on the penalty kill. The Brown Bears, owners of one of the NAHL’s most potent power plays, capitalized on their third turn on the man advantage, when Gil Garcia ripped a shot from the slot by Tomeo for Kenai River’s first goal (Sacha Guillemain, Cameron McDonald).

The goal swung momentum to the Brown Bears forecheck, as they drew three more penalties in the first five minutes of the third. The Knights penalty kill and Tomeo combined to erase the remainder of the penalties taken, but Kenai River continued to force Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to chase in their own zone.

At 6:59, Gabriel Wahl fed former Knight Markuss Komuls whose rebound found Connor Fedorek pinching down from the blue line. Fedorek picked the puck up in the slot and weaved it around Tomeo to narrow the deficit to two.

Determined to squash the comeback effort, the Knights offense found a renewed rhythm and resumed their offensive on Artur Pavliukov’s crease. The Lithuanian netminder stood tall in a gritty effort that even saw him briefly leave the ice after sustaining a minor injury in the second.

Despite Pavliukov’s best efforts, including 42 total saves and one robbery of Jack Olmstead, Curtis Carlson put the game to bed at 13:56. Set up by Lincoln Hatten and Luke Robinson, Carlson fired a puck from the right circle through traffic and Pavliukov to put the Knights ahead by three.

Despite multiple penalties being assessed to both sides through the final five minutes of play, the 5-2 score held through the final horn. With the win, the Knights improve to 19-7-3, placing them just one point behind the Philadelphia Rebels for first place in the East Division. They’ll have the opportunity to regain the top spot in round two of Knights-Brown Bears today at 2:30 pm. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com, with live updates being posted to Knights Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

KNIGHTS ALUMNI: SPRONG RECALLED TO PITTSBURGH

Former Knights forward and current Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Daniel Sprong was recalled to the NHL from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins roster today. Sprong played for the Knights Bantam Major team in the 2011-12 season, helping them to a national championship title. Through 29 games in the AHL this season, the 2015 NHL second-round pick has scored 18 goals and 10 assists. The Knights are happy for Daniel and wish him the best of luck in Pittsburgh!

 

Knights Cap First Half With Gritty Win Over New Jersey

In their final game before their holiday break, the Knights went to work against the New Jersey Titans Wednesday afternoon. A season series just three games old, the pair of East division foes needed overtime in all but one tilt to come to a decision. Round four would again prove to be a contest that boiled down to the game’s final moments.

In the game’s opening shifts, it was made apparent that both starting goal tenders brought their A-games to the ice. Stingier than Scrooge, David Tomeo and Brandon Perrone took turns wiping would-be smiles off forechecking faces as each goalie sent quality chances anywhere but the net.

The Knights carried play for most of the first period to the tune of 16-10 shot advantage, but could not solve Perrone. In the period’s final two minutes, the Titans maintained pressure for consecutive shifts, culminating in an offensive zone draw in the final 20 seconds. Off a quick faceoff win and cycle, Hunter Alden took passes from Kyle Jeffers and Ryan Naumovski and fired a puck past Tomeo for a 1-0 Titans lead.

The late-period tally did not sit well with a Knights team that has been bugged by slow starts and uneven goal production in recent weeks. Out of the gate in the second came a continued blitz from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton offense as the team continued the prior period’s habit of putting shots on goal from in close.

Perrone’s sterling defense of his net held until 3:17. A sequence that started with Mike Morrissey setting up a heavy Blake Kryska shot ended with Adrian Danchenko showcasing his silky hands once again. The big forward weaved Kryska’s rebound through the crease and past Perrone for the game-tying goal, Danchenko’s sixth of the season.

The remainder of the middle frame evolved into a more aggressive version of the first. Both sides combined for 33 shots on goal, breaking down to a 17-16 New Jersey advantage. Despite this, the Titans could not figure out David Tomeo.

The goalie continued his December to remember with another stellar effort in net. After stopping 74/77 shots in two games in Johnstown last weekend, the New Jersey native backed it up with a 34/35 mid-week performance. In 2017’s final month Tomeo boasts a 1.33 goals against average and an absurd .973 save percentage in three starts.

