Tag Archives: Mike Gelatt

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!

NAHL: Knights Swept By Titans, Salvage Point in OT

Entering Friday night, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights were looking to get off a three-game losing streak and bounce back from a home loss to New Jersey. They would have their opportunity for revenge with a road trip to the Titans home at the Middletown Ice World Arena.

Following a lopsided, high-scoring affair Thursday, tempers were high in a testy first period of play. Six power plays were assessed-four for the Knights and two for the Titans, but neither side could take advantage as David Tomeo and Brandon Perrone did their part to put goose eggs on the board.

Following a slow start that saw the Titans take the lion’s share of shots to begin the game, the Knights used their power plays to draw nearly even on offensive chances in the first period. The team used the momentum to come out with a fast pace in the middle frame.

In a period that they out-shot New Jersey 14-8, the Knights forecheck was finally rewarded at 8:54.  Generating a two-on-one rush, Mike Gelatt led Jack Olmstead to the net, where Olmstead buried his 19th tally of the season to put his team up 1-0.

After dictating the second, the Knights saw play even out in the third. Tomeo and Perrone traded strong saves in a hotly contested period. Though each side would go 0-6 on the man advantage on the evening, the Titans would find gold at the expiration of their fifth power play.

Set up by Jimmy Dowd Jr. and Ryan Naumovski as the Knights returned a man to the ice, Ryan Wheeler ripped a puck from the top of the slot, past Tomeo to tie the game at one at 12:48.

The Knights would have their opportunities to re-take the lead, but would be foiled late in the frame. The first was a three-on-one, even-strength rush stopped by Brandon Perrone. On the Knights final penalty kill with under 2:00 to play in regulation, the Titans netminder would again stymie Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, this time on a shorthanded two-on-one.

Three-on-three overtime would follow 60 minutes of play, as the Knights attempted to avoid being swept by a division opponent for the second consecutive weekend.  After a brief trade of zones David Tomeo (35 saves on the night) would come up with the save of the evening on a glove robbery of Ryan Naumovski on a breakaway.

The victory was short-lived however, as on the ensuing faceoff, Naumovski won the draw, charged ahead around the back of the net, and stuffed a backhand wraparound home for the New Jersey win.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s search for a bounce back will resume next weekend in Alaska when the team travels to Kenai River for a two-game set on February 9th and 10th. Both games will be played at 11:30 pm EST/7:30 pm AKST and will be available on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media for all team news and updates!

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: Knights Top Titans in Friday Night Thriller

After nearly two weeks away from home ice, the Knights returned to the Revolution Ice Centre in hopes to snap a three-game losing streak. Their opponent, the New Jersey Titans, entered play looking to climb the ladder in the East Division.

A heavy dose of chances dominated the opening frame, with the Titans mounting 20 shots on Knights starting goaltender David Tomeo. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s netminder responded with 20 saves and the Knights forecheck with 13 shots of their own.

Jack Olmstead would produce the mayhem’s only goal at 13:58, when Tyrone Bronte sprung the Knights co-leader in points free to the net. There Olmstead bested New Jersey starter Brandon Perrone for his 15th goal of the season. Matt Kidney, Olmstead’s partner at the top of the point sheet, picked up the secondary helper to put the Knights up 1-0.

Olmstead and Kidney would pair again to open the second period with power play goal. Kidney set up Blake Kryska who fed Olmstead for the 2-0 lead.

Penalties would prove to be the story of the second, as each side traded infractions and fists. Just past seven minutes, Kidney dropped the gloves with Justin Bofshever in a spat that saw Kidney ejected for removing Bofshever’s helmet.

Olmstead would take a seat in the box shortly after play resumed, and the Titans would score on the ensuing power play. Kyler Head would put the puck past Tomeo for his third goal of the season off an assist from Ryan Wheeler at 8:25.

The Titans took advantage of another Knights penalty at 14:43. On a delayed call, Tate Singleton found Todd Goehring who put a puck by Tomeo to even the score at two. Andrew Husted was credited with the secondary assist.

