Tag Archives: Samuel Solensky

Penalties Spoil Opener for the Knights in Close Loss to Johnstown

The 2018-19 NAHL season kicked off for the Knights on Friday afternoon, as the team welcomed the Johnstown Tomahawks to the Revolution Ice Centre. Game one of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s East Division title defense began with the Tomahawks jumping out to a fast start, as their high-paced forecheck quickly established a physical presence.

Knights 2018 first round pick Zach Stejskal was tested early and often, but responded with a flurry of impressive saves, using his 6-5 frame to dismiss Johnstown’s initial chances.

Following the expiration of the game’s first penalty just minutes into the first, Jeffrey Bertrand hopped out of the box and into an interception as the Nittany Lion commit plucked an exit pass off the Johnstown blue line before starting in on Tomahawks goalie Kade Phipps. Alone in front, Bertrand ripped a shot through to give the Knights their first goal and lead of the season (unassisted).

Stejskal and the Knights penalty kill would withstand Johnstown’s steady barrage through the remainder of the period, leaving the ice with a 1-0 lead.

The second period followed a similar pattern; Johnstown controlling the pace, while Stejskal and the defense stood tall. A disallowed goal in the period only motivated Johnstown as their forecheck redoubled their efforts to solve Stejskal.

The Tomahawks would finally break through just shy of 37 minutes of being held off the board. After Stejskal fought through a pair of screens, he lost his balance trying to make a save on a blocked shot from Anthony Mastromonica. A falling Mitchell Hale found and poked the loose puck into the open net for the game-tying goal. Chris Trouba tallied the secondary assist on the score.

Heading into the third, penalties continued to sap any rhythm from the Knights forecheck, with Johnstown continuing to win the 200-foot battle.

Finally, the Knights found their stride four minutes into the third period. In transition, Anthony Starzi found Jake Fuss streaking through the Johnstown slot on an odd-man rush. Alone in front, Fuss waited for Phipps to commit to moving forward, before handing a quick pass off to Tyler Nielsen. Nielsen buried the open-net goal to complete the Knights EHL-alumni trifecta, re-establishing the one-goal lead.

The lead held through more Johnstown pressure, as the Knights protected their advantage well into the second half of the period. One Tomahawks near miss came when Chad Merrell rang a shot off the crossbar, missing the equalizer by mere millimeters. Not to be deterred, Merrell tried going high again at the 13:21 mark and was rewarded, as his perfectly placed snipe beat Stejskal to again even the score (Colin Price, Alex Wilkins).

Another Knights penalty would prove costly in the game’s final four minutes. After going a perfect four of four on the kill through 56 minutes of play, the Knights kill team was finally bested for the Tomahawks first lead. Off of a Hunter Toale pass, Samuel Solensky found himself parked in the middle of the slot with the puck. Waiting until Stejskal moved to answer the challenge, Solensky slid a perfect backdoor pass to a waiting Cameron Hebert, who ripped the puck home for the Tomahawks first lead with just under four to play.

The Knights attempted rally saw a few chances and an extended time in the attacking end after Stejskal was pulled for the extra attacker, but Johnstown held on to secure the 3-2 win.

In the loss, Zach Stejskal was excellent, stopping 51 of 54 shots on goal. On the opposite end, Kade Phipps was steady in the win, making 16 saves for Johnstown on his way to his first victory of the 18-19 season.

The pair of teams will rematch today at 3:30 pm EDT. The game will be broadcast on www.hockeytv.com. Follow Knights Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for in-game updates!

 

 

Recap: Knights Fall in Johnstown to Open Weekend

Looking to end February on a high-note, the Knights traveled to the First Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial to take on the Johnstown Tomahawks. After losing three straight, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went into the sixth of seven-straight road contests looking for an early spark.

Instead, Jack Leavy and the Tomahawks stood tall in the opening period of Friday’s affair. The aforementioned goalie stopped all 12 Knights shots he faced in the first period. Christian Stoever responded in kind for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, stoning 11 offerings from the Tomahawks offense. Johnstown took three tries at the power play but couldn’t find the net.

Minutes into the second period, Roman Kraemer would finally end thevscoring drought off a helper from Andrew Quetell giving the Tomahawks the game’s first lead. Ben Schmidling would re-direct Anthony Szurlej’s shot just over three minutes later to tack on Johnstown’s second tally. The Knights fended off another penalty, but were stopped on another 11 tries by Leavy, leaving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 2-0 deficit after 40 minutes of play.

