Tag Archives: Tyler Nielsen

Preview: As they Arrive in Blaine, Veterans Look to Lead Knights to New Heights

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

The Knights opened their regular season this past weekend with a pair of contests against the Johnstown Tomahawks. Neither game went the way the team wanted, but the experience each game provided will serve the team well moving forward.

According to eliteprospects.com, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s roster is the youngest the NAHL when considering the average age of their players. Of the 25 that make up their team, six made their junior hockey debut last weekend. Another six have played in 20 games or less, meaning all would be “rookies,” by NHL standards. In stark contrast, the other half of the roster has combined to play a staggering 947 games in junior hockey. Many of these veterans nearly tasted Robertson Cup glory and few months ago. They’re eager to not only go back, but to bring their young teammates with them.

“You want to be a leader,” said defenseman Luke Robinson. “You want to fill the leadership role. It’s definitely an adjustment period. There’s some younger players with us this year. I can relate to what they’re going through. In practice if they have a bad pass or if they’re nervous going into a drill, I can kind of just talk to them and say ‘Hey, I was in the same situation and I was nervous doing that also. Just work through it and it’ll work out. There’s a reason you’re here-you’re talented enough to be here.’”

Robinson was third on the blue line last year, picking up a goal and 16 points in his first full season with the Knights.

”I want to be some one they can look to. I want to make sure that when I’m on the ice, I’m doing the right things so they pick up on that and realize how to be successful at this league, or how to work your way up the lineup, you have to be doing these things. Working out, stretching, warming up, taking shots after practice, things like that. I want to be that  leader, someone they can look up to, just being a good example.”

Robinson is joined by fellow right-hander Shay Donovan on the blue line, whose resume includes 105 games played in the NAHL.

“Yea I plan on it,” said Donovan on stepping into the role of a leader. “I plan on setting a tone early on, leading the young guys, showing them how you prepare for the season, how you handle yourself in the weight room, on the ice, however that may be. The older you get, the more games you have played and the more that becomes important.”

Lincoln Hatten is a 2000-born forward with more than just a powerful build. In his first season, the forward would join fellow rookies in becoming a catalyst for last year’s postseason run. The Texas-native scored a goal in the semi-finals against the eventual Robertson Cup Champion Shreveport Mudbugs.

“We just have to stay focused throughout the season,” said Hatten. “The grind never stops. You’re going, going, and going, but I think when we got to the Robertson Cup last year, we kind of took our eye off the prize a bit. We sat back that first game we were there and they brought it to us. We just gotta keep our foot on the gas pedal, keep moving forward, keep doing what we’re doing and get there. I think this year, being there last year, all the vets have thoughts in their heads about going back, things to differently so we help ensure that we can get it done.”

As far as the advice he offers to those following in his footsteps, Hatten refers them to his coach’s message for guidance.

“I tell them to listen to TK on the ice,” he said. “He just keeps repeating to stay mentally tough. It’s a mental sport. If you let a kid get in your head, like if you’re on the boards as a winger you can’t the puck out, and if you let that start affecting you, you’re not going to get the job done. Just staying mentally strong, just working hard every shift, making sure you get the fine details-making sure you get every little thing done right, that’s how you become successful.”

On a similar note, Robinson stressed that harnessing adrenaline and the mental aspect of the game is crucial to a fast start.

“Honestly, I think it’s feeling those nerves and use that to your advantage on your first shift,” said Robinson. “Just feel nervous, go out and move your legs, get a hit, get a shot on goal, just kamikaze it. Just know there’s a reason you’re here, you should be confident in that, and go play your game.”

“I think the biggest thing, looking around the division, not knowing what everyone else has coming back, but I’d say experience is going to be our biggest asset,” said Donovan. “Just having four guys who are veterans back, that makes a huge difference in bringing the young guys along. It helps everyone grow up really fast. Just heading into games, everyone is so much more experienced. I think we have a lot of skill as well, especially from our draft picks. We added some size and skill, some guys who can really skate with it. I think something that we’re really going to have to work on a bit is the physical aspect of the game. It’s something hopefully us older guys can show the younger guys. TK always stresses clearing the front of the net, being tough in our own end, getting pucks up-we have some really good forwards to go along with it.”

