Tag Archives: Tom Kowal

Knights top the Nordiques, 3-1

LEWISTON, Maine – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights topped the Maine Nordiques, 3-1, in a road matchup at Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Tuesday, November 26.

The Knights’ record in regular season play improves to 12-10-2-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL) with the win.

Shots were almost even throughout the first period, with the Nordiques leading 13-12. The first period ended with a goal for Maine with 3:21 left in the frame, giving them a 1-0 lead entering the second period.

The Knights responded with two goals in the second period to take the lead, and they would keep it for the rest of the game.

Mike Manzo struck first at 9:49 to tie the game, 1-1, with assists from  Brian Smith and Jordan Strand.

1 minute and eight seconds later, Johnny Kaljian scored to put the Knights ahead, 2-1. Anthony Mastromonica tallied an assist on the second Knights goal.

Once again, shots in the second period were close, with the Knights outshooting the Nordiques 17-16.

Zak Currie‘s goal with 9:34 remaining in the third period sealed the 3-1 victory for the Knights, with Lincoln Hatten and Artur Turansky tallying assists.

Zach Stejskal played a full game in net and recorded 40 saves.

“We struggled a bit to find our legs in the first period, but we were able to reset and refocus during the intermission,” said Head Coach Tom Kowal. “After that, I thought we put together two good periods of hockey.”

The Knights return to action Wednesday, November 27, for a 2pm rematch against the Maine Nordiques at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

 

The Knights top the Nordiques, 4-1

DANBURY, Conn. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights topped the Maine Nordiques, 4-1, in the NAPHL Showcase on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Danbury Ice Arena.

The Knights’ record in regular season play is now 10-10-1-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL).

“We played a complete hockey game tonight,” said Head Coach Tom Kowal. “Every player played a part in the team earning two points and a win.”

The first period came and went without a goal from either team, however the Knights fought off three power play opportunities for the Nordiques to keep the game scoreless.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton dominated the second period and captured a three-goal lead.

Zak Currie put the Knights on the board with a power play goal at 15:38 of the middle frame, with an assist from Egor Postnov.

Four minutes and 42 seconds later,  Jordan Strand extended the Knights’ lead to 2-0. His goal was assisted by Currie and Lincoln Hatten.

To wrap up the second period, Currie recorded his second goal of the game and third point of the night to tally the third Knights’ goal, unassisted, with 4:34 remaining.

The Nordiques managed to score at 10:26 of the third period, however they could not overcome the deficit that the Knights generated going into the final frame.

Ultimately, an empty net goal from Spencer Evans sealed the 4-1 victory for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

“The team got back to the basics of finishing checks and being a tough team to play against, and it worked out for them,” said Kowal.

Zach Stejskal played a full game in net and led his team to victory.

The Knights return to action on Friday, Nov. 22 as they host the Jamestown Rebels.

 

Knights top Black Bears in overtime, 5-4

ODENTON, Maryland — The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights emerged with a 5-4 overtime victory against the Maryland Black Bears on Friday, October 25th at Piney Orchard Ice Arena.

The victory improves the Knight’s regular season record to 8-6-0-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL).

“Ultimately, we battled through a high-scoring game and our chemistry as a team came together when it counted,” said Knights Head Coach, Tom Kowal. “Any win on the road against Eastern Division teams is great for us.”

Despite multiple scoring opportunities for both teams, the first period came and went without a goal scored for the Knights or the Black Bears.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton battled through two penalty-kills in the first frame, and ultimately could not capitalize on the power play when Maryland’s Thomas Jarman was penalized for interference. At the conclusion of the first period, the Knights led the Black Bears in shots, 10-8.

Maryland was the first to take the lead at 8:57 of the middle frame,  but the Knights responded swiftly, 3:23 later, as Beck Moore netted his first goal of the season. The goal came shorthanded and assisted by Trevor Scherer, with 9:40 remaining in the second period, knotting the score at one apiece.

Maryland ended the second period on top with a 2-1 lead, pulling ahead with 2:59 to go.

The third period action exploded in a procession of five goals. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton responded to an early third period goal from Maryland with three consecutive goals.

Zak Currie started the scoring frenzy at 8:52 of the frame, netting the second Knights goal on the power play with an assist from Nikita Asylaev and Caydon Meyer.

With 6:58 to go, Jordan Strand tallied the Knights’ second power play goal of the night to tie the game, 3-3. Meyer and Johnny Kaljian were credited with assists on the goal.

Liam Haslam gave the Knights its first lead of the game with 3:39 remaining, with assists from Strand and Christopher Rubenach.