Jack Olmstead would finally get the Knights on the board, 8:34 into the third period. On the their fourth power play of the contest, the Knights leading scorer would deflect his 20th tally of the year to the net off Gabe Temple’s shot. Samuel Solensky wouldn’t let the momentum last long after Joe Kile fed him the puck 55 seconds later for Solensky’s second of three points on the evening. His 13th strike of the season would reinstall the Tomahawks two-goal advantage.

As time wound down, the Knights were presented a power play chance down two goals with 2:38 left in the third. Not long into the man-advantage, the Knights called Stoever to the bench for an extra attacker. Despite being down 6-on-4, Johnstown found a seam to breakout shorthanded. Solensky would repay Kile’s earlier favor as the former slid the latter the set up to an easy empty-net goal.

The 4-1 lead would hold through the final horn, handing the Knights their fourth-straight loss. They’ll look to bounce back with a rematch tonight at 7:00 pm EST. Tune in on hockeytv.com for the game’s broadcast and follow along on Knights social media and www.nahl.com.

NAHL Recap: Knights Split Weekend with Tomahawks

On Saturday the Knights took the ice against the Johnstown Tomahawks for the fourth-consecutive meeting, and the sixth time in 2017-18. After Friday’s contest, in which the Knights forecheck and power play controlled play, game two of the weekend took a decided, defensive turn.

The first period saw each side exchange a fair number of chances, but goal tenders David Tomeo and Jack Leavy held their ground. The period’s lone tally was recorded at 4:58, when Samuel Solensky won a puck battle along the half wall and fed an open Roman Kraemer in front of Tomeo. Kramer made a quick move around the Knights starter and flipped the puck home to put Johnstown ahead by one. Carter Dwyer picked up the secondary assist.

In the second period the Tomahawks would strike again in the early going. Just prior to the 4:30 mark, Johnstown brought the puck over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton blue line with numbers. Tomeo made a spectacular save off a shot in close, but the effort pulled him out of the net. Samuel Solensky found the puck and flipped it through a scrum of Knights players trying to fill the pipes. Toby Sengvonxay and Roman Kraemer were credited with the helpers.

Though they would again put shots on net, the Knights could not solve Jack Leavy. The East Division veteran stopped all 20 shots he faced through the first two periods. The Tomahawks back check did their part in limiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s access to high-scoring areas.

To start the third, the Knights comeback effort appeared to receive a boost when their power play was sent to work just 3:38 into the period. Instead, a mishandling of the puck in front of their own net resulted in Pavel Kharin poking home a shorthanded goal.

The 3-0 Johnstown lead held via the continued strong play of Leavy and his defense. With just under 5:00 to play, the Knights pulled Tomeo for the extra attacker. Johnstown promptly took a penalty with 4:21 remaining to give the Knights a 6-on-4 advantage. Matt Kidney responded with his third goal of the weekend, set up by Anthony Firriolo and Mike Gelatt at 16:10.

Following a short stretch of 5-on-5, the Knights would pull Tomeo again with 3:04 left on the clock. Despite a few chances generated, the Knights could not pull any closer, and at 18:04, Samuel Solensky put the game on ice with an empty net goal (Donovan Ott).

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wont dwell long on the defeat, as the team will turn around to play the Philadelphia Rebels on Wedensday, November 22nd at 2:30 PM EST. The game can be viewed at www.hockeytv.com. Follow Knights social media and check back at www.wbsknights.com for all news and 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 Streak Ends in Shutout Loss to Tomahawks

Coming off the roller coaster ride of a seven-round shootout Friday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton looked to extend their winning streak to six games. Two points would go along way in continuing to cement their current home atop the NAHL standings. Johnstown had other ideas. After skating well in game one, the Tomahawks entered play determined to finish this weekend’s series with the Knights on a high note.

The game began with both sides looking the part of teams that had skated 65 minutes the night prior. Neither forecheck could find a rhythm in the first period, while the majority of the frame was played with an abundance of transition but a lack offensive chances.

In net again for the Tomahawks stood Britt League. Coming off a tough-luck loss his memory was short as the netminder would again mount an impressive display between the pipes, stopping all eight shots faced in the first. His counterpart, David Tomeo was steady a well, blanking the Tomahawks through the first 17 minutes of the period.

