Tag Archives: Ice Hockey

Knights Drop Another Contest to Rebels

It didn’t take long for Aston to set the tone of game two of the weekend. Three Rebels stuffed a puck at the Knight’s blue line, where Evgeny Yakovlev plucked up the loose rubber and moved straight to the net. With a flick of the wrist, the 6-3 210 Yakovlev pushed a puck through the five-hole of Grant Valentine to give Aston a 1-0 lead. All of this  occurred in the first 32 seconds of the contest.

Things didn’t get any better for the Knights, who entered the contest having been shut out the night before and having lost their previous five matchups with the Rebels. Most of those meetings were highly-contested and evenly-played for the majority of 60 minutes. This would not be the case on this evening.

Aston followed up Yakovlev’s goal with two more in the first. A hustle play by Adam Peck saw the puck flipped out from behind the net of Grant Valentine to the waiting Drew Blackmun who poked it home for the goal. The third score came on a Aaron Maguyon’s putback of a rebound to close out an Aston-controlled first period.

The second began with Colt Hanks placed in net in relief of Valentine. The Rebels would respond with an even quicker score than the one that began the first. Gianluca Esteves would finish the “line hat trick” on assists from Evgeny Yakovlev and Aaron Maguyon just 28 seconds into the period.

Peter Zhong followed that up with his third goal of the season less than five minutes later on a feed from Adam Peck. Brennan Kapcheck would provide another insurance goal on the power play after he swerved his way free into the middle of the slot to fire the goal home.

After a stagnant 40 minutes of play, the Knights would found some ground on which to stand. Their offensive attack sustained zone time and the team was able to mount of few scoring chances on a flurry of Aston Penalties. Still, despite the uptick in energy and opportunities, the away team could not solve Aston netminder Mareks Mitens.

At 12:20 into the third, Drew Blackmun would score his second goal and the game’s final tally on assists from Cherwalk and Solomon to put a cap on the both the game and the Knights progress in the period. The 7-0 Aston win was the second straight game in which the Knights have been  shut out.

Issues that reared their head Friday reoccurred Saturday, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton continued to shorten power plays by committing penalties twice more while on the odd-man advantage.

Sustained offense continued to elude the Knights against the Rebels, which is a credit to Aston’s continued strong defense (despite missing leader Gvido Jansons for both games this weekend) but also an indication of a need for the Knights to drive possession deeper into the offensive zone. They saw glimpses of that in the third, but will need to see more of it more often moving forward.

Looking ahead, the Knights will have the week off, with their next games coming on November 18th and 19th against the Johnstown Tomahawks.


Knights Shut Out by Rebels

Despite a strong showing by netminder Grant Valentine, the Knights dropped their fifth straight matchup with the Aston Rebels Friday. The most recent recipient of the East Division Star of the Week stopped 29 of 31 shots (.935) in a losing effort, but continued his strong play.

In each of his last four games, Valentine has registered save percentages north of 90 percent. This was the first loss in that stretch.

The early going was typical of a Knights and Rebels matchup this season.  The first twenty minutes were defined by a lot of zone exchanges and not too much established possession. For the Knights it was their best shots tilt of the contest, as they won the battle 9-5 but could not solve goalie Mareks Mitens.

The second period would see an increase in shot volume but the Knights luck would stay the same. It was Aston who would break the scoreless streak in the second during four on four play.

Set up on a Knights turnover in their own end, Evgeny Yakovlev would skate the puck under the goal line before flicking it out in front to a waiting Dustin Manz. Manz, unchecked would fire one past Valentine to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead at the 9:29 mark in the period.

A recurrent theme throughout the contest were self-inflicted wounds. Twice on the man advantage, the Knights cut their time on the powerplay short with penalties. It was one such occurrence that resulted in the Manz goal.

Down one heading into the third period, the Knights would try to turn around what had been a rocky frame in previous matchups with Aston. But on this night the drum beat would continue for the Rebels as in typical fashion they would close the game with a strong third period.

The Knights would muster just three shots on goal to Aston’s 12. Andrew Bellant would add insurance for the Rebels at the 6:01 mark on a quick power play cycle and shot that barely maneuvered on and past Valentine’s pads.

