Tag Archives: JHT Tomahawks

Knights Can’t Fend off Tomahawks in Game 2

Trying to avoid a sweep on opening weekend, the Knights met the Tomahawks for the second straight afternoon inside the Revolution Ice Centre.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton jumped out to an early start, applying a few quick chances on Johnstown netminder Cooper Lukenda in the game’s first six minutes. In his first NAHL start, the Canadian goalie was up to the task, stopping each of the Knights early offerings.  Like the Knights the day before, the Tomahawks went on to strike on their very first shot of the game.

Just shy of the six minute mark, Alex Wilkins zipped a pass to Christian Gorscak who found a wide open Oliver Benwell in front, where the latter ripped a puck past Knights starter Samuel Vyletelka, who was just inches from making the save.

The 1-0 lead kicked off an avalanche of Johnstown pressure. The Tomahawks added quickly to their shot total, peppering Vyletelka and drawing penalties.

On the third Knights infraction, Johnstown made them pay. With the man advantage, Carson Brière fed a puck to Cameron Hebert, who fired one across to Samuel Solensky. Solensky, a thorn in the Knights side throughout his NAHL career, ripped a shot past his fellow Slovak in Vyletelka for the 2-0 Johnstown lead.

In the second, the Knights would begin the period in earnest, again picking up pressure in the offensive zone. They were finally rewarded at 4:44. Set up by Joey Verkerke and Zak Currie, Jacob Badal ripped a sharp-angle laser from the bottom of the right circle that bested Lukenda to cut the Johnstown lead in half.

The Tomahawks would take less two minutes to answer. Following another Knights penalty, the Johnstown power play struck again when Carson Brière found some space on the left circle. The ’99 forward juggled the puck around a block attempt and ripped it home for the 3-1 lead. Samuel Solensky and Cameron Hebert  picked up helpers on the score.

Under three minutes later, Brière and Solensky would strike again, when the former found the latter on a 2-on-1 for Johnstown’s fourth goal. Dominick Posta was credited with the secondary assist that sprung the odd-man rush, giving the Tomahawks a 4-1 lead heading into the third.

In the game’s final stanza, penalties dominated the pace of play. During a four-on-four play just three and a half minutes into the period, Christian Gorscak found a turnover after a Knights player lost an edge in his own zone. Walking in with pressure right on his heels, Gorscak fired the puck over Vyletelka’s shoulder to create a 5-1 advantage.

The score would hold up through a slew of penalties committed by both sides through the remainder of play. At the final horn, Johnstown would head home with four points in their first two games. In the win, his first in the NAHL, Cooper Lukenda stopped 21 of 22 shots on goal for the Tomahawks. Samuel Vyletelka made 42 saves in the loss.

The Knights will look to bounce back when they head to Blaine, Minnesota later this week for the NAHL Showcase. Their first game will take place Wednesday, September 19th at 1:00 pm CDT against the Topeka Pilots. Catch that game on www.hockeytv.com, and stay tuned to Knights social media for all Knights news on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube!

Recap: Knights Fall in Johnstown to Open Weekend

Looking to end February on a high-note, the Knights traveled to the First Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial to take on the Johnstown Tomahawks. After losing three straight, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went into the sixth of seven-straight road contests looking for an early spark.

Instead, Jack Leavy and the Tomahawks stood tall in the opening period of Friday’s affair. The aforementioned goalie stopped all 12 Knights shots he faced in the first period. Christian Stoever responded in kind for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, stoning 11 offerings from the Tomahawks offense. Johnstown took three tries at the power play but couldn’t find the net.

Minutes into the second period, Roman Kraemer would finally end thevscoring drought off a helper from Andrew Quetell giving the Tomahawks the game’s first lead. Ben Schmidling would re-direct Anthony Szurlej’s shot just over three minutes later to tack on Johnstown’s second tally. The Knights fended off another penalty, but were stopped on another 11 tries by Leavy, leaving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 2-0 deficit after 40 minutes of play.