Into the the third, cooler heads would see the penalty minutes decline, but the significance of those taken would remain. The Knights would regain the lead at 10:16  when Reed Robinson powered his 12th goal of the season past Perrone (Lincoln Hatten, Michael Morrissey).

The Titans would respond three minutes later off the Knights lone infraction of the third. Eric Manoukian found Tate Singleton for yet another game-tying goal. The Knights Robinson-Morrissey-Hatten line would answer back two minutes later as part of a dominant period. Morrissey would find the net off a Reed Robinson helper to re-take the lead.

The trio’s third goal of the frame came in the final two minutes when Reed Robinson found the empty net, off apples from Shay Donovan and Mike Gelatt. The goal effectively put the game away as David Tomeo put the cap on a stellar 49 save performance and the 5-3 win. The Knights will be back in action against the New Jersey Titans in New Jersey at 7:30 pm this evening. Tune in at hockeytv.com and follow along on Knights social media!

NAHL: Knights Roar Back with 5-3 Win over Rebels

Following a tough home loss to the Rebels Wednesday, the Knights looked to bounce back in game two of three against Philadelphia with relatively high stakes on the line. The winner of Saturday night’s contest would head into Sunday in first place in the east division.

With puck drop came a blistering pace from both forechecks, as each team traded rushes down the ice. David Tomeo was stellar in between the pipes as he fended off a healthy offering of quality chances from the Rebels attack in the opening five minutes.

Rallying behind their netminder’s steady work, the Knights counter-offensive was led by their starting line of Justin Engelkes, Tyrone Bronte, and Mike Gelatt. Just past the 5:00 mark, Gelatt pushed a puck off the  half-wall to Engelkes, who’s rebound found Bronte alone in front for the game’s first goal.

Just prior to the halfway point in the first period, Mike Morrissey flipped a puck to the corner where Reed Robinson dug it loose through a battle and centered it perfectly to Adrian Danchenko in the slot. Danchenko ripped a shot past Rebels goalie Eli Billing to build the Knights a 2-0 lead that would hold through the end of first period.

The Rebels opened the second with a furious pace, attacking and testing Tomeo repeatedly. Through a scrum in front, Adam Peck finally cracked the scoreboard for Philadelphia as Tomeo was screened through traffic. Jensen Zerban and Konour Peterson were credited with the assists.

Philadelphia continued to pressure through the first ten minutes of the period, forcing a Knights penalty at 6:15. 53 seconds later Jensen Zerban collected a rebound from Aaron Maguyon and threw a puck to the twine over a diving Tomeo. Dusan Kmec picked up the secondary assist on the game-tying goal.

Just over a minute later, the Knights retook the lead after catching the Rebels in a line change. Shay Donovan saw a waiting Matt Kidney at the Philadelphia blue line while the Rebels cleared off for the switch. From deep in his own territory, Donovan threaded a perfect pass for Kidney as he gained the zone. Kidney pulled back in front of a back-checking Rebel and fed Jack Olmstead moving toward the net. Olmstead fired a wrister past Billing to take a 3-2 lead.

Kidney would play catalyst again in the period’s final minute. As a stretch pass came up the boards in neutral ice, Mike Gelatt tapped the puck to Kidney, who dragged it free through traffic and fed a streaking Tyrone Bronte. The Australian forward beat all parties back to the net where he deked around Billing and buried his second goal of the game.

A two-goal lead is hardly a safe advantage in hockey, and against a Rebels team that had already erased one such deficit, the Knights entered the third wary of a comeback. Philadelphia continued their high-paced attack through the opening ten minutes and were rewarded at 9:21 with a goal that trimmed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lead to one. Set up by a Jensen Zerban takeaway, Alex Frye found Andrew Bellant over the Knights blue line where the latter burned through the last line of defense, and placed a puck past Tomeo for the Rebels third goal.

