Tag Archives: Kevin Lake

Weekend Recap: Knights Split Series with Kenai River

As the Knights began their two week trip to Alaska, the team went searching for the success that had eluded them for the majority of January and early February. Their third head-to-head with the Brown Bears marked their first trip to the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex this season. It began well: Knights captain Curtis Carlson buried his 14th goal of the season off assists from Matt Kidney and Anthony Firriolo seven and a half minutes into the contest.

The first period carried on without further scoring despite two power plays for the Brown Bears. Knights starter David Tomeo brought his a-game to the crease as he stopped all shots sent his way in an evenly played first.

It would be Kenai River to come out swinging in the second. Filip Karlsson tied the game at 6:59 with assists from Gil Garcia and Lukas Millen. Gavin Enright hunkered down in net for the Brown Bears, as the ’99 birth year kept the Knights off the board for the better part of the period.

Sutton McDonald would score next for Kenai River, supplying their first lead at 16:43, with Michael Spethmann and Luke Posner credited with the helpers on the score. The Knights would get the goal back less than two minutes later when Tomas Koblizek found Gabe Temple for his fourth marker of the year.

In the third, Mike Gelatt would find the back of the net to retake the lead for the Knights just 2:27 in. Kenai River would redouble their efforts to try to find the equalizer, mounting 16 shots on goal in the period, but David Tomeo didn’t blink.

Through two penalty kills and a chippy finish to game one, the Knights held on to kick off their road trip with a win. Elemental to the victory were the Knights strong penalty kill and Tomeo’s steadiness in net, recording 32 saves on 34 shots.

In Saturday’s rematch, the Knights would again jump out to a quick start. Luke Robinson and Curtis Carlson would find Matt Kidney, who bested former Knights goalie Kevin Lake at 1:01. The Brown Bears wouldn’t rest easy with the deficit, scoring just one minute later when David Kaplan fired a heavy wrist shot by Knights starter David Tomeo to even the score (Markuss Komuls, Cameron McDonald). The Carlson line struck back at 4:02, when Carlson drove in and fired a puck past Lake for the 2-1 lead (Engelkes, Kidney).

An eventful first half of the opening period would be capped off by Joe Rosa’s power play goal at 8:02. After killing off all six power plays in game one, the Knights penalty kill struggled to get back on track Saturday. Former Knight defenseman Markuss Komuls made a nice play to keep the zone before firing the puck to the net. Michael Spethmann pushed a puck off Tomeo’s pads before Joe Rosa put the bouncing puck home to tie the game at two. The goal brought Christian Stoever on in relief of Tomeo.

Early in the second, the Knights forecheck would begin dictating tempo and forcing odd-man rushes. Two and a half minutes into the period, Jack Olmstead handed the puck to Tyrone Bronte who fed a perfect stretch pass to Mike Gelatt to create an odd-man break. Gelatt finished the rush by burying the puck by Lake for the 3-2 lead.

Again the Brown Bears would answer quickly, and again on the power play. Cameron McDonald and Filip Karlsson created a rebound in front of Stoever that Gil Garcia eventually shoveled home to once again even the score.

For the remainder of regulation, the Knights would continually force the issue in the offensive zone and off the rush. Again and again they would be turned away by Lake, who made 24 saves on 25 shots over the final two periods of play, staring down multiple odd-man rushes in the process.

Stoever, for his part, turned away 29 of 30 through the remainder of the contest. As regulation proved inconclusive, 3-on-3 overtime brought with it an abundance of chances on the Soldotna’s Olympic-sized sheet. Both Stoever and Lake traded grade-a saves to force the shootout.

Lake stopped Justin Engelkes and Curtis Carlson in rounds one and two, while Stoever denied his first challenger in Emils Ezitis. Sacha Guillemain squeezed a puck through in round two, forcing the onus on Matt Kidney to try and force a bottom of the third. Lake stopped him to secure the shootout win and the second point.

With the weekend split, the Knights did come away with three out of four points. They’ll look to continue their recent success with a road trip to Fairbanks next weekend. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media (Facebook: WBS Knights Hockey, Twitter and Instagram @WBSKnights) for all news and updates!

Knights Sweep Titans to Open Season

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

Rookies lead the way as Knights climb standings

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights kicked off their regular season in thrilling fashion, winning 3-2  over the Titans in overtime Friday night. Entering Saturday’s road rematch, they were in search of two points that would move them into first place in the East.

Things started off quickly; just one 1:01 into the first, Lincoln Hatten buried his first goal of his NAHL career on assists from Tyrone Bronte and Tom Farrell.

Just under two minutes later Jack Olmstead picked up his first tally of the year and second of his Knights career on an assist from Lincoln Hatten.

New Jersey would not waste much time with their response. 16 seconds after Olmstead’s goal, Hunter Alden pitched in one of his own (Nick Boyagian) to cut the lead in half. Despite a slew of penalties to close the period, the game would remain 2-1 at the end of the first 20 minutes of play.

