Tag Archives: Tier-III Junior Hockey

David Pfoestl Commits to Anna Maria College

One of the most-tenured Knights defensemen has earned a place in the college hockey ranks, as David Pfoestl has announced his intent to join Anna Maria College this fall. The AMCats hockey program is entering its first season at the NCAA Division III level and will compete as an independent in 2018-19.
“I chose Anna Maria College because I felt that it was the right place to continue my academic career, and also to play hockey at the college level,” said Pfoestl. “I visited the campus and felt comfortable and welcomed right away. When I first moved to the United States from Italy to play hockey it has always been my goal to go to college to pursue my academic and athletic career. Attending Anna Maria College this fall is a dream becoming true for me and I could not be more excited to start this new chapter in my life.”
Pfoestl joined the Knights at the youth level after moving from Italy in 2015-16.  While growing into his 6-5 frame, the left-handed defender made an impact early both on the stat sheet and with physical style of play. He notched three goals and 17 helpers in his rookie season, split between the U16 and U18 level.
“I would describe myself as a hard-working defensive defenseman who likes to play a fair but physical type of game and use my big body as much as possible to create time for myself and my teammates to make plays. I never give up on or of the ice and always empty the tank whenever I step on the ice for games and practices.”

After 131 games with the Knights, Pfoestl has gotten to know much of the organization’s coaching staff. Josh Fusco has been his head coach for the past two years, and has had a front row seat for Pfoestl’s junior career.

“I’m very happy for David and his decision,” said Fusco. “Any time a kid leaves to go play NCAA hockey it’s a great feeling of accomplishment all across the board. Having David the past two years and seeing his tremendous improvement with several parts of his game has been a great sight to see. This decision is a great reward for all the hard work that he has been putting in.”
Pfoestl laced up the skates for Fusco’s NA3AHL team in 2016-17, producing at over a point-per game pace with 11 tallies and 26 assists in 36 games on the way to a league championship appearance. In the EHL this past season, the Italian added two more goals and five assists in 40 games played. Beyond the walls of the Revolution Ice Centre, Pfoestl also represented Italy in the World Junior Classic 18j D1B tournament twice, playing in ten games between 15-16 and 16-17.
“Playing in the EHL this past season under coach Fusco not only helped me to develop into a better hockey player, but also into a better person off the ice,” said Pfoestl. “The level of play in the EHL was very high and definitely prepared me to make the next step to play college hockey.”
Pfoestl leaves Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a strong legacy. Over the past two seasons, Pfoestl ranks second among the Knights tier-III defenders in both games played (76) and points (43). It’s a time he holds in high regard.
“Being part of the Knights family over the last 3 years was an honor and a lifetime experience for me,” he said. “While wearing the Knights jersey I made a ton of great experiences and made bonds  that will last a lifetime. The Knights took great care of me when I first moved to the United States from Italy at the age of 15, and always made me feel welcomed throughout my three years in the organization. I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, and everyone else who supported me throughout these years. Especially my family who made a lot of sacrifices for me and also Coach Fusco for believing in my potential and developing me into the player and person I am now.”
The Knights join coach Fusco in their appreciation for David’s contributions to his teams’ success. They wish him all the best in his pursuit of furthering his education and his hockey career!

EHL: Knights Bounce Back to Split Weekend with Oilers

Photo: EHL

On Sunday, the Knights took their second try at besting the Connecticut Oilers following their 4-2 loss Saturday. In round two, it was Connecticut that would provide the game’s first tally. Ryan Brand hammered a shot through Thomas Walker just shy of the halfway point of the first period (Ryan Kheir, Kieran Kennedy).

In their second showdown in as many days, Walker and Olof Djurberg continued their steady play as the pair fended off extended possessions in front of their respective creases. The Knights penalty kill also flexed its discipline as it failed to allow a goal in three first-period chances. At the first 20 minutes’ conclusion, the Oilers would hold a slim lead in a hard-fought first period.

The Knights were quick to draw even to open the second. After Djurberg denied three solid chances from the Knights, a fourth found the stick of Tyler Watungwa in front of the net for the tip-in equalizer. The goal came as a byproduct of assists from William Case and Tyler Nielsen, but was born out of a strong forecheck and puck-movement by all five Knights in the attacking zone.

Though both offenses created solid opportunities throughout the middle frame, it took most of the period for either attack to finish on said chances. At 18:13, Connecticut re-took the lead on Val Serdlov’s third goal of the weekend, set up by Kennedy and Keegan Lewis.

The lead would last all of 97 seconds, as in the final minute of the second period, Nate Chuckran fired a shot on goal that leaked through the pads of Djurberg to even the game once more.

The late-period score paved the way for more Knights momentum in the third. Just over a minute and a half in, Emerson Emery collected a Chuckran feed and pushed it home to provide Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with its first lead of the game.

