Tag Archives: Reed Robinson

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)!

 

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!

RECAP: Knights Kick Off Second Half With Convincing Win

Fresh off Christmas and holiday festivities, the Knights returned to home ice on Friday to take on the Kenai River Brown Bears. The first of four meetings between the pair kicked off quickly in favor of the home team.

Just 3:37 into play, Matt Kidney notched his 10th goal of the season when he fired a Jack Olmstead rebound past Brown Bears starting goalie Artur Pavliukov. Paul Cimilluca picked up a secondary assist for his third helper of the season.

The Knights kept their foot on the gas pedal largely dictating play through the opening 20 minutes. The back check limited quality chances on starting goaltender David Tomeo, while the forecheck spent ample time in the attacking end.

Curtis Carlson capped off the strong period when off a faceoff win, the Knights captain fed a pass to Matt Kidney waiting in the middle of the slot. Kidney flipped his second goal of the night past Pavliukov to send the Knights to the first intermission with a multi-goal lead.

Three minutes into the second, during a stretch of 4-on-4 play, Gabe Temple followed Carlson’s example, immediately flipping a face off win to Justin Engelkes in the slot. Engelkes hammered a one-timer to the twine for his seventh goal of the season and a 3-0 Knights lead.

Tomeo and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defense weathered the Brown Bears push-back in the second half of the period before the Knights drew a penalty at 15:52. 16 seconds into the team’s third power play of the evening, Reed Robinson fired a puck home to build a 4-0 lead. Adrian Danchenko and Blake Kryska registered the assists.

The final frame of regulation kicked off with the Knights on the penalty kill. The Brown Bears, owners of one of the NAHL’s most potent power plays, capitalized on their third turn on the man advantage, when Gil Garcia ripped a shot from the slot by Tomeo for Kenai River’s first goal (Sacha Guillemain, Cameron McDonald).

The goal swung momentum to the Brown Bears forecheck, as they drew three more penalties in the first five minutes of the third. The Knights penalty kill and Tomeo combined to erase the remainder of the penalties taken, but Kenai River continued to force Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to chase in their own zone.

At 6:59, Gabriel Wahl fed former Knight Markuss Komuls whose rebound found Connor Fedorek pinching down from the blue line. Fedorek picked the puck up in the slot and weaved it around Tomeo to narrow the deficit to two.

Determined to squash the comeback effort, the Knights offense found a renewed rhythm and resumed their offensive on Artur Pavliukov’s crease. The Lithuanian netminder stood tall in a gritty effort that even saw him briefly leave the ice after sustaining a minor injury in the second.

Despite Pavliukov’s best efforts, including 42 total saves and one robbery of Jack Olmstead, Curtis Carlson put the game to bed at 13:56. Set up by Lincoln Hatten and Luke Robinson, Carlson fired a puck from the right circle through traffic and Pavliukov to put the Knights ahead by three.

Despite multiple penalties being assessed to both sides through the final five minutes of play, the 5-2 score held through the final horn. With the win, the Knights improve to 19-7-3, placing them just one point behind the Philadelphia Rebels for first place in the East Division. They’ll have the opportunity to regain the top spot in round two of Knights-Brown Bears today at 2:30 pm. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com, with live updates being posted to Knights Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

KNIGHTS ALUMNI: SPRONG RECALLED TO PITTSBURGH

Former Knights forward and current Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Daniel Sprong was recalled to the NHL from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins roster today. Sprong played for the Knights Bantam Major team in the 2011-12 season, helping them to a national championship title. Through 29 games in the AHL this season, the 2015 NHL second-round pick has scored 18 goals and 10 assists. The Knights are happy for Daniel and wish him the best of luck in Pittsburgh!

 

Donovan, Penalty Kill, Tomeo Lead Knights Past Tomahawks

Following a weekend away from the rink, the Knights returned to East Division play against the Johnstown Tomahawks Friday. It was fitting that the most recent meeting between the pair was yet another closely fought contest. Four of the prior six tilts were decided by two goals or less.

Round seven of Knights-Tomahawks pitted David Tomeo anchoring the crease for second-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against Kade Phipps in goal for fifth-place Johnstown. Both netminders were supported by solid defensive efforts in a true-to-form blue collar battle.

