Tag Archives: Zach Stejskal

The Knights Fall to the Titans, 5-2

PITTSTON, Penn. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights fell to the New Jersey Titans 5-2 on Friday, November 1st, at Revolution Ice Centre.

The Knights’ record is now 9-9-0-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL) in regular season play.

“We had a lot of opportunities throughout the game,” said Head Coach Tom Kowal. “Ultimately, we just couldn’t capitalize on the chances we were generating.”

New Jersey opened the game with two quick goals, the first at 4:29 and the second at 6:43 of the first period  to take a 2-0 lead.

With 3:01 remaining in the first frame, Zak Currie put the Knights within one goal of tying the game. Currie snagged the puck and took off on a breakaway, sending the puck past Titans’ goaltender Arseni Sergeev.

The score remained locked in at 2-1 throughout the second period, despite multiple opportunities for either team to tally additional goals.

The Knights fought through two penalty kills in the middle frame, and were out shot 10 – 9 by the Titans throughout the period.

The third period proved to be a high-scoring one as the Titans tallied three additional goals to ward off the Knights’ single third period goal.

New Jersey scored its third goal of the game at 5:33, and the Knights responded to come within one goal of a tie game again with 6:11 to go. Nikita Asylaev netted the Knights’ second goal, with an assist from Spencer Kring

The Titans sealed a 5-2 victory with a final pair of goals with 5:27 and 2:57 left in the game.

Zach Stejskal played a full game in net and made a total of 31 saves.

The Knights face off against the Titans again tomorrow, November 2, at Middleton Ice World Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7pm.

The Knights Fall to the Titans, 7-3

PITTSTON, Penn. — The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights fell to the New Jersey Titans, 7-3, in a midday matchup on Wednesday, October 30, at the Revolution Ice Centre.

The Knights’ record is now 9-8-0-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL).

“We played one good period and expected that to carry us to a win,” said Head Coach Tom Kowal. “That isn’t how games happen in the NAHL.”

The Titans pulled away with an early lead in the first period, scoring three goals within the first eight minutes of regulation.

Tyrone Bronte netted the Knights’ first goal of the game with 3:10 remaining in the first period, with assists from Lincoln Hatten and Spencer Kring.

New Jersey extended its lead to 6-1 over the course of the second period.

At 1:25 of the third period, Kring opened up scoring to put the Knights within four goals. Hatten and Bronte were credited with assists.

Just under four minutes later, Nikita Asylaev scored to cut the lead down to three goals, with Egor Postnov and Zak Currie tallying assists.

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.

Alex Conley and Zach Stejskal split the game, recording a combined total of 33 saves in net.

The Knights return to action on Friday, November 1, for another matchup against the New Jersey Titans at Revolution Ice Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7pm.

Knights Announce End of Season Player Awards

Annual Team Awards Honored At Season’s End

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: The player judged to be most valuable to the Knights during the regular season.
Winner: ZACH STEJSKAL

 
Season stats: 25-17-5/6 SO/2.47 GAA/.935%

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: First year player judged to be most valuable to the Knights during the regular season.
Winner: JORDAN STRAND

Season stats: 56GP: 5G-23A= 28pts.

MOST IMPROVED: The player that has shown the most development and additional contribution to the Knights throughout the regular season.
Winner: GABE TEMPLE

Season stats: 57GP: 18G-18A= 36pts.

THE LANCELOT KNIGHTS AWARD: The player from the team that the coaching staff feel best exhibits hard work, mental toughness, competitiveness, passion, and a team first mentality.
Winner: JOEY VERKERKE

Season stats: 59GP: 2G-6A = 8pts.

Quick Hits: NAHL Game 60 Preview

Knights look to keep playoff hopes alive in regular season finale

Saturday, April 6th- Revolution Ice Centre @3:30pm

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (25-29-5, 55pts.)
vs
Maryland Black Bears (16-37-6, 38pts.)

Last Friday Night
Jake Fuss scored a hat trick, Gabe Temple had two goals, and the Knight smashed Maryland in an 8-1 win. Several career highs were posted. Not only did Fuss have a hat trick, but the forward also recorded five points in the game. Beck Moore delivered his first three point game with a trio of assists, while Markus Cook scored a goal in his NAHL debut. Defensemen Shay Donovan and Blake Kryska each finished the game with a +4, establishing a new career best for Kryska and a season high for the captain.

It’s The Final Countdown
Entering Saturday, the NAHL has seen 15 of its 16 openings filled for the Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Corpus Christi Ice Rays locked up the final seed in the South Division, meaning there now exists just one opening yet to be claimed. This battle is between the Knights and Northeast Generals.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will need at least one point in the game against Maryland to have a shot at making the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. A standings point would tie them with Northeast, but because the Knights own the tiebreaker in wins, they would advance into the postseason. A win of any kind for the grey and blue would force Northeast to get a win this weekend or have to lose in overtime both games against New Jersey. The Knights have yet to miss the playoffs since arriving in the NAHL in 2015.