Each side proceeded to trade chances down the stretch of regulation. It wasn’t until the clock read 1:19 before the Rebels were able to pull Billing for an extra attacker. Though they were able to push the puck deep, Philadelphia couldn’t solve Tomeo. With 32 seconds to go, the Knights goalie kicked a save over to Mike Gelatt deep in his own corner. Gelatt proceeded to fire the puck down the sheet and find the open net, securing a victory for the Knights.

Back in first place in the East, the Knights will have little time to rest. The Rebels are back at the Revolution at 2:00 PM EST this afternoon. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow Knights social media and visit nahl.com for updates!

Recap: Knights Fall to Rebels 6-3

Before the Knights could enjoy their Thanksgiving they first had to take on the Philadelphia Rebels Wednesday. A meeting of the NAHL’s top two point totals, the winner of the afternoon’s affair would finish with the atop the East Division as well as the NAHL standings.

The Knights first period efforts did not materialize on Wednesday, while the Rebels went to work quickly. Nick Peck, a regular along the Knights blue line in the EHL, was called up to the Rebels Wednesday and inserted into their lineup. He rewarded Philadelphia with the game’s first goal just 4:58 into the opening frame. Assists came from Eric Olson and Auggie Moore on Peck’s well-placed shot from the blue line.

The Knights would apply pressure in the minutes following a Rebels penalty at 6:04, but were unable to solve Philadelphia goalie Ryan Keane. The Rebels seized back momentum at 13:16, when Ryan Patrick found the twine on Philadelphia’s first power play of the game, off helpers from Andrew Bellant and Jensen Zerban.

Not wishing to hear any narratives on two-goals leads, the Rebels found a third off a fast backhanded shot from Zerban at 14:43, set up by Alex Frye. The goal led the Knights to swap Christian Stoever out for David Tomeo in net. Less than two minutes later, the Rebels put bodies in front of Tomeo and worked a screened shot home to the twine off the blade of Seth Bergeron. Eric Olson picked up his second assist of the game to set up Philadelphia’s fourth goal.

Following a strong first, the Rebels continued their attack in the early second. Brandon Stanley picked up his fourth goal of the season at 7:05 to create a 5-0 lead (Jimmy Glynn). The Knights, staring down their biggest deficit of the season, awoke.

Following a Rebels cross-checking penalty, just over a minute after Stanley’s goal, Jack Olmstead flipped a puck past Keane for the Knights first score, his 12th tally of the season. Apples were credited to Justin Engelkes and Mike Gelatt.

With a goal on the board, the Knights forecheck battled to narrow the deficit. They outshout the Rebels 29-18 for the remainder of regulation, as their offense pushed pucks deep into Philadelphia territory and worked hard on the walls. Their efforts were rewarded again in the second, when from under the goal line, Tyrone Bronte flipped a puck from Justin Engelkes, to a crashing Mike Gelatt. Gelatt buried his eighth goal of the year from the front of the net to pull the Knights within three.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s pressure carried over into the third period, with Ryan Keane forced to make a number of high-quality saves to preserve his team’s sizable lead. At 8:21, Bronte fed Engelkes who hammered a puck from above the circles, through traffic, and by Keane to narrow the deficit to two.

The Knights comeback had seen three consecutive goals scored on a stingy Rebels defense, but Philadelphia withstood the Knights surge into the game’s final five minutes. On a rush into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton zone, Jensen Zerban, assisted by Tyler Pohlig, pushed a puck through the pads of Tomeo to effectively put the game on ice. Though the Knights attacked until the end, the team came up short in Wednesday’s battle for first place.

Following a healthy dose of turkey today, the Knights will have another two chances against the Rebels, as they play this Saturday and Sunday at the Revolution Ice Centre. Saturday’s game will start at 7:30 pm, while Sunday’s will begin at 2:30 pm. Both games can be viewed online at hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube for all news and updates.

The Knights entire organization would like to take this opportunity to wish the happiest and healthiest Thanksgiving to all their fans, players, and families, and all those who support junior hockey!