In an opening period that saw just 12 combined shots on goal, the Tomahawks cashed in on their very first, courtesy of Samuel Solensky. At 1:59, the Tomahawks leading-scorer was assisted by Donovan Ott and Chase Davidson on the tally, Solensky’s sixth against the Knights this season. The remainder of the period saw both teams limited by steady back-checking and play in net, leaving the score at 1-0 after 20 minutes.

The second period saw an uptick in shots and as well as penalty minutes, as both sides took unsuccessful turns on the man-advantage. Both Phipps and Tomeo remained steady in net to keep the score 1-0 three quarters of the way through the middle frame. Tyrone Bronte ended the drought at 16:15 off a wrister set up by Reed Robinson.

The tie would linger well into the third with more failed power plays and saves coming on both ends of the ice. The Knights would at last find their go-ahead goal at 16:55 when Mike Morrissey led Shay Donovan over the blue line where the latter hammered slap shot past Phipps. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would go on to withstand the Tomahawks extra attacker for the final 1:17 of play to earn a 2-1 victory.

In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s third-straight win, Tomeo made 27 saves on 28 shots, good for his sixth win of the season. Phipps stopped 19 of 21 in his first loss. Both teams were 5/5 on the penalty kill.

Knights in the USHL: Stoever Stays Steady

Knights fans may have noticed the absence of Christian Stoever from the Wikes-Barre/Scranton lineup card Friday. Stoever is currently playing for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL. In his first start last night, the ’00 goalie stopped 19 of 22 shots on goal on his way to his first USHL win. The third round pick has a 10-2-2 record with a 3.00 GAA and .908 save percentage with the Knights this season.

Next Up:

The EHL Knights will kick off a two-game home stand this afternoon against the New England Wolves at 3:45 pm EST. Free admission will be granted to any fans attending the Revolution Ice Centre. The game will be available on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL on twitter for updates.

The NAHL Knights will take on the Tomahawks again tonight at 7:00 pm EST. The game will also be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow Knights social media and visit www.nahl.com for live updates!

 

 

 

 

Reed Robinson Commits to Niagara University

On Thursday, Knights forward Reed Robinson confirmed his commitment to Niagara University. Robinson, a ’98 from Rockwall, Texas, has been a member of the Knights organization since 2015.

“Reed Robinson is one of our most veteran players,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “This is his third season playing in our organization. He’s a guy who’s improved every year and is proof of where hard work can take you.”

Robinson is currently second on the Knights in scoring, with 10 goals and 14 assists in 25 games played in 2017-18. That total is ninth-highest in the North American Hockey League through the first three months of play.

“Reed’s one of our most talented players, and one of our biggest threats on the ice,” said Kowal. “Whether it’s 5-on-5, 3-on-3, overtime, power play, or penalty kill, we’re confident in putting him on the ice. He’s one of our leaders in points this season, but more importantly he’s one of our leaders in the locker room. He sets the tone and has really been a mentor to our younger players in helping them make the transition to junior hockey.”

“I’ve spent the last two years focused on my fitness,” said Robinson. “I think that’s really helped me to become a point-per-game player and I think it’s allowed me to help others on my team. Playing in the NAHL, it’s a high level of play, and the competition is hard to beat. It’s matured me.”

It was Robinson’s continued success at that level that brought him the attention of the Niagara University Purple Eagles, who play in the Atlantic Hockey Conference at the NCAA’s division one level. The program has a new staff this season, one that has guided the Purple Eagles to a quick start in 2017-18.

“The coaching staff was really what stood out to me,” said Robinson of his future home. “They’ve got the program going in the right direction, and I’m confident that I can play a role there. It’s in a small town-everybody knows everybody and I like that. Niagara Falls is right there and it’s right next to the Canadian border. It’s a really beautiful place.”

Robinson will spend the rest of his current season working to continue to improve his game as well as helping the Knights in their efforts in accomplishing their highest goal.

“We’re tied for first right now, we want make a run,” he said. “I want keep scoring and performing well but our ultimate goal is to win the Robertson Cup. I’m going to do whatever I can to help us get there.”

“At the end of the day, Reed is a great addition for the Niagara Purple Eagles and for division one hockey,” said Kowal. “He’s earned it and we’re thrilled he’s being rewarded for it.”

On behalf of the entire organization, the Knights would like to congratulate Reed on his commitment to Niagara University, and thank him for his continued efforts both on and off the ice to advancing the team’s success!

