With the North American Hockey League playoffs fast approaching, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights kick off a three-game series against the Northeast Generals tonight. Goalie David Tomeo thinks that the team is in a great spot heading into this weekend’s important series.
“I think we’ve got a good state of mind going,” he said. “We got a tough stretch out of the way and since then it’s just been a positive mindset. You can feel the energy, and everyone’s excited for this time of year.”
The Knights, who have a 6-2-1 record against the Generals this season, are looking to come away with the points that will put them solidly in the second place spot in the NAHL’s East division. After this weekend’s games, the team will have one more regular season series against the New Jersey Titans, then another against the Philadelphia Rebels. Tomeo says that the team isn’t taking the upcoming match ups lightly.
“I think we’ve gained respect for our opponents in this division,” he said. “We’ve had some good stretches here and there against those teams, and I believe it’s going to come down to who wants it more,” said Tomeo, “I really do believe we have a phenomenal chance to come out the best team in this division.”
Tomeo spoke about this weekend’s games against the Generals, and how the Knights would have to take things one game at a time in order to come out with six points.
“I think we have to set the tone [Friday] in Northeast,” he said. “I’m hoping we can stay on a roll since we’re coming in with a lot of confidence after having a pretty good weekend last week.”
Tomeo has had relative success against Northeast this season. The goalie holds a 2-2 record against the Generals tallying 76 saves in 84 shots on goal. The Knights won their last series against Northeast two games to one, with victories of 4-3 and 4-1. Tomeo thinks that the Knights success against Northeast comes from a combination of factors.
Tomeo says that a series against Northeast is a nice change of pace given the long lay off in the schedule between the pair’s meetings.
“It feels like we play other teams in waves, but since we don’t see Northeast as often I think it gives the games a bit of a different feel,” he said.
Tomeo thinks that this “different feel” has helped the Knights in their previous games against Northeast, and that the Generals’ style of play is one that the Knights are able to match.
“I truly believe both teams are really good,” he said. “They have a lot of skill, but we’ve been able to bring that extra element of hard work. In the past that’s been the biggest difference between winning and losing when we play.”
The Knights are in third place in the NAHL’s East division, but are only two points behind the New Jersey Titans in the standings. After their series with the Generals, Tomeo and the Knights will have two games at home versus the Titans and will travel to New Jersey to face them at home before their final games of the regular season in Philadelphia.