Tag Archives: EHL

Knights Goalie Thomas Walker Commits to Albertus Magnus College

Thomas Walker is getting ready to start his second season with the Knights organization, but before the season’s first puck drop, the goalie announced some exciting news. Starting in the fall of 2019, Walker will join the Albertus Magnus Falcons in their inaugural season playing NCAA DIII hockey.

“I like the atmosphere-it’s right around Yale and Quinnipiac, so it’s a good college town,” said Walker of his future home. “The people are great, the head coach, the assistant coach, they’re just nice people, great people. To visit a school and find out it’s a small school-that’s what I was interested in because that’s the kind of high school I went to. Everything about the college just kinda sucked me in and I fell in love with it.”

Located in southern Connecticut, Albertus Magnus recently gained approval to join NCAA Division III hockey as an independent school in 2019-20. Kyle Wallack will man the bench after serving as an assistant coach for the University of Vermont.  Wallack has coached the past 21 years primarily as an at NCAA Division I level, along with stops along the way in DIII, the ACHA and USHL.

“With it being a new program it just excited me to be part of a start, setting the groundwork for them to be successful for many years to come,” said Walker. “Hopefully we’ll be in the record books getting the first winning season and being a part of all that interesting stuff.”

Walker spent his first year of junior hockey as the backstop in 28 games for the Knights. He recorded a 2.86 goals against average and a .899 save percentage in the 2017-18 regular season.

“I think it helped me playing against older competition,” said Walker of his first season in the EHL. “It made me have to adjust, get stronger and faster because everybody shoots harder and moves quicker and passes are crisper and everything just moves at a higher speed. I’ve just had to adjust to that, and hopefully with another year under my belt, I’ll be even more prepared and be able to just keep improving.”

What can Falcons fans expect from their future goalie?

“I’m a battler,” he said. “That’s my big thing. I’m never gonna give up. I’ve kinda learned more and more as we keep going that you just have to battle and keep going. I’m not the quickest, not the biggest, but I’ll definitely battle from the beginning of the game to the end of the game, all season long. I’m not going to complain about anything. I’m ready to play whenever, wherever, doesn’t matter to me, I’m just going to battle.”

“The best way start to training camp when you have players reporting already committing to school,” said Knights EHL head coach Josh Fusco. “It goes to show the success were having here with our players and more importantly it shows they trust the process.”

For all his growth in his first season with the Knights, it says a lot about Walker that his favorite memories are not individual highlights, but ones belonging to last year’s fellow goalie, Jared Stahel, along with another team accomplishment from 2017-18.

“My favorite would probably be the December showcase last year,” he said. “We were just starting to hit our stride. We were able to play well enough to beat the Avs, then Stahel got the first team shutout against the Wolves going into Christmas break so we were on a nice little hot streak beating the eventual champions and then getting the first shutout for the team so that was a good start. Kinda went on a streak there and got a little hot, so that was probably my favorite memory so far.”

For all that lies ahead, Walker isn’t looking too far beyond the upcoming season with the Knights in the EHL. His sights are set firmly on  improving on his consistency before heading off to school.

“I want to be better for the length of the whole year. Last year, I thought I had a pretty slow start, and then a decent middle, and then slowed down again at the end. I’m looking to have a complete season and go farther in the playoffs than we did.”

“I’m really excited for Walks,” said Fusco. “It’s pretty awesome because it shows the dedication he has put in to his game, the dedication he has to our program and more importantly how he has trusted the process over the past year with his development.”

Ever the team player, Walker was quick to thank those who have made his commitment a reality.

“Definitely a big thanks to my family for all their support and my friends back home for helping me grinding through this junior year, being supportive. Obviously thanks to the Knights organization and everything they’ve done, coach Fusco for helping me improve, and my teammates for playing well enough in front of me to get a college interested in me, so just a big thanks to everyone that’s helped.”

The Knights  congratulate Thomas on his well-deserved college commitment and look forward to his upcoming season and rooting for him in his future hockey career and beyond!