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!

NAHL: Knights Top Tomahawks with 6-Goal Effort

Friday afternoon saw the Knights meet the Johnstown Tomahawks for the third-consecutive game. Following a Tomahawks shutout victory in the pair’s prior meeting, the Knights offense was hungry for a rebound.

Jack Olmstead found just that, only 1:06 into the first period of Friday’s contest. Off a shot from Curtis Carlson, set up by Luke Robinson’s pass, Olmstead flipped a loose puck past Tomahawks starter Britt League, the netminder who shut the Knights out last Saturday.

Less than 30 seconds later, Tyrone Bronte put the Knights up 2-0 with a shot from in front that just found its way past League. The assists came from Justin Engelkes and Anthony Firriolo at 1:33.

The Knights tacked on their third tally of the period when, on a power play, Tom Farrell hammered a laser to the twine for his third goal of the season. Helpers were credited to Michael Morrissey and Reed Robinson as the Knights took a commanding just shy of the halfway point of the period.

The Tomahawks, as they have in each game against the Knights in which they’ve trailed, clawed their way back, creating offensive pressure in the second half of the frame. Christian Stoever in net again for the Knights, stood his ground until Donovan Ott recorded his first goal since his return to the Tomahawks at 18:47. His first tally of 2017-18 came off a howitzer shot from the left circle, set up by Toby Sengvonxay and Ben Schmidling. The 3-1 score would hold through the end of the period.

The Knights began the second frame in much the same way as the first. The team started off well in transition, and on an odd-man rush in the first minute, Shay Donovan took a crisp pass from Mike Morrissey, fed by Adrian Danchenko and fired it past League, stick side for the 4-1 lead.

The Tomahawks answered a minute later when Carson Brière picked up goal number two of the season-his first with the Tomahawks-on a tip off Sengvonxay’s shot, with the secondary  apple coming from Cade Groton. The goal spurred a back-and-forth stretch through the next 10 minutes of play with two unsuccessful power plays for the Knights and one for the Tomahawks.

Johnstown broke through at 13:15 when Ott jumped off the bench following the expiration of a penalty. Ott, assisted by Brière, walked in over the Knights line, and with space, ripped his second goal of the game to bring the Tomahawks within one, a margin that held through the end of the second.

The third period began with another fast Knights start. 2:30 into the frame, Matt Kidney, set up by Reed Robinson and Michael Morrissey on a great denial of a shorthanded breakaway, notched the Knights second power play goal of the game. On the ensuing faceoff a Johnstown slashing sent Wilkes-Barre/Scranton right back to the man-advantage. Kidney found the twine again at 3:22 for his team’s third power play strike, with assists coming Blake Kryska and Mike Morrissey.

The goal gave the Knights the insurance they needed as the third developed into both teams trading penalties through much of the remainder of regulation. Each kill solidified to not allow a goal until the game’s final minutes.

Following their taking of a five-minute major with 4:56 to play, the Tomahawks gained late life when Donovan Ott completed his hat trick with a short-handed goal at 17:24. The tally was set up by a solid exit pass from Karim DelPonte to Samuel Solensky. The latter drove to the Knights slot before turning the puck back to the trailing Ott who pushed it by Stoever.

Despite pulling within two, the Tomahawks kept League in net for the remainder of regulation. Despite a pair of shorthanded chances, Johnstown could not narrow their deficit any further, as the Knights skated to their 14th win of the season. Their 31 points are the league’s and the division’s highest total.

The two teams will rematch tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 pm EST. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow Knights social media and visit www.nahl.com for updates.

Reminder: help the Knights check hunger! To any fan attending tomorrow’s game, bring three canned goods or non-perishable items to exchange for one free ticket. There is no limit to how many free tickets can be earned.

Knights Jump to First Place with Shootout Win Over Johnstown

On Friday, the Knights entered Johnstown with the NAHL’s and East Division’s second-highest point total. They left the 1st Summit Arena at the Cambria County War Memorial in first place across the board. Getting there wasn’t easy.

A back-and-forth first period saw Wilkes-Barre/Scranton mount 11 shots on Johnstown’s veteran goalie Britt League. He answered them all. The Tomahawks responded with seven offerings on Knights starter Christian Stoever. Tomahawks forward Christian Gorscak squeezed the lone goal of the first past Stoever at 9:08 on the set up by Andrew Andary and Pavel Kharin.