Tiernan Seningen would open the second by tying the game at two just 52 seconds in, set up by Ryan Naumovski and Matthew Cameron. The Knights were back in the lead 48 seconds later when Tyrone Bronte notched his first career NAHL goal on assists from Jack Olmstead and Paul Luebke.

17:15 into a pitched period that saw a both teams combine for 26 shots, Jack Olmstead added his second goal of the night to regain the two-goal lead (Bronte).

Keeping the theme of early-in-the-period scoring, the Titans cut the Knights lead to one after Matthew Headland added his first goal of the season at the 3:44 mark in the third period, set up by Tyler Barrow.

Like it’s predecessor, the third period saw 26 combined shots between forechecks. Goalies Kevin Lake (37/40)  for the Knights and Brandon Perrone (32/36) held their own in between the pipes to keep the game at a 4-3 tilt.

In the contest’s dwindling moments, New Jersey pulled their goalie in an effort to tie the game with the benefit of the added attacker. Instead, Tom Farrell and Adrian Danchenko slid the puck up ice to Curtis Carlson for the game-sealing empty net goal.

With the victory, the Knights earned a weekend sweep of the Titans and move into a tie with the Northeast Generals for first place in the East Division. All totaled, Knights rookies combined to score four goals and five assists on the evening.

Their next contest will come Wednesday in the team’s first game of the NAHL Showcase, held in Blaine, Minnesota. Face off against the Amarillo Bulls will take place at 2:15 pm eastern time and can be watched on hockeytv.com.

Knights Top Rebels in Preseason Affair

Photo Credit: Jessica Kovalcin

The need for speed was well satisfied for those inside the Revolution Ice Centre Friday afternoon. The newly minted Philadelphia Rebels, fresh off their move from Aston, met the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights for an early September-scrimmage.

The Knights opened the competition at a blistering pace as their crop of new players established an aggressive tempo from opening face off, outshooting the Rebels 23-7 in the first frame.

Despite this, Philadelphia goalie Ryan Keane kept the Knights off the board through a period and a half of play, before he was pulled midway through the second. The agile netminder stopped all 30 shots he faced before the Rebels changed goalies.

The Rebels were the first team to score midway through the second period, pushing a puck through a scrum in front, past a diving Christian Stoever.

Shortly after, Stoever took an early seat to allow Kevin Lake a turn in goal as a part of the preseason rotation. The Knights added their first goal as the minutes wound down in the second, when Josh Fricks  collected his own rebound and weaved his way around the goalie for the score. Tyrone Bronte was credited the primary and Kyrill Ulanov the secondary apples on the tally.

Minutes later, the Rebels inadvertently aided the Knights cause; on a delayed penalty call against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Rebels pulled their goalie. A miscommunication along the benches during a Rebels change sent an errant pass banking off the sideboards, back and into the vacant Philadelphia net, giving the Knights a 2-1 lead at the end of two.

Fricks continued his blistering afternoon with an early goal in the third on a slick set up from Bronte down low, while Lincoln Hatten was credited with an assist as well.

The Knights continued to needle crisp passes through the offensive zone when Jack Olmstead sifted Gabe Temple a pass inside the blue line. Temple split a pair before flicking a  pass back to Olmstead, who drew the goalie out of the net with a quick deke and score, building a 4-1 Knights lead. Kyrill Ulanov picked up his second helper of the day with the secondary.

Jake Fuss set up the game’s final goal when he fired a cross-slot pass to a crashing Tyler Nielsen, who put puck to twine to finalize a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5-1 victory.

Next week the Knights open their NAHL regular season at home with a 7:30 pm face off against the New Jersey Titans. To buy tickets in advance, call (570) 883-1100 or email [email protected]

Knights Roster Breakdown III: Back End Reinforced by New Arrivals

With more than half the back end turned over from last season, the Knights excited by defensive additions

Continuity has been a theme for the Knights and the players protecting their defensive zone over the past two years. Names like Dorian Dawson, Tim Gelatt, Elijah Latimer, and Grant Valentine have been regular since the start of the Knights arrival to the NAHL. That’s all set to change as Gelatt, Latimer, and Valentine head to college, while Dawson attempts to make the USHL.

That list of names includes the team’s number one goalie for the past two years, last season’s top defenseman, its most recent captain, and one of the Knights program’s original players.

Needless to say, the team has an important task ahead in replacing some of its core defensive players. With expectations high, the staff is confident that the players that can are among those they’ve brought in this offseason.

“We’re really happy with some of the defensemen we’ve added to the roster this year,” said Knights assistant coach Andrew Whiteside. “This year, I think the biggest thing we wanted to improve on is size. I think we have some bigger, stronger defensemen this year.”

The International Pool

Cory Ellerton is the lone defenseman from abroad vying for one of the four import spots on the Knights roster.

From Pointe-Claire Quebec, Ellerton is a big-bodied, left-handed shot with an interesting blend of speed and strength. The 20-year old is coming off a season in the NOJHL where he scored two goals and 11 assists in 46 games with the Espanola Express.

He flashed at both ends of the ice at camp, but added a few productive shifts in the offensive zone tallying a goal and an assist.

