FRIDAY: Mauled by Maust; 5-Point Game Leads Way for Knights
Ronald McDonald Night a Resounding Success at the Revolution Ice Center
Written by Allif Karim
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton started a two-game series Friday with the Kenai River Brown Bears wearing an alternate jersey to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Foundation. The Knights would prove to be ungracious hosts for their Alaskan visitors, besting them in a wild 11-goal affair. The win was their first action since beating Aston on home ice back on December 17th.
Paul Maust was the star of the night, stealing the show with four goals and an assist for his team. His efforts, combined with accompanying goals from Khristian Acosta, Andrew Jackson and Reed Robinson along with multiple helpers from Keenan Sabatini (3), Markuss Komuls (2) and Sam Antonitsch (2), were more than enough to earn the Knights two points.
Kenai River would not go without a fight however putting up four goals of their own with successful efforts from Luke Radetic, Ethan Stewart, Evan Butcher and Jake Friedman. Two of the four goals for the Brown Bears came off the power play, atypical for the Knights normally staunch penalty kill.
The first period started off shaky for both teams, but it was the Brown Bears who opened the scoring 9:23 into the period when Luke Radetic scored off an assist from David Kaplan. 38 seconds before the period ended, Khristian Acosta scored on the power play to pull the Knights even at one heading to the 1st intermission.
From the drop of the puck the Knights took control of the game in the second period, outshooting the Brown Bears 18-3. Kenai River failed to respond to Knights goals from Andrew Jackson at 12:45 and Paul Maust at 14:35, giving the Knights a 3-1 lead at the end of 40 minutes of play.
The third stanza was even more wide open, but a more even period. The teams combined for seven goals, with the Knights notching the triumphant four. Paul Maust lead the way, completing his hat trick and then some, scoring his second, third and fourth goals at 2:17, 6:32 and 11:55. Reed Robinson tacked a silky-smooth goal on at 14:24 to tally his 7th of the year. Kenai River made a strong effort to match the Knights goal-for-goal, tallying three of their own. Ethan Stewart scored at 4:32 with Jake Friedman following that up at 11:16 and Evan Butcher tacking on a third at 16:17. At the final horn, the difference would prove too great and the Knights would skate to the definitive 7-4 victory.
SATURDAY: Strong Play Pushes Knights to 3rd Straight Win
Knights Close Out 2016 with Sweep
Written by Tim Mulllhaupt
Following their high-scoring affair Friday night, the Knights started their final game of 2016 in search of for their second sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears in franchise history. The first period of the contest closely mirrored game one’s tempo, with the Brown Bears opening scoring midway through the first period. Anthony’s Tzveyn’s relentless effort to cash in his own rebound off the pads of Grant Valentine at 9:23 put the Brown Bears in the lead, but the advantage would prove to be short-lived. With three and a half minutes left in the third, Andrew Jackson parked himself in the slot, found a rebound and ripped it past Kenai River goalie Robbie Goor.
The second period would not follow its 24-hour old blue print; on this day the Knights would score the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner off of Curtis Carlson’s goal at 5:00, but much of the period was controlled by Kenai River. Despite being hemmed in their own zone for long portions of the period, the Knights would keep the Brown Bears off the board and head to the locker room leading 2-1.
The third period would see both teams bog down in the neutral zone, as neither could establish much of a rhythm. The period’s few quality chances would fall flat until Reed Robinson would win the race back to the puck and with an empty net in front of him, the Texas forward would put the game away at 19:10. Kenai River would try one final time to spark a comeback to pull Goor for the extra attacker, but the game would end with the Knights on top 3-1.
The sweep pushed the Knights to 15-17-1-1, and will send them to Northeast for a three game set riding a three game winning streak.
From all members of the Knights organization, we’d like to wish all our fans, followers and families a very happy new year and a wonderful year ahead.