“I’m excited to see what we have in store,” said Hatten. “Practices have been great, high-tempo, a lot of body, and just a lot of grit down in the corners. We’ve put a lot of hard work in.”

“I’m gonna bring the same style, focus more on scoring  goals this year, and getting in a few opponents’ heads,” said Gabe Temple, the team’s newest captain. “I just want to help lead the team back to the Robertson Cup playoffs and hopefully win this year,”

KNIGHTS BLAINE ROSTER:

Forwards:
#9 Zak Currie, RHF
#10 Beck Moore, LHF
#11 Jake Fuss, LHF
#15 Lincoln Hatten, RHF
#16 Sacha Guillemain, RHF
#17 Anthony Starzi, RHF
#19 Jason Stachelbeck, RHF
#22 Gabe Temple, RHF
#23 Mathew Kahra, LHF
#24 Tyler Nielsen, RHF
#25 Brett Postula, LHF
#26 Jacob Badal, LHF
#28 Jeffrey Bertrand, RHF
#29 Will Otwell, RHF

Defensemen:
#2 Greg Japchen, LHD
#4 Davis Pennington, LHD
#8 Blake Krkyska, LHD
#12 Evan Orr, LHD
#14 Joey Verkerke, RHD
#20 Shay Donovan, RHD
#21 Jordan Strand, RHD
#27 Luke Robinson, RHD

Goalies:
#1 Samuel Vyletelka
#35 Zach Stejskal

  • Notes:
    “I think our speed,” said Donvan of what he felt is his team’s most impressive skillset. “To make this team-I think everyone skates really well. I think as a d-corps we skate really well, and that’ll help transition the play up to the forwards. If we can play fast in transition, we should be the fastest team in our division. I think that’d really help us and that’s something that TK and Whitey really look for.”

 

  • “Our ability to transition,” Robinson agreed. “Being able to join the rush, to make it instead of a 3-on-2, a 4-on-2 and just have the confidence that we can even get back if we have a turnover and cover for d. We have guys who are very good skaters on the blue line. If we can beat that first forechecker as a defenseman and move it to an open guy, head-man the puck, we can hopefully join the rush.”

 

  • The Knights most experienced tender from last year is also one of their youngest, as Alaskan standout Jeff Bertrand returns in 2018-19. The future Nittany Lion cut his teeth in the NAHL in the best possible way, playing in a handful of regular season games before joining the roster for the entirety of the 2018 playoffs. The big right-handed shot scored his first goal with the Knights against the then-named Philadelphia Rebels en route to the Knights sweep of one of their arch rivals last postseason. This year, Bertrand scored the Knights first goal of the season on their first shot in their home opener Friday.

 

  • Jacob Badal is one of the few players younger than Bertrand on the Knights roster this season. He scored his first goal of junior hockey on Saturday night against Johnstown on a sharp-angle snipe.

 

  • Three graduates of the Knights EHL roster combined for a goal on Friday. Anthony Starzi and Jake Fuss fed Tyler Nielsen for his first goal of the season.

 

  • Zach Stejskal, the Knights most recent first-round pick, comes to the team following a year in the USHL with the Central Illinois Flying Aces. From the moment he steps on the ice, Stejskal can’t be missed. The hulking netminder stands at 6-5 but moved with the quickness of a smaller goalie at Knights main camp. The team is excited about the Minnesota-native’s arrival.

 

  • “He just has a great mentality in net. It’s the type of mentality you need in net to say ‘Screw this I’m not getting scored on’ type of mentality. He’s super calm-no freak outs-he’s always supportive of his guys, and he’s got some really good experience to go along with that.”

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!

 

 

Knights Storm Back to OT Win Against Northeast

Round two of three saw Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head back to the New England Sports Village to take a second try at besting the Northeast Generals. Coming off a 3-1 loss the night prior, the Knights were in search of a spark to stay ahead of a Northeast team just two points behind them in the NAHL’s East division. They would have to do so shorthanded as a plague of injuries have ravaged the Knights blue line of late, the most recent leaving the team to dress only four defensemen on Saturday. Even with an extra forward in Tyler Nielsen suited up for the game, the team could only field 17 skaters.

