PITTSON, Penn. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights topped the Jamestown Rebels, 3-2, in an overtime win during their 4pm matchup on Saturday, December 14, at Revolution Ice Centre.
The Knights’ regular season record is now 14-12-2-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL).
The Knights established a lead with 40 seconds left in the first period as Artur Turanskysent the puck past Rebels goaltender, Jon Howe. Tyrone Bronteand Brian Smithrecorded assists on the goal.
The Knights continued to be dominant on the scoreboard throughout the second period, establishing a 2-0 lead with 5:12 left in the second period. Nikita Asylaevscored on the power play to extend the lead, with assists from Johnny Kaljianand Christopher Rubenach.
The Rebels responded to the Knights’ two-goal lead with two unanswered goals in the third period to tie the game up at two apiece. The first Rebels goal came at 3:39 of the third period, and the second at 9:52.
The game was ultimately decided in overtime, and it was the Knights who emerged victorious.
The Titans went on to extend their lead to two goals, scoring at 7:24 of the third period and again with 4:21 remaining.
With 26 seconds to go, Christopher Rubenachput the Knights within one goal again, assisted by Anthony Mastromonica. However, the Knights ultimately could not overcome the Titan’s one-goal lead and fell, 3-2.
The Knights return to play on Friday, December 13th, for a 7pm matchup against the Jamestown Rebels at Revolution Ice Centre.
MIDDLETOWN, N.J. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights fell to the New Jersey Titans, 4-3, in an overtime loss on Saturday, November 2, at Middletown Sports Complex.
The Knights’ record is now 9-9-1-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL) in regular season play.
“We need to work on the little things in our game,” said Head Coach Tom Kowal. “Our team works hard, but we need to work smarter.”
New Jersey opened scoring at 2:25 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead, however Knights’ goaltenderAlex Contey would go on to hold off the Titans’ efforts throughout the rest of the period, including a power play opportunity for New Jersey.
With 6:25 remaining in the first period, Tyrone Brontesent the puck glove-side past Titans net minder Patrick Pugliese to tie the game at one apiece going into the first intermission. Bronte’s linemates Lincoln Hatten and Johnny Kaljian tallied assists on the goal.
The score remained tied at one apiece until the Titans scored with 6:04 left in the middle frame, regaining a one-goal lead.
The Knights responded quickly, just two minutes and 16 seconds after the Titans’ second goal, with a second goal of their own. Jeff Bertrand scored on the only power play opportunity of the game, assisted by Bronte and Hatten.
The game headed into the third period with the score tied at two apiece.
Once again, the Titans regained the lead early in the period. At 5:16 of the third period, the Knights were trailing the Titans 3-2.
With 5:12 left in the third frame, Cadon Meyerscored from the point off of an assist from Kaljian to bring the score, once again, back to a tie.
Ultimately, the game had to be decided in overtime. The Titans scored halfway through the 5-minute span of 3-on-3 overtime to take the game, 4-3.
Contey played a full game in net and made 28 saves.
The Knights return to action on Friday, November 8, for a 7:00pm matchup against the Maine Nordiques at Revolution Ice Centre.
Wilkes Barre/Scranton scored two early goals in the third period, however they ultimately could not recover from the 4-goal deficit as the Titans scored their final goal with 2:45 remaining in the game.
“Moving forward, we need to commit to playing the systems that we work on all week,” said Kowal.
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 Moorenetted 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.
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 Hattenscored 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.
Knights win first game against Tomahawks this season
With 31 seconds left, Tyrone Bronte broke a 3-3 tie to help the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights edge the Johnstown Tomahawks, 4-3. In front of over 2,500 fans at 1st Summit Arena, the Knights ended a 26 home game winning streak that began for the Tomahawks on October 6th. The grey and blue are just the second team to pick up a win in Johnstown this year, and the first to do so in 175 days.