Things finally broke at 17:41, when fresh off a penalty, the Tomahawks climbed the boards quickly, led by the puck handling of Andrew Andary. Just as he did Friday, Andary fed Christian Gorscak on a crisp, cross-ice set up that the latter deflected home for the game’s first goal.

Deja vu was the prevailing theme of the evening as a late period goal came back to bite the Knights again. Assisted by Andy Nedeljkovic, Samuel Solensky buried a power play one-timer past Tomeo to give the Tomahawks a 2-0 lead in the dying seconds of the first.

The second period that followed saw both sides traded chances and a penalty apiece, but neither League nor Tomeo flinched, as both teams were held off the board. Tomeo was especially impressive in a mid-period stretch of minutes in which the Tomahawks hemmed the Knights in their own zone for several straight shifts. The goalie from  West Caldwell, New Jersey would stare down multiple chances through traffic to keep the lead within striking distance.

The Knights would battle back in the third, outshooting and out-chancing the Tomahawks for much of the period, but the attackers could not solve Britt League. Johnstown would put the contest away late in the third when Roman Kraemer found the empty net off a helper from Andrew Quetell. The Tomahawks would go on to win 3-0, the first shutout loss the Knights have sustained this season.

The teams will meet again next Friday and Saturday November 17th and 18th at 3:00 PM and 2:30 PM, respectively.  Both games will be played at the Revolution Ice Centre in Pittston, PA. If you plan on attending Saturday’s game, bring three cans of food or three non-perishable items to earn a free ticket! The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to all Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and 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 Win in OT Against Tomahawks

Round two of the Knights home-and-home against the Johnstown Tomahawks found the team looking for its second-straight victory.

Reed Robinson initiated their efforts early as just 4:10 into the opening period, he forced a takeaway inside the left circle of the Johnstown zone before firing a top-shelf snipe by Tomahawks goalie Britt League.

The score would serve as the period’s lone tally as League and the irons would stymie the Knights through the rest of the frame. For their part, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was steadied by netminder Christian Stoever, who began his second-straight start with a nine-save effort in the first.

The second period progressed similarly to its predecessor, as the grinding pace of play saw both teams fail to find much rhythm on the attack. Johnstown gained an edge with physical play in the middle of the period, forcing Stoever to make a few sterling saves before the Tomahawks finally broke through at 13:28.

Receiving the puck above the left circle, Joe Kile added to his team-leading goal total by ripping a power play shot through traffic to best Stoever and tie the game at one. Matyas Kacirek and Samuel Solensky chipped in the assists.

Hunter Carrick followed with a perfect screen shot from just inside the blue line at 15:55, beating Stoever off the smooth cycle by Mitchell Hale and Brendan White.

As has become a trend of late, a slew of penalties were handed out to both sides nearing the end of the second period. On a 4-on-3 power play, Knights newcomer Anthony Firriolo fired a shot to the net front, where second-round draft pick Justin Engelkes tipped it to twine to even the score at two.

Galvanized by the late-period boost, Reed Robinson came out swinging in the third, as the son of Rockwall, Texas crashed hard to the net, following League being caught out of the crease in a scrum for the puck. Off the savvy efforts of Matt Kidney and Mike Morrissey to center the puck through the diving League, Robinson buried the loose change to give his team the 3-2 lead just prior to the 3:00 mark of the third period.

Emblematic of their gritty effort throughout the weekend, the Tomahawks were quick to respond, as Samuel Solensky picked up his second goal of the series two minutes after Robinson’s second goal (Hale, White).

The remainder of the third period returned to the game’s roots, as each side found little success in settling pucks in the attacking zone. Christian Stoever made a lunging, stick-save to keep the game even at three, while the Knights mounted a few tests on Britt League, but as regulation expired, the teams remained tied at three.

To open the overtime period of 3-on-3, the Knights and Tomahawks made a few quick rushes up the ice with neither forecheck proving successful.

Off their second change, the Knights sent out the trio of Jack Olmstead, Matt Kidney, and Tom Farrell around the 1:00 mark of the third period. Kidney swept the puck ahead to Olmstead who brought it to the left circle before turning it back to a waiting Farrell at the blue line. Farrell walked the puck down to the top of the slot before ripping a perfectly placed shot over League’s shoulder to deliver the Knights an overtime win.

With the victory the Knights have picked up a point or more in four-straight games. They’ll look to keep their two-game winning streak active against the Titans today at 4:30 pm EDT. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.com. Follow Knights social media for in-game updates:

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