Adjustments started from the net out for both sides, as David Tomeo and Marko Sturma took the places of Christian Stoever and David Fessenden from the night before. The pair were lights out from the opening puck drop. A sleepy start saw just 11 shots on goal combined through the opening 20 minutes of play.

The second period brought with it a different tone. Both forechecks awoke, as the combined shot total nearly tripled, rising from 11 to 40 after 40 minutes. In between the horns in the second, Sturma and Tomeo both answered the uptick in shots perfectly. Neither netminder allowed a goal, while both offenses, though active, struggled to stand on pucks for extended shifts in the attacking zone.

Most impressive for the Knights in the frame was their ability to negate penalties despite being so affected by injury. The Generals were held 0-3 in the period on the man-advantage (with one that largely took place at the end of the first, bridging 12 seconds into the second). Northeast put on a late surge that very nearly resulted in their first goal, but they were again kept at bay by Tomeo.

In the third, the dam finally broke. At 8:45, Matt Demelis fired down the right wing, and under duress, tucked a puck in between Tomeo and the far post, breaking the scoring drought of nearly 50 minutes. Pat Harrington collected the lone assist on the tally.

The Knights response came just under two minutes later. Joey Verkerke wrapped a puck in deep from neutral ice. The spinning biscuit found its way to Reed Robinson in the corner. His attempted pass to Curtis Carlson behind the net kicked off the back of a Generals skate, pin-balling perfectly to an open Tyler Nielsen. From the left side of the slot, the Knights affiliate forward ripped his first NAHL goal past Sturma to even the game at one.

The standings neighbors engaged in transitional warfare up and down the ice for the remainder of regulation. Tomeo blanked a streaking breakaway for the Generals while Sturma stoned Kidney on one for the Knights. The teams almost looked surprised to hear the horn sound on the third as the Generals even finished a check through the whistle.

In three-on-three overtime, both teams were quick to create, with Northeast pushing a 2-on-1 rush at Tomeo in the first two minutes. They were thwarted by a diving Verkerke in front, allowing his goalie to quickly collect and clear the loose puck down the ice.

On a seemingly innocent Northeast turnover in front of the Knights net, Curtis Carlson looped wide and shot up the sheet. Despite being 63 minutes into a contest in which his team was short a skater, Carlson erupted through every zone beating all three Generals back to the net. On in his way in, Carlson executed a quick lift and drift in front, pulling Sturma forward onto his stomach, allowing the Knights captain the space to put home the back-handed dagger.

The win was among the grittiest of the Knights season, and their two points to the Generals one moves Wilkes-Barre/Scranton into a three-point lead for the third seed in the East. Tomorrow’s rubber match at the New England Sports Village will take place at 12:00 PM EST. Tune in on www.hockeytv.com and stay tuned to Knights social media for updates!

EHL: Nimeh’s Late Goal Drives Knights to Victory

(Photo: EHL)

Still chasing fourth place in the South Conference through the final weeks of the 2017-18 regular season, the Knights entered their lone game of the weekend just four points behind their future playoff opponent, the New York Applecore. With New York idle until Monday, the Knights Saturday contest against the Junior Flyers provided an opportunity to climb another step closer to home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stormed out to an early advantage Saturday, dictating the early pace of play. In a period they out-shot Philadelphia 18-9, the Knights built an early 2-0 lead via goals from Tyler Nielsen at 8:58 and Nate Chuckran at 11:26.

Nielsen’s tally was a breakaway set up by Tyler Watungwa and Rhett Padgett in which Nielsen bested Junior Flyers goalie Garrett Stenberg for the 1-0 lead. Chuckran followed suit on a power play several minutes later when Emerson Emery found him alone in front of Stenberg for the quick score.

The Knights appeared to be destined for a 2-0 lead after one, but with 42 seconds left in the first, the Junior Flyers nabbed a late-period strike to halve the deficit. Connor Lenaghan beat Knights goalie Thomas Walker on a scramble around the net created by Billy McDevitt and Drew Platt.

When play picked up again in the second, it was Philadelphia building off the momentum of their score in the first. The Junior Flyers flipped the script, out-shooting the Knights 10-6 and nullifying each of their chances. For their part, the Knights would withstand Philadelphia’s attack for 19 of the second period’s 20 minutes. It would be yet another final-minute goal that would tie the contest. Nick Kiemel rallied the Junior Flyers to their second goal of the afternoon off feeds from Adrian Martinez and Gianni Dini.