Connecticut would force a golden opportunity to answer after their heavy play drew two Knights penalties just past the 5:00 point of the period. With 1:46 of 5-on-3 time, The Oilers were kept at bay by Thomas Walker’s heady play in net and the penalty kill’s sound positioning, moving the Knights to a perfect 5/5 shorthanded performance on the afternoon.

The cancellation of both penalties catapulted the Knights into the period’s final minutes with a one-goal lead. With the net empty, the Oilers applied strong pressure down the home stretch, but could not solve Walker, who made 42 saves on the day. When the clock hit zero, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skated off with a 4-2 victory.

The team will next be in action on Saturday, February 24th when the Knights play host to the Philadelphia Junior Flyers. Puck drop is at 3:45 pm EST and the game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com, www.easternhockeyleague.org, and Knights social media on Facebook (WBS Knights Hockey), Twitter (@WBSKnightsEHL), and Instagram (@wbsknights) to stay up to date with the latest news and happenings!

EHL: Knights Drop Game 1 Against Oilers

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

The context of Friday’s match up between the Knights and Oilers saw two teams battling for playoff position as the EHL season winds closer to its finish. Entering play Saturday, the Knights trailed the New York Applecore for fourth in the South Conference while the Oilers had the opportunity to hop the sixth-place Junior Flyer’s after their loss earlier in the day.

The Knights struck first on the evening when Tyler Nielsen found a puck from Rhett Padgett and ripped it past Oilers goalie Olof Djurberg just three minutes into the first.

The Oilers would respond just past the halfway point of the period with numbers even on a 4-on-4. Val Sverdlov kicked off a big performance when he beat Thomas Walker to even the game at one (Zach Withington, Ian Wallgren).

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would counter in the last minute of the period when Cody Rumsey picked up a nifty pass from Tyler Watungwa and flipped it home to give the Knights a 2-1 lead.

The early stages of the second period were dictated by a penalty per side, though neither team could capitalize. Both goalies stopped shorthanded rushes as each penalty-and power play-escaped without allowing a goal.

At 13:53 Sverdlov would even the game once more when his sharp-angle shot navigated its way by Walker off a feed from Ryan Brand. The period wound down with both Walker and Djurberg stoning the opposition and sending the contest to the third with the score gridlocked at two.

In the last stanza, the Oilers finally grabbed their first lead following Peter Capone’s goal at 7:50 (Fabian Zuccarello). The Knights would supply ample pressure in their attempt to tie the game, but Djurberg would prove a wall in net, stopping 15 shots in the third period.

The only glitch in the the Swedish goalie’s performance was disallowed after Bryan Whelan appeared to tie the game not long after Capone’s go-ahead score, only to see it waved off by the officials.

After each team traded an unsuccessful power play in the final 5:35, the Knights pulled Walker for the extra attacker with under a minute to play. Connecticut did well in clogging up neutral ice and in the final seconds, Tyler Lapshanski fired a puck into the open net to seal the 4-2 Oilers win.

The Knights will look to bounce back in a rematch with Connecticut at 12:30 PM EST today. Tune in on hockeytv.com or follow along on twitter @WBSKnightsEHL!

EHL: Knights Top Junior Flyers in Shootout

Photo Credit: Eastern Hockey League

Game three of the Knights busy week pitted the team against the Philadelphia Junior Flyers, the last Mid-Atlantic opponent left unchallenged on their schedule. The Knights took the ice Saturday looking to continue their winning ways following their 5-4 triumph over the Little Flyers the afternoon prior.

The game began with a goal of firsts: Chris Petrone worked his behind the defense on a stretch pass from Sam Morris, set up by David Tremblay. Petrone bested Junior Flyers netminder Dakota Delbridge to score his first goal, and record the first EHL assists for Morris and Tremblay.

After carrying play for a good portion of the first,  the Knights stalled in their effort to overcome their first penalty of the game. Gianni Dini put a shot past Knights netminder Thomas Walker on the man-advantage, set up by Dennis Ruppe and Brian Seybold at 12:48.

The Knights would redeem the miscue at 17:19 when Anthony Starzi potted the Knights first power play goal of the evening and the team’s fourth such tally in the prior two games (Rhett Padgett, Nick Peck). Nick Peck’s secondary assist grew his assist streak to three games.

In a middle period anchored by steady play from Delbridge and Walker, Anthony Starzi struck again, this time shorthanded, coming off the helper of Tyler Nielsen to build a seemingly, sizeable 3-1 advantage. At any level of hockey, two-goal leads are far from final.

The Junior Flyers awoke in the third period, cutting their deficit to one at the 6:52 mark when Nicholas Harris fired Philadelphia’s second power play goal of the contest by Walker on apples from Drew Platt and Nate Chuckran.