 

David Pfoestl Commits to Anna Maria College

One of the most-tenured Knights defensemen has earned a place in the college hockey ranks, as David Pfoestl has announced his intent to join Anna Maria College this fall. The AMCats hockey program is entering its first season at the NCAA Division III level and will compete as an independent in 2018-19.
“I chose Anna Maria College because I felt that it was the right place to continue my academic career, and also to play hockey at the college level,” said Pfoestl. “I visited the campus and felt comfortable and welcomed right away. When I first moved to the United States from Italy to play hockey it has always been my goal to go to college to pursue my academic and athletic career. Attending Anna Maria College this fall is a dream becoming true for me and I could not be more excited to start this new chapter in my life.”
Pfoestl joined the Knights at the youth level after moving from Italy in 2015-16.  While growing into his 6-5 frame, the left-handed defender made an impact early both on the stat sheet and with physical style of play. He notched three goals and 17 helpers in his rookie season, split between the U16 and U18 level.
“I would describe myself as a hard-working defensive defenseman who likes to play a fair but physical type of game and use my big body as much as possible to create time for myself and my teammates to make plays. I never give up on or of the ice and always empty the tank whenever I step on the ice for games and practices.”

After 131 games with the Knights, Pfoestl has gotten to know much of the organization’s coaching staff. Josh Fusco has been his head coach for the past two years, and has had a front row seat for Pfoestl’s junior career.

“I’m very happy for David and his decision,” said Fusco. “Any time a kid leaves to go play NCAA hockey it’s a great feeling of accomplishment all across the board. Having David the past two years and seeing his tremendous improvement with several parts of his game has been a great sight to see. This decision is a great reward for all the hard work that he has been putting in.”
Pfoestl laced up the skates for Fusco’s NA3AHL team in 2016-17, producing at over a point-per game pace with 11 tallies and 26 assists in 36 games on the way to a league championship appearance. In the EHL this past season, the Italian added two more goals and five assists in 40 games played. Beyond the walls of the Revolution Ice Centre, Pfoestl also represented Italy in the World Junior Classic 18j D1B tournament twice, playing in ten games between 15-16 and 16-17.
“Playing in the EHL this past season under coach Fusco not only helped me to develop into a better hockey player, but also into a better person off the ice,” said Pfoestl. “The level of play in the EHL was very high and definitely prepared me to make the next step to play college hockey.”
Pfoestl leaves Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a strong legacy. Over the past two seasons, Pfoestl ranks second among the Knights tier-III defenders in both games played (76) and points (43). It’s a time he holds in high regard.
“Being part of the Knights family over the last 3 years was an honor and a lifetime experience for me,” he said. “While wearing the Knights jersey I made a ton of great experiences and made bonds  that will last a lifetime. The Knights took great care of me when I first moved to the United States from Italy at the age of 15, and always made me feel welcomed throughout my three years in the organization. I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, and everyone else who supported me throughout these years. Especially my family who made a lot of sacrifices for me and also Coach Fusco for believing in my potential and developing me into the player and person I am now.”
The Knights join coach Fusco in their appreciation for David’s contributions to his teams’ success. They wish him all the best in his pursuit of furthering his education and his hockey career!

WBS Knights Take Team to New England Pro-Am, Pre-Draft Showcase, Sign up Today!

The coaching staff of the Knights NAHL and EHL programs are taking a team to the New England Pro-Am, Pre-Draft Showcase to be played in Boston from May 11th-13th. Players looking to being evaluated in their efforts to play junior hockey for the WBS Knights hockey teams should sign up today! The Knights coaching staff will be evaluating players from all over the country for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. What better way to have your player’s skills noticed than by putting them in the front of a staff that prides itself on sending dozens of players to college every year? Contact WBS Knights Coach Josh Fusco at [email protected] or Knights NAHL head coach Tom Kowal at [email protected] for more information!

Tyler Watungwa Commits to Finlandia University

Another day and another Knight is heading off to college. Tyler Watungwa, a crucial mid-season addition to the EHL team, and an elemental piece to the Knights second-half run has committed to Finlandia University. The Lions compete in the highly-competitive NCHA Conference in NCAA Division III hockey.