Renewed push from both sides saw an uptick in physicality in the third. Each side traded an unsuccessful power play, while Walker and Stenberg stayed steady to keep the score locked at two. With overtime nearly a forgone conclusion, the Knights prepared a final push to close the period. They were rewarded just shy of the 19:00 mark when Jake Nimeh ripped home his sixth goal of the season, with assists coming from Bryan Whelan and Austin Weber.

With a minute remaining, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shut down the Junior Flyers last-ditch efforts to secure the 3-2 victory. The win pulls the Knights within two points of fourth place in the South Conference with two games to play in the regular season. The Knights will next take the ice at home against the Philadelphia Revolution on Friday March, 2nd at 4:00 PM EST. Stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com and easternhockeyleague.org for all news and updates as the Knights prepare for their playoff push!

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!

Knights Blank Bobcats-Royals, Roll to Series Sweep

Friday afternoon kicked off the Knights and Bobcats third meeting of the past two weeks. Winners of the last two exchanges by a combined score of 12-0, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton looked to keep rolling into a three-game weekend.

The game began with the Knights controlling the pace of play. Just shy of the 4:00 marker, Nick Peck flipped a puck to Bryan Whelan, who found Anthony Starzi in front of the net. Starzi pushed his 23rd goal of the season past New York goalie Tyler Shugrue for the opening tally.

A wave of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton chances would continue to bolster a steady forecheck in the first. An 18-shot frame would be capped off by JP Natishan’s snipe at 14:26 off passing from Austin Weber and Jake Nimeh.

In the second, the tempo again belonged to the Knights offense, as the team more than doubled its shot count from the first. Anthony Starzi repaid Bryan Whelan the favor from the first, with the former finding the latter for the 3-0 lead at 8:29. Matt Proski picked up the secondary helper on the goal.

Tyler Shugrue did his part to limit the damage thereafter, but at 16:10 the dam broke open. At 16:10, Tyler Nielsen ripped a rebound past Shugrue for the forward’s 14th tally of the season (Peck, Starzi). Josh Edwards found his first goal of the year exactly one minute later off of a rebound from Matt Proski  set up by a David Pfoestl assist.

Pfoestl decided to join the scoring parade 45 seconds later, when he carried the puck over the blue line, dropped it back to Proski, and then put Proski’s ensuing rebound by for the 6-0 advantage. Cole Wenner was credited with the secondary helper on the score.

In the third, Nate Chuckran tacked on goal number seven, coming off of assists by Tyler Watungwa and Zach Ouladelhadjahmed, putting the contest’s scoring to rest.

At the final horn, the Knights came away with both a 7-0 victory and a series sweep of the Bobcats Royals. The win also brings the Knights back to .500 and keeps them within two points of the New York Applecore for the 4th seed in the South Conference.

Jared Stahel’s steady play between the pipes earned him his third shutout of the season, his second in his last five starts.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will look to keep the momentum going with a road contest today against the Walpole Express at 4:50 PM EST. Tune in on HockeyTV.com and follow @WBSKnightsEHL on Twitter for in-game updates!

Fuss Scores 100th Career Goal as Knights Win Slugfest with Applecore

Saturday’s meeting of the Knights and Applecore brought with it plenty of EHL playoffs implications. After each team lost their first contest of the week, the onus was placed on this weekend’s two-game series to influence the 4th and 5th seeding in the South conference.

After a stint in the NAHL with the Philadelphia Rebels, Anthony Starzi returned to the Knights Saturday. Also back was Nate Chuckran, returning after serving a one-game suspension for butt-ending.

The offense, rolling since mid-December, saw early benefits from Starzi’s return when the lightning-fast forward collected his own rebound and fired it past Applecore’s netminder Mark Siegel 17:26 into the first period (Jake Fuss, Emerson Emery).

