Tag Archives: John Stampohar

NAHL: Knights Close Alaska Trip with Loss to Fairbanks

On Saturday night, the Knights met the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for the fourth and final time in the 2017-18 regular season, looking for their first victory against a team riding a 20-game winning streak.

The Ice Dogs struck quickly in a relatively quiet first period that saw just 12 combined shots on net. At 6:51 Tanner Schachle continued his successful season by putting his 22nd goal past Knights starter David Tomeo, coming off assists from Grant Ledford and Connor Chilton. Fairbanks backcheck allowed little to develop for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the remainder of period with Logan Neaton keeping the Knights three shots at bay.

Early in the second, it appeared the Knights would finally get their offense going when Jack Olmstead danced his way into the Ice Dogs zone before setting up Tom Farrell for a backhanded goal. After deliberation, the officials proceeded to disallow the score, stating that the net had come off its moorings.

Fairbanks didn’t blink. Samuel Ruffin came right back down the ice to bury a goal past Tomeo on the ensuing shift (Daniel Haider, Jack Johnston) for a 3-0 lead at 3:12. John Stampohar added to the advantage with another tally just over three minutes later off assists from Robert Blueger and the aforementioned Schachle.

The Knights would finally catch a break when Mike Morrissey would set up Adrian Danchenko who in turn  threaded a perfect, home-run pass to Reed Robinson for a breakaway just under a minute later. Robinson would drive all the way in on Neaton and then put home his own rebound to cut the score to 3-1.

Fairbanks did not allow any further momentum, as their offense came  back on a power play dart from Robert Blueger at 13:09 (Kyle Mayhew, Schachle). Before the Knights could leave the period to regroup, Jack Johnston, set up by Ruffin and Jax Murray, poked a wraparound by Tomeo for the 5-1 advantage.

In the third Connor Chilton would strike early to put a damper on any hopes of a Knights rally. Chilton bested the Knights defense as he shook off heavy traffic in front to flip a puck home at 5:15 (Vanska, Schachle).

Anthony Firriolo wouldn’t go down quietly as he buried a power play goal set up by Jack Olmstead and Curtis Carlson at 6:05, his second of the season. If there was one silver lining on the weekend for the Knights, it was that they were able to turn in a 3/8 (37.5%) performance against the NAHL’s best penalty kill.

Jack Johnston picked up his second goal of the contest just over a minute later with helpers coming from Murray and Ruffin.

At the final horn the Knights left the rink on the wrong end of a 7-2 loss. They’ll look to bounce back with a road series in Johnstown next weekend to close out February before seven of their players and head coach Tom Kowal head to the NAHL’s Top Prospect Tournament to close out the month.

To stay up to date with all Knights news and happenings, stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com, www.nahl.com, and follow Knights social media on Facebook, (WBS Knights Hockey) Twitter, and Instagram (@wbsknights)!

 

Recap: Knights Drop Second Straight Against Fairbanks

In round two of Knights-Ice Dogs, Fairbanks would again prove to be a tough test for a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team trying to keep pace with first place in the East.

As they did the day before, the Knights drew first blood Saturday on a beautiful set up by Tyrone Bronte. Off a pass from Blake Kryska, the Australian forward drove into the offensive zone 13 minutes into an evenly-fought first. As he approached the net of Ice Dogs goalie Josh Benson, Bronte faked a backhand before reversing course and flipping a puck back into the slot. A trailing Adrian Danchenko buried a snipe top-shelf to put the Knights ahead 1-0.

The first period wound to its final minute with the score intact, in what appeared to be a strong start for the Knights. With 53 seconds remaining, Sam Ruffin won an offensive zone draw to Jack Johnston, who fed the puck to a waiting Jax Murray in front. Murray buried his sixth goal of the season to knot the game at one.

Not content with the tie, the Ice Dogs would again take an offensive faceoff with under 10 seconds left in the frame. Off the draw, the Knights were able to muscle a puck to the wall, but Grayson Gavin and Connor Chilton combined to win the puck and push it to the net, where through a scrum, Hunter Wendt pushed it through Christian Stoever with one second left on the clock.

The quick leapfrog on the scoreboard didn’t result in the Knights collapsing; in the ensuing second, the team would again go toe-to-toe with the Ice Dogs, only to be foiled time and again by netminder Josh Benson. After helping fend off the Knights comeback on Friday with several grade-A saves, the Minnesota native duplicated his performance on Saturday, stonewalling all challengers through the final 40 minutes in what turned out to be a 31-save performance.

Before the second period’s conclusion, the Ice Dogs would build their lead to two when Noah Wilson and Grayson Gavin setup Connor Chilton, who weaved his way through the slot and past Stoever for a tally at 14:03.

The 3-1 advantage would hold firm well into the third, where the Ice Dogs defense limited the Knights to short stretches in the attacking zone. The chances that built toward the end of the period were nullified by Benson’s stellar play.

Tanner Schachle put any hopes of a late rally to rest at 16:13 when off a half-wall feed from Errka Vanska, the wide-open Schachle bested Stoever for the Ice Dog’s fourth goal. John Stampohar was credited with the secondary assist.

Time ran out on the Knights, as the team dropped its second-straight decision. They will look to rebound and take back ground in the East with a two-game road series against the Rebels next weekend. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!