“First off, it came highly recommended by coach Fusco, him being an alumni of their program and a former player for its head coach Joe Burcar,” said Watungwa. “He had nothing but good things to say about both Finlandia and the coaching staff there. That was a huge part of it. Once I was started looking into it a little more, they had the program that I was looking for. It’s called physical therapist assistant and that’ll lead me down a path of exercise science, hopefully allowing me to be an athletic trainer once hockey is all done.”

“I was just doing my job as a coach and reaching out to other coaches at the college level to talk about my 97’s,” said Fusco. “One of the schools I talked to was my alma mater Finlandia. Coach Joe Burcar, was my coach. I know what what he likes and what he demands out of his players. I wanted to help him out and ultimately help Tyler. Burcar wants hockey players and he’s getting one in Tyler.

The Ottawa native came to the Knights in mid-December, while the team was still finding their footing in the Eastern Hockey League. After returning from a two-year absence, the roster was filled with talented, but young players, many that were still new to the junior level of hockey. Watungwa saw through that and reached out to a place he felt he could help.

“He actually reached out to me,” said Fusco. “We were playing the Boston Junior Rangers and East Coast Wizards and I got an email from Tyler expressing an interest in playing for us. He wanted to come to an organization with a good reputation and some prestige while getting some exposure to scouts. I took a look at some clips of him, talked to his coach, and even had the benefit of having Austin Weber, one of his former teammates, already on our roster. Web backed up what I saw and that was that Tyler was a good hockey player who worked hard, was strong and hard to move off the puck. At the end of the day, he was a ‘97 who wanted to be here, who wanted to be a Knight and that worked out perfectly.”

“Where I was before, I wasn’t really sure if I was getting these looks,” explained Watungwa. “I came back to the EHL, where the goal is getting looked at as much as I could. I knew coming in, this is the spot to do it. The league showcases are amazing in terms of all the scouts that are there. The team and the league as a whole put a whole a lot of effort into moving guys up, which is awesome.”

Once aboard with the Knights, Watungwa immediately made his presence known as an explosive and gritty playmaker. In his first seven games, he scored five goals and two assists while installing himself as crucial piece in all situations.

“He came in, and I thought he was going to be a middle six forward, a kind of a grinder guy, but right off the bat he proved he could be a goal-scorer,” said Fusco. “It let me put him on a line with Tyler Nielsen and Cody Rumsey for a good portion of the season, and that was a really solid combination for us. On the ice, his best skill to me, is his puck handling. He’s a skilled guy and a really strong player. He’s hard to push off the puck. He makes a lot of good plays with his vision. Ultimately his ability to move the puck, to get down low and win possessions for us, and keep it on his blade made him a really essential forward in our lineup.”

“I think I just bring compete level,” said Watungwa. “That’s what I tried to bring to the Knights program, just working hard every shift. Whether it’s making a hit, blocking a shot, making a play offensively or defensively, I’m always going to try to do it at 100%.”

Beyond the stat sheet, leadership is another trait Tyler exudes. It wasn’t lost on his coach or his teammates.

“That early production really grabbed the attention of our locker room,” said Fusco. “His work ethic, his habits, his effort in practice, that all combined to create a really positive influence for our guys. He was the prime example of leading by example. He brought the same effort and enthusiasm every day and really that’s exactly what you want from one of your veteran players.”

With his junior career now over, Watungwa is preparing for his next team, and like his entrance to the Knights, he’s thrilled for the opportunity.

“They (Finlandia) are in a rebuild year, but they are definitely really excited about where the program’s going,” he said. “I was really happy to get in when I could to help be a part of that rebuild. Honestly the big thing I’m excited about is that I get to play hockey for another four years. Obviously I’m excited to go to school, to get that part of my life started, but I get to do a thing I love for another four years, and I think that’s just awesome.”

Under Coach Burcar, the Lions program is looking to get back to its earlier success in his first stint as the team’s bench boss. In the last four seasons of that stretch, Burcar guided Finlandia to a 57-43-7 record, including an MCHA postseason conference championship in 2006-07.