His play kept the the game tied at one until the late second, when the Knights found themselves on the power play with just under 30 seconds remaining. The man-advantage has been a point of emphasis in Knights practice this week following a weekend in which the power play went 0-10 against the Tomahawks.

The message clearly sunk in. Off a clean faceoff win, Blake Kryska fed a puck to Anthony Firriolo. Just five seconds into the man-advantage, Mike  Morrissey found a Firriolo rebound and put it home to take a 2-1 lead.

The third period brought both forechecks back down to Earth as each side found their shot totals dip into the single digits. Players like Knights forwards Tomas Koblizek and Jeffrey Bertrand and Titans veterans Zach Parrot and Ryan Naumovski imposed their physical will on both ends of the ice to slow the contest’s pace.

Most impressive was the Knights ability to weather the high-paced Titans final push to try and tie the game. While successful in getting pucks up the ice, New Jersey found it difficult to put together many extended shifts in the attacking zone, kept at bay by the Knights crisp exit passing and physical play. When the Titans did break through the defense, Tomeo was there to bail his team out.

As time wound down on the comeback, the Titans pulled Perrone with just over a minute to play in regulation. The Knights back check buckled down and spent much of the final 60 seconds outside their own end. Though they ultimately could not find the empty net, the team did well to skate out the clock and come away with their 18th win of the season.

Now 18-7-3 and for the moment a top the East division standings, the Knights will receive two weeks off before returning for a home series against he Kenai River Brown Bears on December 29th and 30th. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and follow Knights social media for all news and updates!

On behalf of all players and staff, the Knights organization wishes all their fans the very best, healthiest, and happiest of holiday seasons!

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!

Stellar Stoever Lifts Knights Over Rebels

It wasn’t pretty, but it was two points. The Knights can hang their hats on a gritty, albeit non-traditional win following their 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon. For the third-consecutive game, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton played host to the Philadelphia Rebels following last night’s 5-3 Knights victory.

The Rebels entered play Sunday having several regulars return along the blue line that had missed several games prior. The influence was apparent, as Philadelphia got off to a suffocating start. Their forecheck was again fast and physical as they hemmed the Knights in their own zone for much of the first period. In net for his second start of the three-game series was Christian Stoever, who was nothing short of spectacular on Sunday.

Mounting 18 shots on net in the first frame, the Rebels could only push one puck by the 2000 goalie, with that tally coming at 18:10 on the power play. The sequence was started by point play from Carson Moniz and Diarmad DiMurro before Moniz ripped a shot and rebound to Adam Peck, who promptly buried the goal to give the Rebels the 1-0 lead. Beyond that point, the Rebels simply could not solve Stoever.

The second period fell in line with the first, where the Rebels again controlled play and time of possession. Neither team found the twine in the middle frame, with Stoever stopping eight shots, and Rebels goalie Ryan Keane saving six. A late period surge by the Knights forecheck made the latter netminder make a few quality stops, but did set the table for things to come in the third.

Down 1-0 with 20 minutes to play, the Knights would again find themselves under heavy pressure from the Rebels attack. Though Philadelphia had the overwhelming majority of chances, the difference in the final period was that the Knights were able to finish on their own.

Around the 9:30 mark of the third period Jack Olmstead, Curtis Carlson, and Matt Kidney set up shop in the Philadelphia zone. With Luke Robinson and Tom Farrell on the back end, the Knights cycled effectively until Kidney put a shot on goal that pulled Keane out of the net and generated a heavy rebound that Carlson buried to tie the game at one.

The Rebels were quick to mount pressure in response, but Stoever continued to stand on his head, denying Philadelphia all 20 shots they put on his plate in the third.

In the final minute of regulation, the Knights again would again stand up on the puck in the attacking zone. This time it was Reed Robinson feeding a pass to Luke Robinson, who turned a shot in front which was re-directed to twine by a camped out Michael Morrissey.