The Tendered Defensemen

The Knights tender class continued its strong showing as Tom Farrell and Blake Kryska both turned in strong performances at main camp.

“Two guys who have really stood out this camp are Thomas Farrell and Blake Kryska,” said Whiteside back at main camp. “They’re exceeding our expectations right now, and we’re looking forward to big things out of them.”

“I’d say I’m more of a two-way defenseman,” said Farrell when asked about his skillset. “I’m more offensive-I like to join the play a lot. I just try to shut the opposition as much as possible.”

Farrell affiliated with the team last season. His playing time included valuable minutes in the Robertson Cup playoffs in which he did not look out of place. The big righty looks to make himself a regular in the Knights line up.

“Thomas’ elite skating ability and vision are his best attributes,” said Whiteside. “We feel his game will translate extremely well at the NAHL level and above.”

Kryska started off quickly at camp, scoring three goals in his first three games. His size, strength, and past NAHL experience will make him a strong candidate to push for a roster spot in 2017-18.

“Blake’s a steady presence on the blue line and his decision-making skills with the puck are beyond his age,” said Whiteside. “We expect Blake to log a ton of minutes on our back end this year.”

Luke Robinson wasn’t at main camp, but affiliated with the Knights last season, playing enough to warrant a comfort level with the Knights staff over his abilities.

“Luke is a big, physical presence in his own zone and has the skating ability to jump in and join the rush if the opportunity presents itself,” said Schreiber. “Luke’s hockey IQ is probably his biggest strength as he keeps it simple and minimizes mistakes.”

Robinson displayed his consistency in his prior league, playing in a total of 72 games over his past two seasons in the T1EHL U16, scoring 3-7-10 in 2015-16 and 1-8-9 in 2016-17, supporting the offensive dimension he has, accompanying his intelligence and physicality.

Camp Invites

Across the board, the Knights staff consistently praised the depth of their camp roster as more than a handful of invites will make their way back to compete at training camp.

Paul Luebke will be among those returning. The Wisconsin-native contributed two goals and an assist at main camp and has been a consistent performer in the USPHL prior to this season.

Hunter Macy was another steady defender throughout camp. With the Delbarton School in the USHS he scored 10 goals and 28 assists in 59 games over the last two years.

2000 birth year Jake Sandomeno was among the more productive defensemen in camp, scoring three goals and playing in the maximum of five games. In addition to a steady shot, the right-handed defender showed speed and a willingness to pinch hard from the blue line.

Goalies

With all goalies from the 2016-17 roster now departed, the Knights are taking all applications to take charge in net for the upcoming season.

Their most familiar choice is the former first overall pick from the 2016 NAHL Entry Draft. With the Northeast Generals last season, Dave Tomeo stood out in a late-season contest against the Knights in which he made a handful of dazzling saves.

Now a tender for the Knights, Tomeo flashed again flashed his abilities at main camp. His most spectacular moment came on a leaping effort from his knees, deflecting a puck wide of the net while tangled amongst several bodies in the crease. His habit for regularly making saves ‘he’s not supposed to be able to make,’ highlights his name as one to watch moving forward.

“David is a goaltender that comes with junior experience in both the USHL and the NAHL,” said Whiteside. “He has won at every level and we expect him to have a significant impact in our crease right away.”

Morgan Kelly, a ’98 who played in the T1EHL and BCHL last year, performed admirably through five games at camp-including both all-star games-as the California native looks to stick in Pennsylvania on his cross-country voyage.

Kevin Lake is from either further west than Kelly, and likewise would like to make the most of air miles by finding a home with the Knights. The big, 6-4 netminder is coming off an NA3HL season in which he appeared in 27 games for two separate teams.

USHL

Two players the Knights could add to their defense are third-round netminder Christian Stoever, who was taken in the 2016 USHL Futures Draft by the Des Moines Buccaneers, and fourth-round defenseman Mason Klee, a 2016 USHL Entry Draft selection by the Lincoln Stars.  Both will attempt to make their respective USHL teams in their camps in the coming weeks. Should they be released, the Knights would have the right to add them to their NAHL roster.

As a ’99 birth year who’s played the last two years in the T1EHL, Klee’s drawn attention for his ability to play a 200-foot game.

“Mason is a versatile defenseman that can make plays at both ends of the ice,” said Schreiber. “We valued his skating ability and his poise to keep things simple and not make mistakes under pressure.”

With the aforementioned job openings in the Knights crease, Christian Stoever has the talent to make a strong case for the position. Standing at 6-3, 165 pounds, the 17-year old showed athleticism and sharp reflexes over four games at Knights main camp, impressing the staff with his consistency and poise, and most importantly, his immense upside.

Like Klee, Stoever is a veteran of the T1EHL and spent last season as a teammate to Knights first-round pick Gabe Temple.

The Knights report to training camp at the beginning of September and will open their season against the New Jersey Titans at the Revolution Ice Centre at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 15th. Tickets can be pre-ordered by calling (570)-883-1100.