The score would remain the same for the rest of regulation, as Mitens fended off the last of the Knights efforts on his way to his fifth-straight shut out and the Rebels fifth-straight win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The pair will renew acquaintances Saturday night at 7 pm in Aston.

Knights Split Weekend with Rebels and Generals

The Knights picked up after a short rest from a Tuesday win against the Rebels with a rematch on Friday.

Things got off to a quick start with newly acquired Khrisitan Acosta potting his first career goal just 1:20 into his NAHL career with a deflection that beat Aston netminder Jack Leavy.

The Rebels would respond midway through the period when Ryan Solomon’s point shot found it’s way through traffic and around Colt Hanks to knot the game at one at the 11:16 mark.

Not even a minute later, Ryan Patrick deflected another blue-line shot past Hanks to give the Rebels their first lead of the night.

Joseph Campolieto would answer emphatically when he collected a rebound to the left of Leavy with a perfect snipe that scorched over the 6-5 goalie’s glove shoulder to tuck neatly under the iron elbow at 16:36.

The Knights took it upon themselves to add more style points to the highlight reel in the period’s final minute when Paul Maust and Curtis Carlson executed and perfect give-and-go around Aston’s back-checking effort to give the lead back to the Knights to close out the first.

Instead of folding, the Rebels rebounded with a stellar second period, matching a skilled Knights forecheck shot-for-shot. The Aston forwards bookended the period with a goal in first 5:44 from Dustin Manz and another final three minutes from Evgeny Yakovlev, giving the Rebels a 4-3 advantage heading back to the dressing room.

In the 3rd, the visitors kept the pedal to the medal, answering with two insurance goals. The first came at 9:24 when Aston captain Dom Garcia beat Hanks. The second took a series of awkward bounces before Gianluca Esteves’ tap found pipe then twine.

With a 6-3 lead holding late into the 3rd and the Knights in the midst of a 38 minutes scoring drought, it appeared that the Rebels would seal the deal without too much resistance. Then, with less than three minutes remaining in regulation, Sam Antonitsch spun loose in front of Leavy to bring his team within two.

The Knights game storming back, as on the very next shift Curtis Carlson ripped a rebound past the stick of Leavy to bring the game to 6-5 just 12 seconds later.

With an empty net in the final minute, the Knights dodged Andrew Bellant’s first bullet when he rang a puck off both posts, but Bellant would not miss a second time as he sealed the Aston win when he threw a puck out of his own zone into the vacant frame at 19:33.

The Knights had no time to dwell on the loss however as the very next night they welcomed 2016’s new kid on the block in the Northeast Generals. The Generals and the Shreveport Mudbugs are the NAHL’s two new team’s this season, a process the Knights went through less than a year ago.

As such, the Knights knew the danger of facing an 0-8 team. They won their first game in the NAHL in their ninth contest in 2015-16. Tom Kowal made a point of addressing the issue to his team throughout the week of practice.

His team got the memo. From the opening puck drop, the Knights dominated possession. The Generals did themselves no favors, taking four non-coincidental penalties in the first period, spending nearly half the opening stanza short handed. The Knights didn’t cash in on any of their advantages, thanks in large part to the stellar play of Northeast netminder and new NHL Central Scouting Watch List member Gabe Vinal. The East Syracuse native made seral lunging saves to rob the Knights on seemingly easy tap-ins.

Still, the Knights persisted and finally were rewarded when Jesse Anderson crashed the net-literally-and buried a puck past a sprawling Vinal to give the Knights a 1-0 lead at 18:04.

The Knights would revisit the twine again when, for the third consecutive game, Sam Antonitsch scored from the slot.  The home team took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

The second period was a better stanza for the Generals as they mounted a more furious forecheck, aided by their being short-handed just once. They outshot the Knights 13-9 in the period but could not solve Colt Hanks. An effective haymaker was landed when, on the penalty kill, Reed Robinson shot up the left wing and flicked a puck from the far corner of the offensive zone toward the talented Vinal. The puck took an awkward hop that bounced over Vinal’s skate and in for Robinson’s first NAHL goal, giving the Knights a 3-0 lead that would hold for the rest of the period.

In the third, the  Knights re-established more control in the offensive zone, and despite both team’s taking a fair amount of penalties, the Knights maintained their focus and finish.