Riding the momentum into the middle period, Jake Fuss kicked off a dominant stanza for the Knights with a milestone. Just prior to the 3:43 marker, Bryan Whelan and Tyler Nielsen pushed a puck to the net front, where through a scrum, Fuss willed the puck over the goal line. The score marked his 100th goal with the Knights program, a monumental achievement for one of the organization’s hardest-working players.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would go on to control a good portion of the period, taking 12 shots and generating their fair share of high-quality chances. Tyler Nielsen would add his 13th goal of the season at 8:39, set up by Cody Rumsey and Tyler Watungwa, building a 3-0 lead.

Matthew Boring snapped the Knights momentum at 15:20, when the Kings Park, NY native powered his 18th goal by Knights starter Thomas Walker (Connor Woolley, Chaz Rometty).

The pendulum swung swiftly to Applecore’s attack, as New York came out in the third with a blistering pace. Brendan Conway and Mark Revniaga would set up Brandon Napoli to cut the lead to one just prior to the 2:00 mark of the period.

Applecore would draw even with their third-straight goal at 6:26, when Brett Reed fed Tanner Dalton on a successful 2-on-1. Brandon Napoli picked up the secondary assist on the score.

The Knights responded at 12:51 when Denys Arkhypenko generated a healthy rebound in front of Siegel that was buried by Emerson Emery for his third goal of the year.

Starzi set up Bryan Whelan less than 30 seconds later to build the Knights a two-goal lead. The Applecore didn’t blink, as Boring picked up his second goal of the night, set up by Logan Scarlotta and Ben Freatman just over a minute later.

New York pushed hard on the Knights backcheck and Thomas Walker in the final minutes including over thirty seconds with the reinforcement of an extra attacker. Walker stood on his head to seal the contest for the Knights, who skated away with the 5-4 win. The victory puts them just one point behind Applecore for fourth place in the conference.

The pair will meet again tomorrow for the finale of the two-game series at 9:30 am EST! Tune in at HockeyTV.com or follow @WBSKnightsEHL and easternhockeyleague.org for in-game updates!

Weekend Recap: Knights Roll to Weekend Sweep of Bobcats Royals

Photo: Jessica Kovalcin

Heading into a Saturday-Sunday series in Long Island, the Knights looked to extend their winning ways that can trace their roots back to mid-December. Winners of seven of their last eight games, the Knights hit the ground running Saturday night.

In what could be considered their most-disciplined win of the season, the Knights were kick-started by Denys Arkhypenko, who scored the opening tally at the 16:00 mark of the first period (Emerson Emery). In a period that they out-shot New York 17-5, the Knights entered the first intermission with momentum, but the scoring was kept in check by the steady play of New York netminder, Timothy Carpenter.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s heavy presence in the attacking zone would not relent in the second. Two early New York penalties would allow the forecheck to get off to a quick start. Though both power plays would be killed off, the pressure would not relent, finally giving way to Bryan Whelan at 8:44. The forward would strike against his former team off assists from Austin Weber and Jake Fuss.

Nick Peck would keep the momentum rolling with his seventh goal of the season at 14:13 (Zach Ouladelhadjahmed, Rhett Padgett). The team’s fourth score was tallied with 24 seconds left in the period, when Cody Rumsey and Tyler Watungwa set up JP Natishan for the 4-0 lead.

In the third, the Knights power play would put the game to bed. Austin Weber struck just past the three minute mark (Arkhypenko, Emery), followed by Tyler Watungwa, set up by Emery’s third assist of the game, and William Case’s secondary.

At the final horn, the Knights would skate away with a 6-0 win, capped off by Thomas Walker’s 16-for-16 performance between the pipes, his first shutout of the season.

In game two, the rematch saw an earlier start but a parallel finish. The Knights struck first on the afternoon after Rhett Padgett buried a shot from the blue line, extending his point streak to four games (Austin Weber, Jake Nimeh). Tyler Shugrue did his part in net for the Bobcats Royals, facing 23 shots in the first period alone, saving all but two.

The second tally came off the stick of JP Natishan, scoring  for the second-consecutive game, assisted by captain Jake Fuss. The Knights defense did their part, limiting New York to just four shots on goal. Knights starter Jared Stahel stopped all four en route to another solid start for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

In the middle frame, Nick Peck struck for the Knights third goal (Padgett, Arkhypenko). The game took a decidedly chippy turn as each team traded a grand total of 95 penalty minutes. The Knights penalty kill not only survived, but thrived, killing off each penalty they faced. Top cap it off, in the process of killing off a major penalty, Bryan Whelan added a shorthanded goal (Fuss) in the final minute of the second period. Whelan has now scored points (4-2-6) in all five games he’s played in since being traded to the Knights.