However, a final rally from Maryland resulted in a game-tying goal with 10 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

It only took 67 seconds and one shot to decide the outcome of the game. A power play opportunity resulted in a dominant Knights performance in the offensive zone, as Lincoln Hatten scored his 11th goal of the season to win the game in overtime, with assists from Kaljian and Tyrone Bronte.

“Our special teams had a huge impact on the final score by putting up three power play goals and a short handed goal as well,” said Kowal. “Contey’s performance in net was amazing; his play gave us the opportunity to win in the end.”

Contey played a full game in net and recorded 24 saves in the Knights’ victory.

Wilkes-Barre Scranton and Maryland will meet again at 7:45pm tomorrow, October 26th, at Piney Orchard Ice Arena to round out the weekend.

Fuss To Play D3 Hockey at New England

He was one of the most dominant players in tier III hockey, and now Jake Fuss gets an opportunity to take his talents to the NCAA Division III level, with the forward committing to the University of New England.

“The campus is beautiful and the coaching staff were welcoming and approachable during this process,” said Fuss on making his decision. “I really see myself enjoying the next four years there.”

Fuss, 20, spent his final junior season with the NAHL Knights. That was earned by an outstanding performance in the tier III level of junior hockey. Fuss first came to the Knights when the organization had an NA3AHL team during the 2016-17 season. In just 33 games, he went on a pace that can only be found otherwise on a video game, piling up 65 goals and 64 assists for a tier III record-129 points. He followed with 67 points in 41 games the next season before earning his shot on the NAHL roster.

” We as a staff felt Jake deserved his shot in the North American Hockey League,” said General Manager and Head Coach Tom Kowal. ” He played some games with us before this year, but his stats tell the story. He’s a highly skilled player who can be an asset to any team he plays for. We were fortunate he spent three years with us, and now it’s time for Jake to be an asset for the University of New England over the next four years.”

Nobody can dispute that Fuss made contributions in the second half of the 2018-19 season that helped the Knights improve as an entire team and subsequently keep their playoff hopes alive right until the very end. The Fairfield, CT native notched 18 goals in the second half alone and became the sixth player in NAHL Knights’ history to record a 20 goal season. He finished the campaign with 28 points in his last 29 games.

Number 11 now heads to the University of New England, joining the Nor’easters this fall. Though his story with the Knights has come to an end, Fuss will not forget his time in gray and blue, and thanks the ones who helped him throughout.

“I have to give a big thank you to the Edwards and Mahaffey families,” said Fuss.  “They really welcomed me to their homes and treated me like one of their kids. The coaching staff really helped me develop over the past three years to become a better hockey player and person off the ice. Every practice and film session we did really helped prepare me for the weekend and ultimately make me a better player as the season went on. I would also like to say thank you to Josh Fusco. He really believed in me and helped me get to where I am today. Paul Celona (athletic trainer) was absolutely the best. He took care of me for the three years and I can’t thank the guy enough.”

“Being a Knight was special. I made a lot of life long friends, and I wish the organization nothing but the best .”

NAHL: Seven Knights Named To Top Prospects Tournament

On Monday afternoon, the NAHL announced the rosters for its annual top prospects tournament. Seven of the Knights players made the cut, tied for the second-highest mark in the league, with NAHL Head Coach Tom Kowal being named as assistant to the East Division’s team. That team will carry four Knights players while the at large  White team will have three.

“Our purpose has always been preparing and helping our players onto the next level of hockey,” said Kowal. “Sending seven guys this year feels good. It says a lot about the hard work and talent each of them brings to the rink every day, and it gives us an opportunity to showcase them to college and professional scouts. At the same time it provides a nice incentive to the rest of our guys who are eligible next year as well.”

Team East Division (Orange Color):
#2, Tom Farrell, Defenseman, 3-13-16, 40 GP:

Farrell is the Knights leading point-scorer along the blue line and has secured his place as a regular starter atop the team’s defensive pairs.

“Tom has walked into this organization and has proved to be every bit the player we hoped he was when he tendered with us last year,” said Kowal. “He brings great energy both on the ice and in our dressing room. His top-level skating makes him a really good puck-mover. He has really helped spark our offense this year while also being a steady player on our end of the ice.”

#11 Curtis Carlson, Forward, 15-13-28, 41 GP:

The Knights captain has been an asset to the team this season, using his rare speed to be a threat in all situations. The ‘97 has been present in all phases, particularly on special teams. Carlson leads the Knights, scoring five goals and four assists between the power play and penalty kill.