Suddenly on the wrong end of the scoreboard in a game they largely controlled, the Rebels pulled Keane for an extra attacker. In the final 51 seconds, they could not solve Stoever as the Knights stole a game on Sunday to improve to 16-6-3. Their 35 points as a team give them a three-point advantage in the East Division standings heading into a weekend off. The total also moves them into a tie with the Shreveport Mudbugs for most points in the entire NAHL.

The Knights will be back in action on December 8th and 9th, when they travel to Johnstown for a pair of road games at the 1st Summit Arena. Stay up to date with all Knights news by following team social media and checking back at www.wbsknights.com.

Recap: Knights Fall to Rebels 6-3

Before the Knights could enjoy their Thanksgiving they first had to take on the Philadelphia Rebels Wednesday. A meeting of the NAHL’s top two point totals, the winner of the afternoon’s affair would finish with the atop the East Division as well as the NAHL standings.

The Knights first period efforts did not materialize on Wednesday, while the Rebels went to work quickly. Nick Peck, a regular along the Knights blue line in the EHL, was called up to the Rebels Wednesday and inserted into their lineup. He rewarded Philadelphia with the game’s first goal just 4:58 into the opening frame. Assists came from Eric Olson and Auggie Moore on Peck’s well-placed shot from the blue line.

The Knights would apply pressure in the minutes following a Rebels penalty at 6:04, but were unable to solve Philadelphia goalie Ryan Keane. The Rebels seized back momentum at 13:16, when Ryan Patrick found the twine on Philadelphia’s first power play of the game, off helpers from Andrew Bellant and Jensen Zerban.

Not wishing to hear any narratives on two-goals leads, the Rebels found a third off a fast backhanded shot from Zerban at 14:43, set up by Alex Frye. The goal led the Knights to swap Christian Stoever out for David Tomeo in net. Less than two minutes later, the Rebels put bodies in front of Tomeo and worked a screened shot home to the twine off the blade of Seth Bergeron. Eric Olson picked up his second assist of the game to set up Philadelphia’s fourth goal.

Following a strong first, the Rebels continued their attack in the early second. Brandon Stanley picked up his fourth goal of the season at 7:05 to create a 5-0 lead (Jimmy Glynn). The Knights, staring down their biggest deficit of the season, awoke.

Following a Rebels cross-checking penalty, just over a minute after Stanley’s goal, Jack Olmstead flipped a puck past Keane for the Knights first score, his 12th tally of the season. Apples were credited to Justin Engelkes and Mike Gelatt.

With a goal on the board, the Knights forecheck battled to narrow the deficit. They outshout the Rebels 29-18 for the remainder of regulation, as their offense pushed pucks deep into Philadelphia territory and worked hard on the walls. Their efforts were rewarded again in the second, when from under the goal line, Tyrone Bronte flipped a puck from Justin Engelkes, to a crashing Mike Gelatt. Gelatt buried his eighth goal of the year from the front of the net to pull the Knights within three.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s pressure carried over into the third period, with Ryan Keane forced to make a number of high-quality saves to preserve his team’s sizable lead. At 8:21, Bronte fed Engelkes who hammered a puck from above the circles, through traffic, and by Keane to narrow the deficit to two.

The Knights comeback had seen three consecutive goals scored on a stingy Rebels defense, but Philadelphia withstood the Knights surge into the game’s final five minutes. On a rush into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton zone, Jensen Zerban, assisted by Tyler Pohlig, pushed a puck through the pads of Tomeo to effectively put the game on ice. Though the Knights attacked until the end, the team came up short in Wednesday’s battle for first place.

Following a healthy dose of turkey today, the Knights will have another two chances against the Rebels, as they play this Saturday and Sunday at the Revolution Ice Centre. Saturday’s game will start at 7:30 pm, while Sunday’s will begin at 2:30 pm. Both games can be viewed online at hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube for all news and updates.

The Knights entire organization would like to take this opportunity to wish the happiest and healthiest Thanksgiving to all their fans, players, and families, and all those who support junior hockey!

NAHL Recap: Knights Split Weekend with Tomahawks

On Saturday the Knights took the ice against the Johnstown Tomahawks for the fourth-consecutive meeting, and the sixth time in 2017-18. After Friday’s contest, in which the Knights forecheck and power play controlled play, game two of the weekend took a decided, defensive turn.