NAHL: Knights Top Generals to Take Game 2 of 3

Saturday marked the middle contest of the Knights three-game series tagainst the first-place Northeast Generals this weekend. Following yesterday’s 5-3 win over Northeast, the Knights attempted to keep their foot on the gas pedal for the second-consecutive day.

On this day, Tyrone Bronte jump-started the Knights out of the gates.  Just prior to the 2:00 mark, Jack Olmstead fielded a pop fly at center ice and relayed a sharp pass to Bronte over the right wing. The Australian forward ripped a dart past Northeast goalie, Marko Sturma to put the Knights up 1-0.

On the other end, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton netminder David Tomeo locked things down in the first, sending away any and all chances on goal. The Knights limited the Generals potent offense to just a handful of quality shots in the first 20 minutes play.

The biggest opposition to the Wikles-Barre/Scranton’s sustained offensive pressure came from Sturma, who has continually proven to be a tough solve for the Knights forecheck this season.

Despite two, first-period penalties, the Knights ended the frame with a 1-0 lead with their penalty kill a perfect 2/2. The Generals likewise, were strong on the lone penalty they faced, ending the period 1/1 shorthanded.

The second period mirrored the first. The Knights received and early goal from another rookie, Justin Engelkes. Just shy of the 7:00 mark, Mike Gelatt dug a puck loose from down low and handed it to Engelkes, who barreled to the far post and tucked it past Sturma to build a 2-0 lead.

The Knights would again take two penalties and again repel both. They would again go 0/1 on the man advantage. Tomeo was steady once more, preventing any goals as the Knights continued to carry play during 5-on-5. Marko Sturma continued to prove hard to solve as the goalie continued to stand on his head to keep the game close.

With the third period came the Generals forecheck. The NAHL’s top-scoring offense awoke from their slumber to erase their two-goal deficit in the opening seven minutes of the frame.

The first Northeast goal came at 6:25, when Joseph Mancuso buried a puck past Tomeo on the set up from Hunter Canestra and Luke Perunovich. Just 23 seconds later, Mike Egan ripped a back-door snipe off a perfect pass from Brady Gaudette.

With the game tied, the chippiness increased. Following a checking from behind penalty assessed to the Generals, Jack Olmstead ripped a snipe top-shelf past Sturma to give the Knights a 3-2 lead at 9:27. Tyrone Bronte and Curtis Carlson picked up the helpers.

Fighting off the Generals attack for the remainder of the contest would prove difficult but not impossible for the Knights, who recovered nicely from their breakdowns in the period’s early going.  Though both teams traded quality chances, Tomeo and the Knights defense worked hard to limit grade-A opportunities.

As time wound down, the Knights took a slashing call with 1:39 to go in regulation. With the 5-on-4 advantage, the Generals pulled Sturma for an extra attacker to create a 6-on-4. With the Knights refusing to give up the equalizer with just under a minute to play, the Generals took a checking-from-behind penalty to nullify one of the two extra skaters.

With an empty net, Northeast still pressed on, forcing an offensive zone face off with 2.9 seconds to go in the third. Though they were able to win the draw, they could not get the puck by Tomeo and the Knights went on to win their third-straight game.

The victory moves Wilkes-Barre/Scranton into second place in the East division, one point ahead of the Philadelphia Rebels. The Knights 25 points are the second-highest total in the NAHL thus far this season. The team will attempt a three-game sweep of Northeast tomorrow, when they play their third and final game of the weekend at 12:00 pm (corrected from 12:30 pm) EST (Clocks fall back one hour overnight). Follow Knights social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and visit nahl.com for in-game updates!

Knights Drop Weekend Finale in OT

In the final contest of a three-game weekend, the Knights met the New Jersey Titans for the first time since the season-opening series. On Sunday, the Knights jumped out of the gates with a fast and physical forecheck that drew an early penalty. The Knights would then take a penalty of their own, but score off Mike Gelatt’s fourth goal of the season, set up by Luke Robinson and Curtis Carlson during 4-on-4 play. The goal kicked off a strong afternoon for Gelatt, a former Titan, and native of Middletown, New Jersey.