While Knights’ goaltender Zach Stejskal saw far more shots than his counterpart, the Knights focused on quality rather than quantity on Johnstown’s Cooper Lukenda, who managed 15 saves Friday, while Stejskal stuffed away 41 shots from the East Division leaders.
The Knights took advantage late in a scoreless first period by batting home two quick goals. At the 18:18 mark, Zak Currie took the puck from his end all the way down to the slot in the attacking zone where the rookie buried his 8th of the season. Over a minute later, fellow rookie Davis Pennington would take advantage of a failed clear, sending a right point shot through traffic and to the back of the net for a 2-0 lead heading to intermission. Pennington leads the Knights’ defense with nine goals this season.
Johnstown got the bulk of their shots on goal in the second period, while Wilkes-Barre managed their fewest with a 17-4 differential. This helped Ethan Webb cut the deficit in half for Johnstown headed into the third, scoring goals in back-to-back games against the Knights after not registering a tally in the previous 43 games.
Early in the third, the Knights restored a two goal lead thanks to Jake Fuss scoring on a delayed penalty. The hottest player for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the second half fired a wrist shot top shelf for his 14th. Fuss and Currie were the only multi-point players for the Knights, each earning a goal and an assist.
As the script has read so many times before this season, the Tomahawks would not let the game get away from them. Bennett Stockdale jammed a loose puck through Stejskal on the power play to get within one over six minutes into the third. Five minutes later, Max Klanow was assessed a double-minor, allowing Chris Trouba to get a one-timer through for the tying goal.
Just six shots went to the Tomahawks cage in the third. Wilkes-Barre made sure to convert on the first (Fuss early) and the last. With 31.3 seconds to go, Tyrone Bronte broke a 3-3 tie with a wrist shot through some bodies right after crossing the blue line. It appeared the shot surprised Lukenda, and the Knights would hang on from there to end the historic winning streak at home for Johnstown. Bronte’s 12th of the season was also his sixth game-winning-goal, having him tied for 5th in the NAHL in that category.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improves to 24-28-5, while Johnstown sits 45-8-4. The Knights enter Saturday one point back of a playoff spot. Their rematch with the Tomahawks is at 7pm on HockeyTV.
Zach Stejskal gets 5th shutout, becomes franchise leader in wins
Zach Stejskal held the Jamestown Rebels at bay until the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights were able to strike over 50 minutes in, getting a 2-0 win on the road Friday night.
Tyrone Bronte scored the game-winning-goal and first goal of the contest over 11 minutes into the third, followed by Jake Fuss’ tally for good measure. The Knights picked up their 22nd win of the season, pushing them into the fourth and final playoff spot in the east division with eight games remaining. The win also serves as the second consecutive and second in the week, with Wilkes-Barre beating New Jersey on Tuesday.
The story in this contest really is the third period. Both teams exchanged chances in the opening two, but shots were mostly perimeter and scoring chances were limited by the defense. Shots read 23-22 in favor of the Knights after two periods. Only six penalty minutes were handed out during that stretch; all of which coming in the first frame.
Fast forwards to five minutes into period three and things began to get nasty. Knights blue liner Evan Orr went for a puck behind his net when Niki Jasko barreled into him from behind, causing all players on the ice to swarm on one another behind the Knights cage. What would come of it was Orr being assessed a five minute fighting major, coupled with a 10 minute misconduct, while Jasko received a minor for checking from behind as well as a misconduct. Noah Finstrom also got involved for Jamestown and was dealt a roughing penalty. Wilkes-Barre failed to score on the four-on-three, but they would not wait much longer to find the back of the net.
At the 11:24 mark, Tyrone Bronte ended the scoreless game with his 10th goal of the season. A simple goal line drive from the right side was able to squeak through the leg pad of Ryan Keane for the 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, the Knights would pad their lead with Colin Schmidt in the penalty box for slashing. On their fifth power play, Jake Fuss managed his 11th goal of the season, scoring in consecutive games after his overtime winner Tuesday. Adrian Danchenko slid a cross-ice pass to the stick of Fuss, who redirected the puck through the legs of Keane to make it 2-0.