“Curtis is a guy who’s been here dating back a few years now, and it’s impressive how he continues to make strides as a player,” said Kowal. “His speed is obvious, but he’s a savvy veteran. His work ethic translates both on and off the ice and is a big reason why he’s developed into one of our best players. He’s our captain because he leads by example. He leaves it all on the ice.”

#12 Mike Morrissey, Forward, 9-11-20, 42 GP:

One of the Knights most tenured players is Bethlehem, PA native, Mike Morrissey. He’ll be heading to his first Top Prospects Tournament after putting together an impressive 42 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this year.

“Mike Morrissey is a tone-setter,” said Kowal. “He’s a guy who plays with a lot of grit-he takes the blood and sweat part of playing hockey literally-and when we need a big shift or faceoff win, we’re comfortable calling his number. He’s a really smart center who’s worked his bag off to be one our most versatile players.”

#16 Matt Kidney, Forward, 13-24-37, 42 GP:

After leading the team in scoring last year, Kidney finds himself in a familiar position, tied atop the points list with Knights rookie phenom Jack Olmstead through just over two-thirds of the season. The 2018 tournament marks his second trip as an NAHL top prospect.

“We made Matt Kidney our first-round pick in 2016 because of what he brings with to the ice with his hockey sense,” recalled Kowal. “He’s a guy who gets our offense going. He’s quick, he’s got good hands and a knack to find the puck and create chances. He’s not the biggest guy, but he brings a good compete level to the game.”

Team Selects-White:

#7 Adrian Danchenko, Forward, 9-13-22, 36 GP:

Still one of the younger players on the Knights roster, Adrian Danchenko is one of the Knights more tenured players dating back to his 16U days. The dekes and dangles he’s compiled in his time with the program dot highlight reels, but he brings a well-rounded game to any roster.

“Adrian is a ‘99 who’s still just scratching the surface,” said Kowal. “He’s improved every year we’ve had him. He’s been a constant for us this season. He can grind out tough shifts but also pull off some truly special plays. He’s been a threat no matter who his line mates are or what the in-game situation is.”

#27 Luke Robinson, Defenseman, 0-14-14, 37 GP:

After playing in one game with the Knights last season, Luke Robinson returned full time to establish himself among the Knights talented group of defensemen.

“As a 2000, Luke has shown us a lot,” said Kowal. “He’s a big guy who’s steady for us in our own zone, but he’s done a nice job continuing to develop his offensive game. He’s distributing the puck well and consistently making smart plays. He’s added another reliable member to our blue line.

#28 Justin Engelkes, Forward, 8-8-16, 37 GP:

As a 17-year old, Justin Engelkes has broken into the NAHL with a solid rookie campaign. The forward was the Knights second-round draft pick and has already committed to the Miami University of Ohio.

“Justin has established himself as a two-way player who has the necessary toughness to play in this league and beyond,” said his head coach. “I think he’s come along nicely. He’s got good size and likes to go to work down low and on the boards. He’s a guy that’s tough to move off the puck, and he’s shown us the ability to score as well. He’s got even more to offer and it’s exciting to see him unlock his game.”

From NAHL.com

The number of players each NAHL team is sending to the tournament, in which four teams from the four NAHL divisions: Central, East, Midwest and South and two NAHL Selects teams, will each play in two game games, was based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of February 5, 2018.
One of the things the NAHL does better than any other junior league is seeing their players earn an NCAA opportunity while playing and being showcased in the NAHL.

To date, 153 players have already made NCAA Division I commitments during the 2017-18 season. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament plays a big role in that success, with over half of the players who played in last year’s Top Prospects Tournament, earning an NCAA Division I opportunity following their participation in the event. The event continues to provide the hundreds of NHL and NCAA scouts in attendance with a look at the best uncommitted players the NAHL has to offer, as well as, some potential NHL Draft picks.

2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament Schedule (subject to change, all times eastern)

Tuesday, February 27th
1:00pm: Midwest Division vs. NAHL Selects Red
4:00pm: South Division vs. East Division
7:00pm: Central Division vs. NAHL Selects White

Wednesday, February 28th
11:00am: NAHL Selects Red vs. South Division
2:00pm: Central Division vs. Midwest Division
5:00pm: NAHL Selects White vs. East Division

Can’t make the game? Catch your Knights on www.hockeytv.com where each game will be available via live broadcast! Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and Knights social media-Facebook: WBS Knights Hockey, Twitter: @WBSKnights-for all Knights Top Prospect Tournament Updates!