2:13 into the period, deep in his own zone, Matt Kidney threaded a perfect pass to a streaking Paul Maust for the breakaway goal.

Despite losing two players to misconduct penalties and another to bumps and bruises, the Knights pressed on. Mike Gelatt potted his second tally of the season at 11:22 from out in front and the defense did their part to uphold the shutout for Colt Hanks. It marked the rookie goalie’s third win of the season and his first NAHL shutout.

The Knights improved to 5-6 after going 2-1 in the 3-game week, collecting four points while maintaining their position in 4th place in the division. They’ll return to action at home again this Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th, with both games coming against the Aston Rebels.

Numbers to Know:

-The Knights have scored five goals in three consecutive games

-The WBS PP went 1-10, but the penalty kill went 6-7 and scored a shorthanded goal.

-The Knights have won 3 of their last 4 games.

Scoring Standouts this Week:

-Matt Kidney had 0-5-5 in 3 gp

-Paul Maust had 2-2-4 in 3 gp

-Curtis Carlson had 2-2-4 in 3 gp

-Joseph Campolieto had 1-3-4 in 3 gp

-Sam Antonitsch had a 3-0-3 in 3 gp

Sunday October 23rd: Have a Hockey Halloween and Skate with the Knights

Sunday October 23rd will be no ordinary game day for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. As it will be their last home game in October, the team would like to take the opportunity to celebrate Halloween with their fans both on and off the ice!

Doors will open at 12:30 PM for fans to partake in pre-game Halloween games and festivities inside the Revolution Ice Centre.  Come to the rink dressed in your best Halloween costume for our 2:00 pm match up with the New Jersey Titans and receive candy upon entering the rink. Wearing a costume will also allow fans in an intermission costume contest.

Following the game, the team will show their appreciation for their fans by hosting a “Skate with the Knights” from 4:45-6:15 pm. Use your ticket to get in for free and lace up and skate at Revolution Ice Centre with your favorite WBS Knights Hockey players.

Can’t make it to the game but still want to partake in the post-game skate? Skate Rentals will be available for $3. 

To reserve tickets call our rink office at (570) 883-1100 or email [email protected]


Knights Trade for Forward Khristian Acosta

Earlier in the week the Knights acquired Khristian Acosta from the New Jersey Hitmen program. The 5-9, 180 lbs skater is a 1998 birth year, who’s spent the past three years in the Hitmen organization. He arrives already committed to division one Quinnipiac University’s hockey program. Last year Acosta split his time between  the USPHL Premiere and USPHL 18U levels, registering five goals and 15 assists in 30 games played.

“We brought in Khristian Acosta-he’s a division one commitment to Quinnipiac, said Knights head coach Tom Kowal of his new acquisition. “Hopefully he’ll be able to come in and add some offense. Most importantly, as a division one commitment, we’re looking for him to fit in well and make a positive impact within our system. We think he can help us go where we want to go in the 2016-2017 season.”

Acosta is yet another native of Middletown, New Jersey, joining Matt Kidney, Tim Gelatt and Mike Gelatt on the Knights roster. Acosta will get his first taste of NAHL action tonight, as he will dress for the tonight’s contest against the Aston Rebels. Acosta will wear the number 17.

Knights Set to Kick Off Pink the Rink Month, and Carnival Night

After spending the past week in Blaine, Minnesota, the Knights will return for a five-game home stand, beginning with a day game on Tuesday, October 4th at 12:30 pm.

The ensuing Friday, October 7th, the Knights will take on the Aston Rebels at home at 7:30 pm in what will be the team’s kick off of Pink the Rink month.

$1 Pink wristbands and  Knights Breast Cancer Awareness T-Shirts will be sold at the concession stand, with proceeds from wristband and t-shirt sales being donated  to the Susan G. Komen organization. The charity will be in attendance for games throughout the month to collect donations.

Wearing either the t-shirt or a wristband will entitle fans a free small drink at each home game the Knights play in the month of October.

The cause will also be joined by a special celebration as the Knights host a carnival night on October 7th. The evening’s festivities will include cotton candy, intermission games, and carnival style prizes and fare.

For any questions regarding tickets, themes or participation, contact the Knights at (570) 883-1100 or at [email protected]