Tag Archives: Joe Kile

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: Knights Salvage Point with OT Loss to Johnstown

Saturday marked game number 10 between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and Johnstown Tomahawks in the 2017-18 season. Following Friday’s contest that saw the Tomahawks grind out a 2-1 win, both teams entered play having collected 10 points against the other.

Much like the prior contest, Saturday’s affair took on a decidedly slow pacing as both sides struggled to find much consistency on the attack. In net again for the Tomahawks was Kade Phipps, countered by Christian Stoever for the Knights.

After a quiet start, the Knights offense awoke in the last quarter of the opening frame. On a power play that saw the Knights spend most of their 2:00 in the attacking end, Curtis Carlson capped off the man-advantage with a rocket from the top of the zone that found its way through Mike Gelatt and past Kade Phipps for the game’s first goal. Mike Morrissey and Tom Farrell picked up helpers on the tally at 14:21.

Exactly two minutes later, the Tomahawks responded by digging a puck from out of the corner in the Knights end and walking it down the goal line. On two prior shifts in the offensive zone, the Tomahawks had done the same, only to be denied the first time by an opportune poke check from Luke Robinson, and a pair of sprawling saves from Stoever on the second. On the third such occasion, Joe Kile made sure to bury the puck from point blank range, ripping it through the fiver to knot the score at one (Carson Brière). The period would end, gridlocked in a 1-1 tie.

Gridlock would be an apt way to describe the second and third periods. In the middle stanza, both teams took turns clogging up the center of the ice, while turning pucks over in the neutral zone. The result was few quality chances on net, while both goalies handled the shots that got to the net with relative ease.

After the Knights strong start to the power play in the first, the unit cooled off for their remaining four chances between the second and third. All told, the Tomahawks killed four of five opportunities for the Knights power play, while also being blanked on two of their own.

With the third came little change other than seeing an uptick in penalty minutes. Both teams had struggles standing up on the puck in the attacking end, resulting in scoreless stretch that ran a grand total of 46:02 from the end of the first to the game’s conclusion.

Just shy of the halfway point in 3-on-3 overtime, Carson Brière found himself in alone on an odd-man rush set up by Joe Kile and Karim DelPonte. The ’99 flipped the puck up and over the shoulder of Christian Stoever (41 saves in the loss) for the win, earning Johnstown a weekend sweep of the Knights.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will look to bounce back next week, starting with a home game against the New Jersey Titans at 2:30 pm EST. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Tune into Knights social media and visit www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!

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!

For all Knights news and updates, follow the Knights on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, and visit www.wbsknights.com!

 

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!

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!

 

Knights Win in OT Against Tomahawks

Round two of the Knights home-and-home against the Johnstown Tomahawks found the team looking for its second-straight victory.

Reed Robinson initiated their efforts early as just 4:10 into the opening period, he forced a takeaway inside the left circle of the Johnstown zone before firing a top-shelf snipe by Tomahawks goalie Britt League.

The score would serve as the period’s lone tally as League and the irons would stymie the Knights through the rest of the frame. For their part, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was steadied by netminder Christian Stoever, who began his second-straight start with a nine-save effort in the first.

The second period progressed similarly to its predecessor, as the grinding pace of play saw both teams fail to find much rhythm on the attack. Johnstown gained an edge with physical play in the middle of the period, forcing Stoever to make a few sterling saves before the Tomahawks finally broke through at 13:28.

Receiving the puck above the left circle, Joe Kile added to his team-leading goal total by ripping a power play shot through traffic to best Stoever and tie the game at one. Matyas Kacirek and Samuel Solensky chipped in the assists.

Hunter Carrick followed with a perfect screen shot from just inside the blue line at 15:55, beating Stoever off the smooth cycle by Mitchell Hale and Brendan White.

As has become a trend of late, a slew of penalties were handed out to both sides nearing the end of the second period. On a 4-on-3 power play, Knights newcomer Anthony Firriolo fired a shot to the net front, where second-round draft pick Justin Engelkes tipped it to twine to even the score at two.

Galvanized by the late-period boost, Reed Robinson came out swinging in the third, as the son of Rockwall, Texas crashed hard to the net, following League being caught out of the crease in a scrum for the puck. Off the savvy efforts of Matt Kidney and Mike Morrissey to center the puck through the diving League, Robinson buried the loose change to give his team the 3-2 lead just prior to the 3:00 mark of the third period.

Emblematic of their gritty effort throughout the weekend, the Tomahawks were quick to respond, as Samuel Solensky picked up his second goal of the series two minutes after Robinson’s second goal (Hale, White).

The remainder of the third period returned to the game’s roots, as each side found little success in settling pucks in the attacking zone. Christian Stoever made a lunging, stick-save to keep the game even at three, while the Knights mounted a few tests on Britt League, but as regulation expired, the teams remained tied at three.

To open the overtime period of 3-on-3, the Knights and Tomahawks made a few quick rushes up the ice with neither forecheck proving successful.

Off their second change, the Knights sent out the trio of Jack Olmstead, Matt Kidney, and Tom Farrell around the 1:00 mark of the third period. Kidney swept the puck ahead to Olmstead who brought it to the left circle before turning it back to a waiting Farrell at the blue line. Farrell walked the puck down to the top of the slot before ripping a perfectly placed shot over League’s shoulder to deliver the Knights an overtime win.

With the victory the Knights have picked up a point or more in four-straight games. They’ll look to keep their two-game winning streak active against the Titans today at 4:30 pm EDT. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com. Follow Knights social media for in-game updates:

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