Black and Yellow
Though the outcome is uncertain for Wilkes-Barre, the Black Bears know this will be the final time they wave their flag in the 2018-19 campaign. With the team being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, Head Coach Clint Mylymok is looking to help his club finish out strong in their inaugural season in the league. The team has lost three straight and has given up 15 goals in the last two games. After being on the wrong side of an 8-1 score Friday, it can be expected that there will be some emotional response from the team in search of their 17th win of the year.

This will also be the final junior hockey game for ’98 forward and Captain, Connor Pooley, along with defensemen Bradley Jenion and Karim Del Ponte. Expect big efforts from those three.

For What It’s Worth
15 of Wilkes-Bare’s 25 wins this season have come against Maryland (7) and Northeast (8). The Knights have yet to lose against Maryland, and a win today would mark the first time in franchise history that the Knights would sweep a season series against an East Division opponent.

With playoffs up in the air, this will at least be the final regular season junior game for Jake Fuss, Joey Verkerke, and Shay Donovan, who are all 98’s. Additionally, forward Adrian Danchenko and goaltender Zach Stejskal have signed their letters of intent, meaning this will also be the curtain call for them.

This will be the 240th regular season game for the NAHL Knights. Including playoffs, it is the 256th in team history.

Danchenko, the team’s all-time leader in games played, will play in his 158th regular season game for the Knights.

Bronte’s Scores Late, Knights End Johnstown’s 26 Home Game Win Streak

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.

Knights Move Into Playoff Spot With Shutout Win

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 rematch comes Saturday night at 7pm.

Fuss Wins It In Overtime

Knights Within a Point of Playoffs With Nine Games Left

Jake Fuss scored an unassisted goal 3:06 into overtime to help the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights beat the New Jersey Titans, 2-1 Tuesday night. The win ends the 12 game season series with New Jersey at an even 6-6 mark.

Wilkes-Barre earned their 21st win of the season. With nine games left in the regular season, they trail the fourth place Northeast Generals by one point. Both clubs have nine to play, including three against one another later in the month.

Despite taking three penalties in the first period, including two at the same time to give a five-on-three to New Jersey, it would be the Knights who would capitalize off special teams in the opening frame. With Anthony Mastromonica sent to the box for slashing, the Knights went on the kill. Defenseman Evan Orr cashed in with a shorthanded goal for the rookie’s fifth tally this season.

After a blocked shot in the defensive zone, Jake Fuss sprinted ahead on a breakaway. With Orr trailing, the eventual overtime hero would drop it off for Orr to wrist one through Titans goalie Brandon Perrone to get the 1-0 lead.

New Jersey was later awarded the two man advantage in the first, but failed to capitalize. They were also outshot in the opening period, 11-10. Overall, the Titans did outshoot the Knights, 38-31, but Zach Stejskal remained a force in goal by making 37 stops for his 20th win of the year. Stejskal is now tied with Grant Valentine for most wins in NAHL Knights history. Valentine won 20 for the club in the 2016-17 campaign.

The Titans would find their resolve in the second period when they too would benefit from a defenseman scoring. Danny Dimon notched his first NAHL goal from atop the blue line with a slap shot that got through Stejskal at the 7:37 mark of the middle frame. The second period featured the most potential for New Jersey, as they fired 18 shots on the Wilkes-Barre goal. The Titans would receive a late period power play to carry over to the third period, but failed to generate.

With no additional scoring in the third, this contest headed to overtime. In the three-on-three, a simple faceoff would make the difference. With less than two minutes until a shootout would be needed, Jake Fuss stepped into the dot for an offensive zone draw. Originally slotted to go against Ryan Naumovski, the officials deemed a faceoff violation would be charged to New Jersey, forcing Jake LaRusso to take the draw. Fuss won it ahead of LaRusso and quickly parked in front of the net where he stuffed home the game winner on the right side of the cage. Fuss was credited for his 10th goal of the season and first overtime winner.

The Knights return home for practice, but then head north for the conclusion of their season-long eight game road trip Friday when they begin a pair of games with the Jamestown Rebels.

Quick Hits: NAHL Game 43 Preview

Six game road trip ends in Maryland.

Friday, February 15th- Piney Orchard Ice Arena at 7:45pm

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (15-23-4, 34pts.)
at
Maryland Black Bears (14-27-5, 33pts.)