In the third, the Knights thwarted another major penalty and added another shorthanded goal. After assisting the first shortie, Jake Fuss recorded one of his own, finishing off a three-point game. The Knights captain has recorded points in seven-straight games.

In the game’s final minute, fresh off games with the NAHL on Friday and Saturday, Tyler Nielsen hammer a puck through traffic, where Jake Nimeh tipped it home for the score. Brady Hanson picked up the secondary assist.

When the dust had settled, the Knights found themselves with their second-straight 6-0 shutout. For Jared Stahel, his 14 saves on 14 shots marked his second shutout for the season.  The special teams excelled as well: the kill was 7-for-7 with two shorthanded goals. The power play went 2-for-7. The 12 total goals were scored by nine different players, and the Knights mounted 107 shots over two games.

With the victory Sunday, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has won nine of their last 10 games. They’ll look to keep rolling with a mid-week match up with the Philadelphia Revolution on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 pm EST. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!

NAHL: Knights Settle for Weekend Split with Titans

Coming off a 5-3 win Friday night, the Knights looked to travel to New Jersey for a weekend sweep of the Titans. They were welcomed rudely by Tyler Antonucci who pushed a goal past Knights starter Christian Stoever just 27 seconds into the first period (Tate Singleton, Wade Novak).

Knights first-round pick and Michigan Tech commitment, Gabe Temple responded under three minutes later when EHL affiliate player Tyler Nielsen fed him the puck to even the score and give Nielsen his first point in his NAHL career. Tomas Koblizek recorded the secondary assist.

A trade of saves between Stoever and Titans starter Matt Ladd lasted until 14:05, when Andrew Husted scored off the set up from Gavin Gulash and Jimmy Dowd Jr. to give the Titans back the lead. The teams headed to the dressing room with 20 combined shots on goal.

In the second, the shot count would climb to 22 as each side cracked double digits, but sound penalty-killing, and solid goaltending led to a scoreless 17 minutes. Ryan Wheeler would end the drought at 17:09 with Todd Goehring serving him up his third goal of the season, building the Titans a 3-1 advantage. Wade Novak wouldn’t let the period conclude quietly, scoring unassisted with 20 seconds remaining in the middle-stanza.

Entering the third, the Knights lost a key piece of their lineup after Reed Robinson was served a five minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind penalty just 4:21 in. The Knights would rally on the ensuing shift to score a shorthanded goal when Luke Robinson found Michael Morrisey for the score, trimming the deficit to two.

A Titans penalty halfway through the major would result in most of the remaining penalty time being spent playing 4-on-4. The Titans were able to push their fifth goal home at 7:27 when Jimmy Dowd Jr. scored via assists from Andrew Husted and Chris Garbe.

Jack Olmstead would keep the Knights afloat with his 17th goal of the season at 12:51, as Matt Kidney found his fellow winger for the duo’s fifth and sixth combined points of the weekend series.

The Titans would put any hopes of a comeback to rest less than a minute later when Kyle Jeffers scored to rebuild New Jersey’s three-goal lead (Hunter Alden, Holden Biebel).

The rest of regulation wound down without another score, handing the Knights their 11th regulation loss of the season. The team did go without allowing a power play goal on the evening, blanking a New Jersey power play unit that recorded a pair of scores the night prior. Jack Olmstead and Matt Kidney each extended their point streaks to three games, while Mike Morrissey has an active, two-game streak of his own.

The Knights will look to bounce back next weekend when they host the Johnstown Tomahawks at the Revolution Ice Centre starting Friday, January 26th at 7:30 pm for Scouts Night. Check out details for the evening devoted to the Boy Scouts of Northeast Pennsylvania here. The second game of the series will be Saturday, January 27th at 7:30 pm. Tune into both games on myhockeytv.com! Follow Knights social media and visit www.wbsknights.com to stay up to date on all news!