In the second period the Knights would continue to plug away, increasing their shot total to 24 on League, while Stoever turned away all eight shots sent on his net in the frame. The Knights continued pressure was rewarded when at 6:31, when Michael Morrissey found Reed Robinson with space above the circles on a power play. The big-bodied forward continued his stellar season when he walked the puck down, picked his spot and fired a dart past League to tie the game at one with his 10th goal of the season.

The game went to the third period gridlocked 1-1. The Knights broke the tie when Jack Olmstead lofted a long stretch pass to Matt Kidney behind the defense. Kidney marched in on goal alone and ripped a shot by League to give the Knights the 2-1 lead.

It appeared the advantage would be the final score as time ran down to the final seconds with Tomahawks still trailing and their net emptied. Instead, in regulation’s final moments, Samuel Solensky dug a puck out of a pile on the Knights half wall, sent it behind the net, where Andy Nedeljkovic centered it in front to a crashing Toby Sengvongxay. Sengvongxay pushed the puck past Stoever with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to force OT.

In the three-on-three extra time, neither side could solve each other’s netminder as Stoever and League stood down all chances on goal. The game moved to the shootout, and with the transition continued each goalie’s stellar play. Through the first two rounds, neither team scored. In round three, Reed Robinson buried his chance to give the Knights an opportunity to win. Andy Nedeljkovic kept his clutch night going by tying the shootout with a last-chance effort in the bottom of the third.

In hockey’s version of extra innings neither team found the net in the next three rounds. Christian Stoever made two incredible saves in rounds five and six  to rob Sam Solensky and Donovan Ott. Stoever’s save on Solensky came off a great move in front, while Ott was robbed with a mid-air puck deflection off of Stoever’s stick.

In the top of the 7th round, Knights first-round pick Gabe Temple ripped a puck past League to again move his team into the lead. Faced with another last-chance, down the ice came Tomahawks captain Cade Groton to attempt to tie the contest once more. He drove hard to the front of the net, but Stoever went down and turned the puck away for the Knights victory.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s fifth-straight win, and 10th-straight game with a point or more, now moves the team to 13-3-3. Their 29 points leads the East Division and the NAHL. They’ll look to keep their hot streak going with another competition in Johnstown tonight. Puck drop is at 7:00 pm EST. The game can be viewed on http://www.hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to Knights social media and nahl.com for updates!

 

 

Weekend Preview: Knights Set for Two-Game Showdown with Tomahawks

The Knights are riding high entering this weekend’s competition with the Johnstown Tomahawks. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has won four-straight games and has recorded a point or better in nine consecutive contests. Following last weekend’s sweep of the division-leading Generals, the Knights are one point behind Northeast for first place in the East  and the highest point total in the NAHL.

Across the ice this weekend stand the Johnstown Tomahawks. The blue-collar team may be in the midst some early season struggles, but that does not diminish their talent nor their competitive, physical style of play. Following two, one-goal defeats and an overtime point earned in their last two meetings with the Knights, the Tomahawks went on to beat the Philadelphia Rebels and New Jersey Titans in two of their next five games.

“Half our team are newcomers-getting in there and getting into that first period is a main goal of the staff right now,” said head coach Tom Kowal in the latest edition of Coach’s Corner. “It’s that first road trip to Johnstown. You can tell all your players all about the atmosphere and the rink, the history of Slapshot being there, but until you get there and get them into the first period-I think the staff will relax a little after the first period Friday night. Even when Johnstown is struggling, they’re tough to play against.”

In order to succeed this weekend, the Knights will have to slow down Sam Solensky and Joe Kile, the Tomahawks top two scorers this season. Solensky and Kile have each  scored a single goal in both of the prior two meetings between the teams. Johnstown is also bolstered by the East Division’s second-best power play, converting chances at a steady 21.3%.

For their part, the Knights would like to bolster a power play that has been inconsistent this season. While it has improved of late, it currently ranks last in the division at 16.1%. It will be faced by a Johnstown penalty kill that nullifies 70.9% of its penalties.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has had few issues scoring in all other circumstances, as the team is tied for the lead league in goals for per game at 3.61, and is third in shorthanded scores with 4.