The first period saw each side exchange a fair number of chances, but goal tenders David Tomeo and Jack Leavy held their ground. The period’s lone tally was recorded at 4:58, when Samuel Solensky won a puck battle along the half wall and fed an open Roman Kraemer in front of Tomeo. Kramer made a quick move around the Knights starter and flipped the puck home to put Johnstown ahead by one. Carter Dwyer picked up the secondary assist.

In the second period the Tomahawks would strike again in the early going. Just prior to the 4:30 mark, Johnstown brought the puck over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton blue line with numbers. Tomeo made a spectacular save off a shot in close, but the effort pulled him out of the net. Samuel Solensky found the puck and flipped it through a scrum of Knights players trying to fill the pipes. Toby Sengvonxay and Roman Kraemer were credited with the helpers.

Though they would again put shots on net, the Knights could not solve Jack Leavy. The East Division veteran stopped all 20 shots he faced through the first two periods. The Tomahawks back check did their part in limiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s access to high-scoring areas.

To start the third, the Knights comeback effort appeared to receive a boost when their power play was sent to work just 3:38 into the period. Instead, a mishandling of the puck in front of their own net resulted in Pavel Kharin poking home a shorthanded goal.

The 3-0 Johnstown lead held via the continued strong play of Leavy and his defense. With just under 5:00 to play, the Knights pulled Tomeo for the extra attacker. Johnstown promptly took a penalty with 4:21 remaining to give the Knights a 6-on-4 advantage. Matt Kidney responded with his third goal of the weekend, set up by Anthony Firriolo and Mike Gelatt at 16:10.

Following a short stretch of 5-on-5, the Knights would pull Tomeo again with 3:04 left on the clock. Despite a few chances generated, the Knights could not pull any closer, and at 18:04, Samuel Solensky put the game on ice with an empty net goal (Donovan Ott).

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wont dwell long on the defeat, as the team will turn around to play the Philadelphia Rebels on Wedensday, November 22nd at 2:30 PM EST. The game can be viewed at www.hockeytv.com. Follow Knights social media and check back at www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!

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!

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!

 

NAHL: Knights Finish 3-Game Sweep to Close Weekend

Following a strong pair of wins to open a three-game weekend, the Knights took the ice Sunday in Attleboro looking for a clean sweep of the lone team ahead of them in the East Division Standings.

After a scoreless first half of the first period, the Knights got on the board at 11:30 when Jack Olmstead found Matt Kidney off a turnover, after which Kidney ripped a puck by Generals goalie David Fessenden. All nine Northeast shots on goal were snuffed out by Knights starter Christian Stoever. At the end of the frame, the Knights held a decided advantage in shots and control of play.

Sensing a chance to breakaway in a one-goal game, the Knights opened up their attack in the second period. Reed Robinson scored early at 1:48 off assists from Tyrone Bronte and Michael Morrissey. Matt Kidney picked up goal number two of the afternoon at 6:32 with helpers from Olmstead and Anthony Firriolo. Mike Gelatt capped off the period’s scoring at 7:28, unassisted to build a commanding 4-0 lead.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton did not relent on either end of the ice, as the team killed off two penalties, while Stoever stopped all 10 shots sent his way in the second.

Entering the third, the Knights left the door slightly ajar with a slew of penalties in the opening half of the period, serving three in the first eight minutes. The Generals capitalized on the second when Luke Perunovich notched his second goal of the season off assists from Mike Egan and Matt Demelis.

From there, the Knights buckled down. They were out-shot 14-13 in the third, but maintained a steady presence on the attack, forcing an eye-popping total of 45 shots on Fessenden on the afternoon. Stoever didn’t finish the day with a shutout, but held the NAHL’s top scoring offense to just one goal, stopping 32 of 33.

With the win, the Knights move within one point of the first-place Generals. They’ve won four in a row and haven’t lost in regulation since October 13th, resulting in a nine-game point streak. They’ll head to Johnstown next weekend for a two-game road trip on November 10th and 11th in their efforts to keep climbing the divisional ladder.