Stejskal would hold on from there and get his fifth shutout of the season, making 29 stops. By picking up his 21st win, Stejskal becomes the winningest goaltender in NAHL Knights history. As a team, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improves to 22-26-4. The Rebels drop to 31-14-8. Goaltender Ryan Keane made 33 saves in the loss.
The Knights touched down in Minnesota Wednesday to enter the final stages of their pursuit of a Robertson Cup. Today they will face the Shreveport Mudbugs in a best-of-three series to determine which of the pair will play for the Robertson Cup on Monday.
After a gritty 3-2 series win over the New Jersey Titans, the Knights swept their way through the Philadelphia Rebels to win the right to represent the East Division in the Final Four. Less than two weeks have passed since the team punched their tickets to Blaine, but how did they earn the trip?
Not only was the journey carried by a complete team effort, but this postseason run has come off of the back of many strong individual performances.
One key player that immediately stands out is goalie Christian Stoever. Number 31 has been a wall in the playoffs. In his seven playoff starts, he has allowed less than three goals in five games, including a shutout in a 1-0 victory against the Titans in game four of the first round.
In the team’s more recent series against Philadelphia, Stoever had a save percentage of 94%. Even more impressive is that Stoever has had a knack for stepping up in big spots during both series. In round one, facing consecutive elimination games, he produced a shutout in game four, followed by a 49-save effort to win the series.
Rookie forward Jack Olmstead has also been a major contributor during the Knights’ playoff run. Olmstead has had a point in every Knights playoff game this season, and scored two goals in the team’s second game of their series against Philadelphia. The line of Olmstead, Michael Morrissey, and Matt Kidney are three of the top four scorers in the 2018 playoffs for the Knights. Olmstead, however, leads the team in points with ten.
Other new faces on the Knights NAHL roster for this season include Gabe Temple, who has three goals in the playoffs, and Tyrone Bronte, who’s notched three goals and three assists so far.
Even in a season highlighted by great rookie performances, veterans like Reed Robinson and Curtis Carlson have been a strong base for the newer members of the team to rise to the forefront.
Robinson scored the fourth and final goal in the first game of the team’s series against Philadelphia, while Carlson was able to put the team up 2-1 in their eventual 5-4 victory against the Rebels in game two. Carlson has scored three other goals in the playoffs, and Robinson another goal and assist.
The Knights defensive end has been equally impressive throughout the postseason. Led by veteran Joey Verkerke and All-East blue-liner Thomas Farrell, the group of rookies has helped the team keep their average goals against at 2.25 throughout the playoffs. Verkerke, who’s had a keen eye for passing and a knack for blocking shots, has an active four game point streak via four assists.
Tonight’s puck drop against Shreveport will be the team’s first appearance in the Final Four and their second meeting on the season with Shreveport. With a staunch defense and a potent offense, the team is poised for to make a run toward Robertson Cup.
On Monday, the Knights had a chance to check off a lot of team firsts. First-ever Final Four birth in the Robertson Cup Playoffs was chief among their goals, but to do it, they’d have to sweep a team they’d never advanced beyond in the postseason.
The Philadelphia Rebels have been the team to eliminate the Knights in each of the past two seasons, completing sweeps in both years. To return the favor would not only be poetic, but a huge step forward for a Knights team that has hit their stride at the perfect time.
Monday’s action was slow-building. The tension of an elimination game hung heavy as both teams began the evening in an extended test of each other’s ability to trade space up and down the ice. Through the first period starters Ryan Keane and Christian Stoever faced a combined 20 shots.
An early test was stopped by Stoever in an eerily similar play to the Patric Hornqvist’s no-goal controversy in Sunday’s Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins playoff game. Like the Penguins did the day before, the Rebels drove around the back of the net on a wraparound. Playing the part of both Sidney Crosby and Hornqvist, Alex Frye found himself alone on the right post trying to fire the puck to the net. Instead, Stoever’s left skate slid over and stopped the puck on the goal line. Unlike it’s NHL counterpart, there was no debate as Stoever’s stretch clearly kept the puck from crossing the goal line, robbing the Rebels of a grade-A chance.