Leading the Knights offense is Jack Olmstead, fresh off being named Eastern Division Star of the Week for his five points in three games against the Generals last weekend (2-3-5, 1 GWG). His 10 goals and 11 assists in 16 games played is tied for the fifth-most points scored in the league. His 1.31 points-per-game and +/- of +15 are best in the NAHL among qualified skaters.

He’s joined in the pont-per-game or better club by Reed Robinson, who’s second on the Knights with nine goals and 10 assists in 18 games. Matt Kidney is close behind with 5-12-17 in 18 games, as are Curtis Carlson 7-9-16 in 18 gp and new Bemidji State commitment Tyrone Bronte with 5-7-12 in 13.

Along the blue line, the Knights will continue to look for offense from Tom Farrell, who leads Knights defenders with nine points in 16 games, and Anthony Firriolo, who has seven assists in as many games since being traded to the Knights.

In goal, the Tomahawks can turn to recently acquired, East Division veteran Jack Leavy, or long-tenured Tomahawk Britt League. The duo have combined for 44 games played and record of 24-8-6 over their past two seasons in the NAHL.

The Knights will have a choice between 2017 third-round draft pick Christian Stoever and 2017 tender David Tomeo. Stoever went 2-0 last weekend, stopping 52 of 56 shots on goal against the other top-ranked offense in the NAHL. He’s 2-0 against Johnstown this year with an overtime victory. Tomeo’s  numbers have been steady when in the net this year as the 18-year old has a 4-1 record to go along with a 2.56 goals against and a .918 save percentage.

The Eastern Division clash will start tonight at 7:30 pm EST. :The game can be viewed at hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for updates!

 

Knights Take Series Opener vs Generals

The Knights opened a three-game series with the East-leading Northeast Generals on Friday. The Knights were 1-1-1 entering play against Northeast, and have recorded a point or better since the teams’ second meeting of the year.

In round four of twelve of the regular season, the opening period was dominated by defense. Goaltenders Christian Stoever and David Fessenden matched each other with 8 saves, while neither forecheck was allowed much sustained zone time.

The middle 20 saw both sides kick their attacks into high gear. The Knights struck first, just 0:36 into the period, when Reed Robinson tipped a Mike Morrissey feed past Fessenden. A few minutes later, nearing the end of a penalty, Curtis Carlson swept a puck up the right wing while the Generals were stuck in a change. Carlson fed Mike Gelatt on a shorthanded 2-on-1, where the latter was able to finish off the chance with the Knights second goal.

The Generals kicked off their response when Mike Egan shot through  a pair of Knights on the backcheck, appearing to begin a breakaway. The Knights were able to catch Egan, but in the process of doing so, the puck was dropped back for an open Matt Wiesner. Wiesner buried it to cut the Knights lead to one. Fresh off the IR, Matt Rutigliano buried his first goal of the season to tie the game at two, set up through the slot by Joseph Mancuso off the half-wall.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded. Mike Morrissey sent the puck up the right wing to the streaking Adrian Danchenko. Danchenko gained the Northeast line and then put on a dangle clinic, going outside, inside, and outside his man, before finding the crashing Reed Robinson at the net for his second goal of the game. Not finished, Danchenko, set up by a Mike Morrissey tip pass at center, ripped a snipe past Fessenden to put the Knights up 4-2.

Late in frame, Joseph Nagle fired a perfect home run pass from deep in his own zone to Mike Egan, streaking over the Knights line. Egan shoveled it to the front of Stoever’s net.  Crashing hard in perfect step with the lofted puck was Matthew Rutigliano, who re-directed it past Stoever for his second goal of the evening. The tally narrowed the score to 4-3.

The third period saw a return to the first’s pace of play. Both teams traded zones and mounted a few decent chances, but both Stoever and Fessenden maintained their discipline in net. Down one with under three minutes left, the Generals pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. The Knights were able to withstand a fair amount of zone time before Mike Morrissey turned the puck up ice to Jack Olmstead. Olmstead skated it down to the mouth of the vacant crease before tipping home the game-sealing score.

With the win, the Knights improved to 10-3-3 on the season and have recorded a point or better in seven-straight games. They maintain their third place standing in the East division and now trail the second-place Philadelphia Rebels by just one point. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will take on Northeast again at the New England Sports Village Saturday afternoon at 5:30 pm EDT. The game will be broadcast on www.hockeytv.com, follow Knights social media for live updates.