Tag Archives: Karim DelPonte

NAHL: Time Runs Out on Knights Comeback

Looking to snap a four-game losing streak, the Knights took the ice on Saturday for their second-straight meeting with the Johnstown Tomahawks.

Riding off victory in Friday’s game, the Tomahawks came out swinging in the first. Just as they did in game one, Ben Scmidling and Roman Kraemer scored the contest’s first two goals, only in the inverse order. Schmidling struck first at 8:56, beating Knights starter David Tomeo unassisted for the 1-0 lead. Kraemer’s 16th goal of the season created a 2-0 advantage for the Tomahawks, set up by Andy Nedeljkovic at the 13:16 marker. Tomeo and Johnstown’s starter Jack Leavy allowed no further scores in a period controlled by the Tomahawks.

In the second, the Knights awoke. After being out-shot 11-3 in the first period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was boosted by an early tally from Reed Robinson. The Niagara commitment picked up his 15th goal of the season off of Adrian Danchenko’s 15th helper. Trailing by only one, the Knights offense rallied to wrack up 17 shots in the middle frame-including the first 11 of the period.

Unfortunately for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Tomahawks first shot of the second proved to be their eventual game-winner. At 6:53, Pavel Kharin notched his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Andrew Andary and Karim DelPonte to re-establish the two-goal lead. A cascade of penalties in the second half of the period sapped both teams of momentum as each side’s penalty kill and goal tending held firm.

Looking down a 3-1 deficit to start the third, the Knights did not relent in their effort to grind their way back. Neither did Jack Leavy in his crease. Though the Knights again dominated shots and chances, they were time-and-again turned away by the ’97 goaltender despite a shot tilt that favored them 17-4 in the third.

With just over a minute remaining, Adrian Danchenko broke through the Leavy dam with his 10th goal of the year (Anthony Firriolo) to trim the Johnstown lead to one. Despite the advantage of the extra attacker on in place of Tomeo, the Knights could not find the equalizer in the game’s final minute of play. The 3-2 loss drops them to 22-17-6 on the season and keeps them in third, one point behind the New Jersey Titans in the East Division.

Before the Knights next game on Friday, March 2nd, seven players and head coach Tom Kowal will be heading out to the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament on Tuesday, February 27th. Tune into hockeytv.com to watch the Tournament and stay tuned to www.nahl.com, www.wbsknights.com, and Knights social media for all news and updates regarding the Knights performance!

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!