Around a minute and a half later, the Knights made Philadelphia pay for the missed opportunity. Down low in the offensive zone, Jeff Bertrand shouldered a puck out of the right corner to Adrian Danchenko. Curling back-handed to the top of the slot, Danchenko fought through a poke check before flipping the puck to his forehand and finding Tyrone Bronte in front of the net. The Aussie center found the puck with his back turned to Keane. While the Rebels attempted to check him out of the crease, Bronte let go a perfect backhand under the crossbar to beat the sliding Keane to put the Knights up 1-0 at 15:32.
The Rebels pushed back and earned a power play in the final minute of the first. The Knights, after being gashed nearly 40 percent of the time by the Rebels man-advantage during the regular season, entered play without having allowed a single power play goal in games one and two. The streak nearly came to an end in the final seconds of the period, where Stoever was pulled out of the net to the left post, making a save through a screen. The rebound kicked straight down in front of an open right side of the cage. As two Rebels converged to try and bury the equalizer, Thomas Farrell came crashing down, diving and driving the puck clear to the corner to end the period.
Farrell’s heroics were crucial as the Rebels channeled the frustration into a fast start in the second. After each team failed to capitalize on a power play, Philadelphia tilted the ice. From around the 5:00 mark on, the Rebels consistently won board battles, forced mistakes, and extended long shifts in the offensive zone.
Just past six and a half minutes into the frame, on their second power play of the game, Alex Frye took an entry pass from Ryan Patrick around a defenseman, right to the netfront where he was stoned on a pad save by Stoever. The rebound kicked right to a crashing Patrick who was miraculously robbed on a lounging save by Stoever’s glove to preserve the Knights 1-0 lead.
The goalie was finally bested on a shot from Carson Moniz at 13:36. Hemming a puck in at the left point of the Knights zone, Brandon Stanley tossed a puck to a pinching Nicolas Appendino on the left half wall. Appendino ripped a pass to the top of the slot for a waiting Moniz. With a screen in front, the defenseman fired a puck under the crossbar to even the game at one.
Weathering the Rebels blitz that continued through nearly the rest of the period, the Knights finally broke loose in its final minute. Coming over the red line, Joey Verkerke dropped a puck in deep to the left wing corner of the Rebels zone. Jack Olmstead beat his man to the puck before turning back up ice and cutting to the slot. There a backhand shot attempt was deflected right back to Olmstead. His spinning, second try found Matt Kidney parked to the left of Keane, where he shoveled the puck to the twine to retake the lead.
The surge of a late-period, go-ahead goal refueled the Knights attack. After being hemmed in their own zone for most of the second period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton grew stronger as the third period wore on. Ryan Keane kept them at bay, making several grade-A saves, robbing the likes of Curtis Carlson and Tyrone Bronte on chances in close. The Rebels counter attack was limited by a steady Knights back check that refused a repeat of the second period.
With just under two minutes remaining, the Rebels pulled their netminder following their timeout. A Rebels icing forced Keane back in the net while the Knights ate more time off the clock. In the period’s final minute, Keane (27 saves on the evening) was able to trade his services for an extra attacker. Following Joey Verkerke hitting the empty net’s post on a long shot down the ice, the Knights ended up icing the puck on an ensuing try down the sheet. A late push in the Knights zone by Philadelphia never created the grade-A look they needed, and the Knights held on to earn the sweep and a ticket to the final four.
Christian Stoever’s stellar efforts on a 39-save night, plus an opportunistic Knights offense are emblematic of how hot the team has become after facing elimination in round one. They will await the winners of the remaining three playoffs series, plus a re-seeding of the last four teams before knowing their opponents. You can follow the remaining games this weekend on hockeytv.com, or by following NAHL.com. Stay tuned to Knights social media and www.wbsknights.com for all news and updates!