The Titans would turn the tide midway through the period, and begin to building offensive pressure. They were continually turned away by Stoever until the final second of the period, when Matthew Cameron took a centering feed from Nick Yazguirre and Wade Novak and flipped it past Knights netminder Christian Stoever.

The second period saw both sides begin a parade to the penalty box, as the pace of the game slowed as special teams play dictated much of the frame. The Knights would fire home the first power play tally of the game at 9:14, when Mike Gelatt found the twine a second time off Curtis Carlson’s shot, set up by Anthony Firriolo.

Despite the parade’s continued march to the box, neither team found the net for the remainder of the period as Stoever and Titans goalie Brandon Perrone traded impressive saves.

In the third, the Knights penalty kill finally cracked when at 10:22, Nick Boyagian found a puck from Tyler Antonucci and Hunter Alden and ripped a long back-handed shot past Stoever to tie the game. The goal spoiled what was an otherwise solid performance by the Knights kill unit that went 9-10 in the game. Stoever and Perrone continued to trade saves as the game remained deadlocked through the end of regulation.

In the start of three-on-three overtime-the second such game in the three meetings between the teams-the Knights looked to duplicate their OT success from the Saturday. On this night, the Titans would emerge victorious, as Ryan Wheeler weaved his way around the Knights backcheck to put home the game-winning goal.

With the overtime loss, the Knights do extend their team point streak to five-straight games. They’ll look to bounce back quickly as they play host to the undefeated Philadelphia Rebels this Wednesday, October 25th.

 

 

 

 

NAHL Recap: Knights Beaten in Overtime by Rebels

In game two of the Knights weekend battle with the Philadelphia Rebels, the team looked to get back on track following a 2-1 loss on Friday night.

The game began where yesterday’s action largely left off: chances for both sides but both goalies keeping the opposing attack at bay for the first half of the opening period. Knights netminder David Tomeo was answered in the early going by Rebels puck-stopper Eli Billing as the pair traded solid saves. The scoreless stretch held until 10:39, when Philadelphia veteran Ryan Patrick picked up his second goal of the season on helpers from Diarmad Dimurro and Andrew Bellant.

Reed Robinson was quick to respond for the Knights, as just 57 seconds later, he filed his third tally of the year (Blake Kryska, Curtis Carlson). In the minutes that followed, the Rebels wracked up back-to-back penalties. The second proved costly, as Robinson struck again at 18:18, tipping a Justin Engelkes point shot past Billing to take a 2-1 lead.

The second period opened with a quick Rebels response. Carson Briere, son to Danny Briere, scored his first NAHL goal unassisted at 2:25 to knot the game at two. More penalties followed, as the Rebels took three more in the middle frame. In the brief respite at 13:34, Justin Smith found the twine off an Adam Peck helper to give Philadelphia back the lead.

The Knights again were quick to answer, as this time it was veteran forward Mike Gelatt taking over. He struck first on a power play at 14:29 (unassisted), and then again at even strength at 18:26 off a Josh Fricks apple. At the conclusion of 40 minutes, the Knights found themselves up 4-3 against the NAHL’s lone undefeated team and top-ranked defense.

For much of the third period, the Knights battled in their own zone as Philadelphia, spurred on by two Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalties, dictated tempo. The Knights survived both turns shorthanded, and forced a power play of their own at 9:53. Like the Knights, the Rebels buckled down in their own zone, killing the penalty and keeping themselves within striking distance as time wound down.

With just over three minutes to go, on a feed from Julian Makary, Ryan Patrick scored the game-tying goal at 16:49. The Knights countered with a fast-paced attack in the final minute of regulation, but were unable to best Billing to avoid overtime.

After two minutes of even paced three-on-three, Diarmad Dimurro flew up ice to create a 2-on-1 in which he found a streaking Auggie Moore in front, who in turn pushed home the game-winning score.