What’s Been Going On
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s gathered points in six of the last 10 games, while Maryland has gone 3-7 over that same stretch. Since the turn to 2019, The Knights have played 11 games compared to Maryland’s  13, yet the Black Bears have scored just once more than the Knights this year. Maryland has also played four more games than Wilkes-Barre this season and trails them by a point in the East Division standings.

No More Breaks
The Knights return to action after a nine day break, having last played on February 6th in a win over New Jersey. Wilkes-Barre will play its remaining 18 games over the next eight weeks, with all of them coming on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. The Knights play at least one game each weekend the rest of the way.

Crease Call
Joining Zach Stejskal as the second goaltender will be 19-year-old Jacob Urban, who was added to the Knights roster earlier in the week. Urban comes in place of Samuel Vyletelka, who the Knights dealt to Corpus Christi.

“I’m ready,” said Urban.  “I’m here to prove myself and show that I do belong here, so I’m just really excited to be with the team moving forward.”

More EHL Kids
With forward Anthony Mastromonica still nursing an injury, head coach and general manager Tom Kowal has elected to recall forwards Matthew Bielinski and Denys Arkhypenko from the EHL Knights affiliate.

The pair becomes the latest example of EHL players getting an opportunity to work their way up to an NAHL opportunity. Matt Passaretti, Hunter Bersani, Joshua Edwards, and Thomas Walker have already had opportunities to join the NAHL team in practice and some of these players have even played games at the tier II level. Bielinski, 18, has 19 points on the year, while fellow call-up and 18-year-old Arkhypenko is second on the EHL club in scoring with 10 goals and 27 points.

For What It’s Worth
This will be the fifth of eight scheduled meetings between the clubs. The Knights have won every game against the league’s newest team so far, going 4-0 on the season.

Expect Wilkes-Barre to be favored in the special teams department. Their power play ranks 12th, while the penalty kill sits 11th. Maryland has the league’s 20th best power play, and their penalty kill is third from the bottom.

Former Knights goalie and current Black Bear, David Tomeo has seen the 5th most shots against of any goalie in the NAHL this season. Zach Stejskal has seen the most, with over 1200 coming his way.

Both teams are led by multiple players with 13 goals. Jacob Badal and Gabe Temple carry the weight for the Knights, while Maryland has a trio of 13 goal scorers, with Coonor Pooley, Daylon Mannon, and rookie Luke Mountain leading the pack.

NAHL Recap: Knights Fall 4-3 in Overtime to Open Showcase

The Knights touched down in Minnesota to meet the Topeka Pilots for game one of the NAHL’s annual Blaine Showcase. The contest kicked off with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton controlling the early tempo, outshooting Topeka 10-5 in the first 20 minutes of play. It would be the Pilots however that would strike first.

13 minutes into play, Zeke Zeier broke up a Knights pass in his own zone, speeding up the ice and onto the attack. In the left corner of the Knights zone, Zeier turned the puck back up ice to teammate Dallas Tulik. In similar fashion to a goal scored against the Knights last week, Tulik juggled a puck in his skates and onto his stick, avoiding Knights pressure all the while. Once cleanly in space, he fired a shot past Knights starter Zach Stejskal to build a 1-0 lead.

Four minutes later, number four for the Knights notched goal number one of his junior career. Off a faceoff, Gabe Temple and Sacha Guillemain went to work on the side boards. Guillemain found the puck off of Temple’s poke check, and fired it across the ice to the wide open Davis Pennington. Pennington roofed the puck under the bar, popping Sam Metcalf’s bottle up into the air to knot the game at one.

In the second period, the Knights would capitalize on a carry over penalty to grab their first lead of the game. Behind the net, Jake Fuss would win the puck off the wall to a fast-moving Sacha Guillemain. The latter popped out on the left post, and flipped the puck across the slot to a crashing Gabe Temple. Temple shoveled the puck by Metcalf for his first goal of the season and the Knights 2-1 lead.

Through an evenly played middle period, Metcalf and Stejskal hunkered down to keep the score close. The third period would change the narrative.

The Pilots would surge ahead in the middle of the frame. At 9:09, Tulik would strike for his second goal of the afternoon set up by Quinn Green. A few minutes later, Zeke Teier would notch his second point of the day and first tally of the season when he was set up by Joel Brandinger and goalie Sam Metcalf.

The Knights wouldn’t trail for long. On another power play, Luke Robinson found Sacha Guillemain, who sent a pass to Temple for the game-tying goal. Both forwards would finish with three points on the day.

The score would remained locked into three-on-three overtime. After a brief exchange that ate the first few minutes, Topeka would find the game-winner. Brenden found Brendan, as Rons fed Schultz for the game-winning goal past Stejskal.

The Knights earned their first point but will look for their first victory tomorrow when they take on the Brookings Blizzard at 1:30 PM central. Tune in on www.hockeytv.com and follow along on Knights social media!

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.”