“Finlandia is a tight knit community that loves and is passionate about their hockey,” said Fusco. “They have strong support from the school. Coach Burcar is back there rebuilding the program in a very strong conference and it’s very exciting to send one my players there. It means a lot that I can help move a player to his goal of division III college hockey, but also exciting and sentimental to send him to coach Burcar and Finlandia. It’s a great fit, Joe is excited and Tyler is excited-it’s a perfect fit.”

In parting, Watungwa isn’t going without fond memories. The season may have ended a few games earlier than he had hoped, but he’s happy to have been on for the ride.

“Making 20 new friends,” he said of his favorite part of wearing the Knights sweater. “Every team you go to, you’ve got 20 guys you’re going to war with every night. All those guys in our locker room, I consider brothers. I’d say the relationships that I made over the last three and a half months were pretty awesome.”

His gratitude was not limited to just those he skated with.

“First and foremost, I want to thank my mom,” he said. “She’s been a big part of getting me into sports. She drives me to all these crazy places in the middle of nowhere just to play hockey. She’s been a real inspiration for me. A huge thank you to coach Fusco and the whole Knights organization for giving me the ability to play at a level where I could be in front of all of these scouts and giving me the right coaching and the tools I needed to get to the next level. I want to thank all the teammates that I had this year and past years who helped make me a better player and a better person.”

Fusco shared the sentiment but reversed its direction.

“I want to thank Tyler for being a part of this year with us,” he said. “It takes a special type of player to accomplish what he did in our dressing room and on the ice. He’s an incredibly ward worker, and a great person. I’ll be following his career eagerly, and I wish him only the best in hockey and in his life beyond.”

The Knights join coach Fusco in thanking Tyler and wishing the best of luck at Finlandia and in all his pursuits in life!

EHL: Knights Fall in OT to End Season

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

On Monday, the Knights returned to Brewster Ice Arena to play high-stakes hockey against New York Applecore. For both sides, a victory meant moving on to the second round of the EHL postseason. A loss would mean the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

With that as the backdrop to the matinee affair, both teams came out with speed to begin Monday’s contest. No one had more than Knights forward Anthony Starzi. The lightning-quick skater-known around the league for his 26 goals and 26 assists in 52 games-scorched through every line of New York’s defense plus Benjamin Allard-Robitaille to give the Knights a 1-0 lead, 3:51 into the first.

The pace of play would keep up for both teams, as the pair traded quick rushes into the opposite zone, testing each Allard-Robitaille and Jared Stahel with snap shots and re-directs toward the net. Neither goalie would blink through the remainder of the first, as 18 of 19 combined shots never made their way home.

The second period followed suit, with both teams active and aggressive in transition. With a 1-0 lead, the Knights knew better than to sit back against Applecore’s potent offense. Their best efforts led them to slightly carry play and the shot count, but ultimately they could not solve the ever-challenging Allard-Robitaille. The Quebec native stopped all 14 shots he faced in the middle period, keeping his team alive and well.

The Knights first mistake proved to be a costly one, taking a 2:00 minor with just under three minutes to play in the period. After 1:56 of disciplined penalty kill, Applecore finally broke through with a heavy crash to the net. After Stahel made an impressive initial save, a rebound kicked out just enough through a scrum to find a waiting Joseph Verboys, who buried the puck for the game-tying goal (Eliot Friedow, Matthew Boring). Stahel would finish the period standing on his head to deny a surging Applecore attack.

Play remained even in the third. Stahel and Allard-Robitaille stood on their respective heads to continually turn away two humming forechecks. Through the 20 minutes, the Knights and Applecore each traded an unsuccessful power play, and at period’s end, the score remained locked at one.

Five-on-five, 20-minute, sudden-death overtime followed. A game that saw one shot separate the teams in each period continued on its even track in the extra time. Each side took heavy, fast rushes down the ice with excellent goaltending extending the game. Stahel (33 saves) and Allard-Robitaille (35) were both deserving of wins, but in the end there could of course only be one team moving forward.