The Knights now move to 5-2-1 on the season, salvaging one point of a possible four on the weekend. They’ll get ready for a three-game home series against the division-leading Northeast Generals next weekend beginning on Friday, October 13th.

 

Knights win OT Thriller in Home Opener

Photo Credit: Steve Yakimowicz

As the NAHL welcomed in the 2017-18 regular season, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and New Jersey Titans renewed their eastern division rivalry for the 29th time in their shared existence.

The game began with a high tempo attack from the Knights forecheck, aided by two early Titans penalties. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton quickly built a 12-4 lead but were kept off the scoreboard by New Jersey netminder Brandon Perrone. Just past the midway point of the first, the Titans began their push back, driving possession into the Knights zone and  taking the shots lead by period’s end.

At 14:15, Titans forward Tyler Barrow fired a shot off the blocker of Knights goalie David Tomeo. The ricochet sent the puck straight into the air, before descending behind Tomeo and glancing it’s way into the net. Barrow’s first NAHL goal, assisted by Tate MacDonald, gave the Titans a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.

Entering the second down by one, the Knights received a boost in the early minutes of the period when Paul Cimilluca ripped a pass from his own zone to the Titans blue line. The pass found Mike Gelatt as he gained the zone, and then fired it ahead to Reed Robinson in fro0nt of the net. Robinson’s persistence through Perrone’s initial save paid off, as the power forward worked a rebound through the pads to even the game at one.

After a pair of Knights breakaways were stoned by Perrone, the Titans found one of their own. Forward Hunter Alden worked his way behind the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defense to create a 2-on-1 break. As he barreled toward Tomeo, he slid the puck to Nick Yzaguirre who put rubber to twine, giving the Titans back the one-goal lead.

Tomeo wouldn’t allow the goal to haunt him as the ’99 birth year continually stood on his head to keep the Knights in the game. His first and second period efforts were highlighted by multiple diving saves with bodies stuck in the crease, eerily similar to saves he made against the Knights last season with the Northeast Generals.

Nearing the end of the second period, the Titans appeared to have bested him a third time off a Nick Boyagian redirect of an Eric Manoukian point shot. The goal was disallowed after the officials determined it was played with a high stick. The break gave the Knights momentum heading into the second intermission with the added bonus of an upcoming power play stemming from a 4-on-4 set to expire within the first minute of the third.

The power play, though abbreviated, would prove to be an important one to start the final frame of regulation. Though ultimately unsuccessful in finding the net, the Knights created chances and offensive momentum that quickly forced another New Jersey penalty.

On their fourth man-advantage of the game, the Knight finally broke through. At 3:54, Matt Kidney, the Knights first-round draft pick and leading scorer in 2016-17, pushed a Mike Morrissey pass through the five-hole to tie the game at two.

The remainder of the period was an intense exchange of rushes on both ends of the ice, and impressive saves from Perrone and Tomeo. Though both teams had quality opportunities to take the lead, neither was able to do so in the allotted 60 minutes. The first overtime contest for both benches came in their opening game, meaning both teams would leave the rink with at least one point on Friday night.

The beginning of the 3-on-3, five minute period saw New Jersey generate two quality chances within the first 90 seconds. The first was pulled just wide of the net on a shot from the top of the slot. The second was denied by Tomeo as the Titans entered the zone on an odd-man rush.

Matt Kidney had seen enough. On his first shift in overtime, the Knights veteran hovered in front of the Titans blue line as his teammates worked out of their own zone. Rookie forward Tyrone Bronte tangled in a 50/50 battle for the puck at center ice, and after emerging victorious, fed the wide open Kidney with a quick pass. The Middletown-native sped in over the line alone, and learning from Perrone’s earlier highlight-reel glove saves, ripped a shot low-stick side to send the Knights home with two points and their first win of the season.

The teams will meet again tonight at Middletown Ice World Arena for round two of the highly-entertaining, east division matchup. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm and the game broadcast can be found on hockeytv.com.