Jack Olmstead would finally get the Knights on the board, 8:34 into the third period. On the their fourth power play of the contest, the Knights leading scorer would deflect his 20th tally of the year to the net off Gabe Temple’s shot. Samuel Solensky wouldn’t let the momentum last long after Joe Kile fed him the puck 55 seconds later for Solensky’s second of three points on the evening. His 13th strike of the season would reinstall the Tomahawks two-goal advantage.

As time wound down, the Knights were presented a power play chance down two goals with 2:38 left in the third. Not long into the man-advantage, the Knights called Stoever to the bench for an extra attacker. Despite being down 6-on-4, Johnstown found a seam to breakout shorthanded. Solensky would repay Kile’s earlier favor as the former slid the latter the set up to an easy empty-net goal.

The 4-1 lead would hold through the final horn, handing the Knights their fourth-straight loss. They’ll look to bounce back with a rematch tonight at 7:00 pm EST. Tune in on hockeytv.com for the game’s broadcast and follow along on Knights social media and www.nahl.com.

NAHL: Late Rally Comes Up Short Against Tomahawks

In their return to home ice, the Knights played host to the Johnstown Tomahawks and the Boy Scouts of  Northeastern PA on the organization’s annual Scout Night. In front of a packed house, the Knights and Tomahawks put forth another gritty edition of East Division, NAHL hockey.

The Knights opened the first period by dictating the early pace. Near the 5:00 mark, Mike Morrissey fired a puck at the net of Tomahawks starter Kade Phipps. The puck found its way through for what appeared to be the game’s first goal. After an officials’ conference, the net was ruled to have come off prior to the puck crossing the goal line.

Undeterred, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton continued to supply a steady dose of chances through the first 15 minutes of play. Phipps remained up to the task as the ’98 netminder turned away all 15 shots he faced in the opening frame.

At 13:01, the Knights drew the game’s first power play. They began the advantage with good zone time in the attacking end, but fortunes turned quickly, after a blocked point shot turned into an odd-man rush for Johnstown.

Joe Kile slid a cross-ice feed, past the crease of Knights starter David Tomeo and onto Pavel Kharin, who put home a shorthanded goal at 14:24. Not content with a 1-0 lead, just over a minute later, Andy Nedeljkovic and Roman Kraemer buzzed around the Knights net, before Kraemer pushed a loose puck home to build a the Tomahawks a two-goal lead.

The middle 20:00 saw no let up in Phipp’s play in net. Along with his reflexes that robbed both Matt Kidney and Curtis Carlson of grade-A looks, Phipps was bolstered by a Tomahawks defense that blocked shots and kept the netfront clear throughout the night. Tomeo and the Knights responded in kind, limiting high quality chances, while stopping all 15 of the Tomahawks shots to keep the score locked in at 2-0.

The gridlock carried into the third, where the Knights quickly picked up two power play opportunities in the first 5:13 of the frame. Both chances were turned away with limited opportunities generated on net. The Tomahawks received a power play of their own just shy of the 13:00 mark only to be stymied by Tomeo standing on his head on three separate occasions.

Down two entering the final two minutes, the Knights relieved their goalie in favor of an extra attacker. With the added pressure supplied, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was finally able to put bodies in front of Kade Phipps. With 29 seconds to go, Matt Kidney swatted a puck out of the slot to Jack Olmstead, who rotated to the top of the zone before firing a puck off the stick of Kidney and past Phipps to pull the Knights within one.

After taking their timeout, the Knights came on the ice again with six skaters and an empty net. Though they mounted one last push in the offensive zone, blocked shots would cause the rally to fall just short as the final horn sounded.

With the win, the Tomahawks now hold a 4-3-2 record against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (5-4-0), giving both teams 10 points in the season tilt. The pair will meet again tonight at 7:30 pm EST inside the Revolution Ice Centre.

The Knights would like to thank the Boy Scouts of Northeastern PA for their outstanding attendance and passionate fanfare throughout the night, making this season’s Scout Night a resounding success. Despite the outcome on the ice not being what the team wanted, the Knights are proud to play for their local community and will look forward to continuing to support the Boy Scouts of America and the many other worthy organizations in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region!

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