Chuckran would strike again-a third time for the Junior Flyers power play-in the game’s final 66 seconds (Platt, Dini). The goal came while the Knights were shorthanded and following the Philadelphia’s exchange of their goalie for an extra attacker.

The fireworks were far from finished as a penalty taken by the Junior Flyers with 40 seconds left Delbridge with several quality Wilkes-Barre/Scranton chances to fend off. In the limited time left in regulation, Delbridge efforts forced the Knights to overtime for the second time this season.

Entering extra play, each team had won one prior game that went beyond 60 minutes. The Junior Flyers had won their second game of the EHL Showcase in a shootout over the New Hampshire Avalanche. The Knights bested the New York Bobcats Royals in overtime at the end of September.

In this latest instance, goaltending stole the OT show. The period began with the Knights sending several strong shots at Delbridge, but the ’97 goaltender stood tall and answered each one. Following the expiration of the Knights power play, the Junior Flyers flipped the ice. Following a sprawling save made in one end by Delbridge, Thomas Walker, facing Philadelphia with numbers on the rush, responded with one of his own. Following five minutes of pitched overtime play, each team readied for a shootout.

Each goaltender saw and stopped the top three of the other’s shootout lineup. It was in the fourth round that Tyler Nielsen ripped a shot through Delbridge to give his team the lead. Needing one save to seal a win, Walker stared down and closed the pads on the Junior Flyers final offering, ending the contest. His steady play throughout the evening anchored the Knights to their and his second-straight win.

The teams will meet again today at 2:00 pm to close out the weekend. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL and easternhockeyleague.com for live updates!

WBS Knights Pre-Draft Camp Preview

With both the NAHL and EHL having concluded their 2016-17 seasons, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights are focused on building their rosters for 2017-18. With Pre-Draft Camp set to begin Friday and end Sunday, this weekend will be the organization’s first look at a group of prospects hoping to join the Knights program fielding NAHL and EHL rosters in 2017-18.

“This is a big weekend for us,” said Knights NAHL Head Coach and GM Tom Kowal. “We’ve been busy scouting and tendering future players for months, but that only gives us an idea of what part of the roster will look like. The next three days will give more players a chance to prove that they belong here too.”

The three day camp allows prospects the opportunity to distinguish themselves in front of Knights staff who are preparing to build two teams over the coming months.

“We’re in search of guys who are not only talented, but who possess the grit and character to play through the grind of a season of junior hockey,” said Knights NAHL assistant coach and EHL Head Coach Josh Fusco. “We play 48 games in the EHL in the regular season alone. The NAHL plays 60 before their postseason. Either way, that’s a serious commitment.”

With the NAHL Entry Draft just three weeks away, an open camp scheduled for June, and Main Camp scheduled for July, this is a prime opportunity for potential players to familiarize themselves with how the Knights organization operates.

“Our main goal has and will continue to be getting our players ready for college and higher levels of hockey,” said Kowal. “A great way to do that is by building winning hockey teams. Hosting camps is a great way to measure players of different ages and skill sets. It gives the participants an idea of where they’re at as a player, where they can improve, and how we can help them do that. It’s a growing process for them as developing players.”

Now in full swing, the offseason looks to be as promising as it is crucial for the Knights as each day brings them closer to 2017-18. They’re excited to get to work.

 

Knights News: Nine Knights named to NA3AHL All-Star Game

Last week the NA3AHL tapped Knights NA3AHL head coach and NAHL assistant coach Josh Fusco as one of its All-Star Game’s head coaches. The game will be played on December 9th at 5 pm at the Ice Works Skating Complex in Aston, Pennsylvania. Coach Fusco will coach Team Black who will play Team Red. This week rosters have been revealed and many Knights had their names called:

Knights NA3AHL 2016-17 All Stars:

Team Red:

Jake Fuss, 21 GP, 42-48-90

Rhett Padgett, 22 GP, 3-17-20

Team Black (Coached by Josh Fusco):
Josh Kim, 22 GP, 42-36-78
 Hendrick Simard, 22 GP 21-22-43
Zach Gielarowski, 16 GP, 9-13-22
David Pfoestl, 20 GP, 6-16-22
Troy Smith, 16 GP,  12-7-19
Josh Edwards, 20 GP, 6-6-12
Goalie:
Christian Pellegrino, 22 GP, 2.87 GAA, 323/366, .883 sv%
Selected Alternates (honorable mention):
Sam Morris, 20 GP, 9-11-20
Matt Proski, 20 GP, 5-13-18
The staff of the Knights organization would like to congratulate all selected all-stars and alternates, in addition to coach Fusco for the Knights success thus far this season and well-earned recognition!