Tag Archives: Junior

Knights Cruise to 5-0 Win

Team Bounces Back with Dominant Victory

For as flat as the Knights began the New Year Friday, they were as equally imposing on Saturday. An added wrinkle to the Knights lineup for the middle game of a three-game series was the debut of new acquisition Matteo Esposito in net.

The Knights quickly provided their rookie netminder with some support, when just 4:23 into the first Keenan Sabatini kicked off the scoring with a power play tally with assists coming from Khristian Acosta and Sam Antonitsch.

Markuss Komuls tacked on another goal at 9:56 in what would be a banner day for the blue line. Sabatini lit the lamp again at 13:22 on the set up from Acosta and Matt Kidney. Kidney’s assist was his first point since his return to the Knights.

A minute later Antonitsch redirected a Dorian Dawson shot from the blue line to build a 4-0 lead. A relentless forecheck coupled with solid play from Esposito, who stopped all 11 shots he faced, would hold the advantage for the Knights heading to the first intermission.

Gabe Vinal, who had stymied the Knights Friday with 38 saves on 40 shots, was pulled late in the first in favor of David Fessenden. The latter goalie who help slow the bleeding in the second as the Knights would continue to mount chances on goal and spend extended periods in the offensive zone.

Fessenden was finally bested at 15:43 into the 2nd when Khristian Acosta potted the Knights second power play of the game. Matt Kidney and  Keenan Sabatini continued their strong offensive showing with assists. Esposito would again stand tall against 11 offensive chances, denying each and every one.

With the 5-0 lead, the Knights continued pressuring in the third but were unable to find the twine as Fessenden settled in. Esposito would be the one to close the door on the Generals as he stopped another 11 shots, smothering any chance for Northeast to ignite any kind of rally.

At the final horn, the Knights were 5-0 victors having played well in all phases in the game. They’re power play was an impressive 2-4 and their penalty kill was a perfect 5-for-5. Shots were decidedly in favor of the Knights who finished with a 42-33 advantage.

The Knights will look for the series win today with their third and final meeting of the weekend with the Generals at 1:30 pm today at New England Sports Village.


Knights Rally Falls Short to Generals

Slow start on the road proves too much to overcome


Stats, records, and prior meetings can’t strip away the relevancy of one of the oldest adages in sports: there’s a reason they play the game. Entering Friday night, the Knights were riding a four-game win streak against the Northeast Generals-a perfect 4-0 on the season-as well as a three-game winning streak overall. The Generals were still searching for their first franchise win at the NAHL level. When the puck dropped in Attleboro all such stats were rendered moot.

The Knights began the contest with a few forays into the offensive zone coupled with a few solid chances, but all were turned away by Generals netminder Gabe Vinal. Slowly as the period progressed, Northeast began to turn the tide. Their breakthrough occurred at 16:23, just 11 seconds into a powerplay, when captain Colin Bilek notched his third goal of the season against the Knights, giving his team the lead. With wind in their sails, Northeast skated well to close the period, limiting the Knights to 7 shots.

The carryover from the first frame was momentum for the Generals into the second. Spurred on by an excellent performance by Gabe Vinal, the Generals tacked on two more scores to build a 3-0 lead. The first came on an Anthony Mangano tally at 8:39. The Generals followed that up just over a minute later with Evan Somoza’s eighth goal of the year. Curtis Carlson would finally get the Knights on the board putting home a back-door offering past Vinal on a feed from Reed Robinson at 11:56.

The third period would begin with the Knights having recaptured momentum following a late-second period increase in chances that would ultimately be turned away by Vinal. The Knights pressure would eventually produce, when Jimmy Elser cut the deficit to one, netting a goal at 6:28. Aided by two Northeast penalties, the Knights wound continue to mount pressure for the duration of third. Vinal stood tall throughout, including when facing the Knights extra attacker for just over the game’s final 1:30 of play. He stopped 18 of 19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton chances in the period and 38 of 40 for the game, on the way to securing his team’s first ever victory in the NAHL.

All totaled, the Knights went 0-5 on the powerplay and allowed one goal on three penalty kills for the evening proving that no matter the opponent, the room for error is small. Lost in the defeat was the return of first-round draft pick Matt Kidney from Cedar Rapids. Though he did not register a point, the talented forward will be a welcomed return for the Knights forecheck. Kidney had lead the NAHL in points with nine goals and 12 assists in 19 games at the time of his departure.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will look to get back on track when they again take on the Generals tonight at 5:30 pm and again tomorrow at 4:30 pm.

Jake Fuss Earns Weekend Call Up to NAHL Knights

The NA3AHL leader in points is earning some time at the next level this weekend as Jake Fuss will travel with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights NAHL team in their upcoming series with the Northeast Generals.

Fuss, who ranks second in all of tier 3 junior hockey in goals (45) scored and third in total points (96),  has scored multiple points in all 23 games he’s played this season.

“Jake being called up is another thing to add to our success as a team this season,” said head coach Josh Fusco. “He deserves this opportunity both by his numbers, but also and more importantly by the drive he brings to the table. I am very proud and very happy for him to be heading off to Boston wearing an NAHL sweater.”

RELATED: Know Your Knights: Jake Fuss

Fuss has been an offensive asset in all phases for the Knights this season, scoring three goals on the power play and three goals shorthanded. His eye-popping seven hat tricks are a testament to his ability to relentlessly finish the opportunities he’s given. Again and again the recurring theme when speaking to those who coach Fuss is his relentless effort.

“From main camp on Jake has impressed us with his work ethic,” said Knights Director of Hockey Operations and NAHL GM/Head Coach Tom Kowal. “His stats and awards speak for themselves. He leads his league in points, he’s on a 23-game point streak, and he was an NA3AHL all-star. He’s earned the a chance to show us how he’s progressed and that’s a chance we’re excited to give him.”