Just shy of the 6:00 mark of overtime, Kyle Warren grabbed hold of a loose puck at his own blue line. Much as Starzi had done in the first, Warren burned through neutral ice, past the last line of defense, before cutting sharply in front of Stahel to put home the game-winning goal (Ryan Lieth, Daniel Fleischman).

The score brought about a tough end to the Knights hard-fought season. In the coming days ahead there will be time to process just how much was accomplished and how much growth was made between the starting and end points to the season. For now, the loss stings, cutting short what looked to be a special run for a special group, but it does not diminish what a strong return to the EHL the organization made.

The Knights would like to offer a sincere thank you to all our players, their families, our billet families, staff, volunteers, and all our fans for their hard work and support this season!

EHL: Knights Thwarted by Revniaga, Allard-Robitaille in Game 1

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

Friday marked game one of the Knights EHL postseason, the first of a best-of-three series with the New York Applecore. A pitched first period saw starting goalies Thomas Walker and Benjamin Allard-Robitaille trade a flurry of saves, while each offense could only muster a goal per side.

The first tally came at the 15:45 mark of the opening frame, when Tyler Watungwa and William Case combined to set up Emerson Emery on a power play goal.

The early Knights lead would prove to be short-lived, as on a 5-on-3 power play, New York drew even off the efforts of Tanner Dalton, from Mark Revniaga and Kyle Warren.

The stalemate would continue into the second where Walker and Allard-Robitaille would again stymie the opposition, with the pair making a combined 42 saves in the first 40 minutes of play.

Though the Knights would own the larger share of chances on net, leading shots 27-18 after two, it would be Applecore that would secure the only score of the second period. At 16:24, Joseph Verboys cleaned up the loose change from Mark Revniaga’s crash to the net to give New York their first lead of the game. Elliot Friedow would collect the secondary assist on the tally.

Revniaga would continue to be a catalyst for the Applecore, as he scored the game’s next goal early in the third period. His third point of the night came off the inverse of the prior goal where Friedow supplied the primary with help from Verboys’ secondary to best Walker at 6:24.

The Knights efforts to climb back were continually stunted by Allard-Robitaille in net, as the ’99 from Quebec carried his team with 35 saves on 36 shots.

Matthew Boring put home an empty-net goal (Race Bennett) in the final minute of play to give the Applecore the 4-1 win in game one. The two teams will meet again Saturday at 5:40 pm EST. Tune in on hockeytv.com and follow along at www.easternhockeyleague.org!

Knights Forward Nate Chuckran Commits to Stony Brook

One of the most veteran junior players in the Knights Organization, Nate Chuckran has made his decision to go to Stony Brook University starting this fall. The Seawolves are an ACHA division I program that have recorded 20 or more wins in 16 of their last 19 seasons and in the last four years has won four-consecutive ESCHL Championships along with one national championship runner up finish. For Chuckran it wasn’t just the hockey accolades he was focused on.

“What stood out to me is how highly ranked the school is itself. I’m going for biomedical engineering so it narrows down my choices a lot. They have a great program. Their coach Chris Garofalo keeps a tight ship.”

Chuckran has been a long-time veteran of the EHL, having played in his 100th career game (including playoffs) in the Knights regular season finale Saturday. His four-team career has been strong, wracking up 21 goals and 47 points in that span. His 2017-18 season, split between the Philadelphia Junior Flyers and the Knights, has been his most-productive, scoring 13-18-31 in 41 games played.

“The EHL has helped me prepare by helping me grow as a player,” said Chuckran. ” It’s helped me mature as a player. It’s definitely increased my poise with the puck and taught me to not be afraid to get in the corners at all.”

“Chuck is a hard-nose player that puts 100% in to every he does on and off the ice,” said his head coach, Josh Fusco. “He’s very motivated, driven and has a lot passion. From day one, after we acquired him from the Junior Flyers, he’s brought leadership to this team and moved into that assistant captain role nicely for us. As a ’97 He’s brought a lot of junior experience and more importantly he’s brought that winning attitude to our locker room.”

“I think I have a positive impact on the guys,” said Chuckran of what he brings to a team. “Any where I’ve gone that’s the feeling I’ve gotten. As far as on the ice, I think I make a defensive impact and I bring a lot of speed with my game.”

With his college decision made, Chuckran is now focused on finishing his junior career on a high note.

“Obviously we want to win a championship,” he said. “Not only that, I want to leave the guys here with a positive impact. I want to help them and guide them to a better position for their future as far as junior hockey goes, each of them individually. I’ll miss this team and the fun we’ve had, [laughing] everybody’s saying ‘OH YEAH’ all the time.”

Chuckran’s and his teammates’ enthusiasm will be a welcome sight when the team kicks off their postseason this weekend against the New York Applecore. The playoffs will serve as Chuckran’s final chapter of his junior career, one he’s happy to have had, and aware of those who have made it possible.

“A big thanks to my parents for supporting me through all of this and all the coaches that got me here. I couldn’t have done it by myself. I’m excited for a new beginning at Stony Brook. I’m very optimistic about their program and the school itself.”

“Nate is a kid that is going to succeed in life” said Fusco. “I’m very happy for him on his decision moving forward with his hockey and academic future.”

The Knights organization congratulates Nate on his commitment and thanks him for his contributions to the EHL program’s success.  They look forward to rooting him on in his Stony Brook career and beyond!

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: Knights Lose to Revolution, Clinch 5th Seed in Playoffs

Photo: EHL

On Friday, the Knights hosted the Philadelphia Revolution for the pair’s final meeting of the 2017-18 regular season. Both teams entered play looking to leap a spot upward in the South Conference playoff standings. It would be Philadelphia that would hit the ground running in their third-to-last game of the season.

Just 3:30 into the opening frame, Jake Faulkner fired a point shot through traffic to beat Thomas Walker for the game’s first goal (Martin Kapoian). A second Philly tally would appear to be scored several minutes later, only to be disallowed when the play was blown dead for a Revolution penalty as the puck was shot on net.

The Knights would take advantage of the call to push back against Philadelphia, but despite speed through all zones, they struggled to solve Peter Ciccarelli. The 6’5″ goaltender stood down the Knights early offerings to keep Wilkes-Barre/Scranton off the board in the opening 20 minutes.

Just after the expiration of a penalty late in the first, Philadelphia found their second goal of the afternoon off Hayden Ford’s feed to Justin Meers, who fired a winding puck past Walker for the 2-0 lead.

30 seconds later Ford initiated a successful breakout which Jake Faulkner and Kyle Bradley turned into a fast break to the net. Faulkner slid the puck past the last line of the Knights backcheck to an open Bradley in the low slot, who promptly slammed the puck home for the Revolution’s third goal.

After their even play gave way late in the first, the Knights entered the second with jump in their effort to mount a comeback. Penalties would slow progress as calls piled on top of one another to create multiple power play, 4-on-4, and even 4-on-3 opportunities for each side.

After he was tripped on a breakaway during one stretch of 4-on-4 play, Philadelphia’s Bryce Witman floated a knuckling puck over the shoulder of Walker on the ensuing power play (Brian Lange) to put the Revolution up 4-0.

The Knights would finally crack the scoreboard on a power play of their own just minutes later, when Emerson Emery’s point shot was re-directed to the twine by Nate Chuckran. William Case would record the secondary assist on the score.

The momentum swing would be brief. On the ensuing shift, Tommy Donnelly fired his first goal of his Revolution career through a blocked shot and a screen for the 5-1 lead.

A quick Austin Morgan tally in the opening six minutes of third, combined with Ciccarelli’s stellar play in the crease gave Philadelphia a comfortable cushion through the remainder of the contest. The Knights pushed hard in the final frame, mounting 21 shots and several strong looks on net, but were undone by the Revolution’s steady defense.

Entering play four points behind a possible home-ice advantage through round one of the playoffs, the Knights loss with just one game to play locks them into the fifth seed of the South Conference. They will host the Philadelphia Junior Flyers today at 2:30 pm EST, before preparing for the playoffs and their round one meeting with the New York Applecore.

Catch all the action on hockeytv.com and stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and @WBSKnightsEHL on Twitter for all news and updates!