Knights take third straight on night honoring Boy Scouts
written by Allif Karim
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights started a two series on Saturday against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, donning alternate jerseys to honor Scouts Night at the Revolution Ice Centre. Honored those attending, they did as the Knights jousted Fairbanks, skating away with a 4-1 victory. The win marks the first time the Knights have reached the .500 mark in their NAHL existence.
This series also marked the end of a month-long road trip for the Ice Dogs. On a frustrating night for Fairbanks, it seemed fitting that the game was capped by an empty net goal, symbolic of the lack of any good bounces going their way.
The first period started off shaky for both teams as neither the Knights nor the Ice Dogs could make use of chances they had. An early Ice Dogs powerplay in the first proved futile following a disallowed goal. The Knights were also held off the board on the man advantage, as they struggled to establish any rhythm in the offensive zone. With 1:49 left in the period, the Knights would finally find a spark when Sam Antonitsch took an off-the-glass pass off the stick of Joey Kubachka the length of the ice to open the game’s scoring.
The second period saw Fairbanks strike first when at 3:06 in, Marc Sullivan, with helpers from Tanner Schachle, Hampus Eriksson and a delayed penalty, cashed in with a gorgeous snipe for the Alaskan visitors. The tie would be short-lived as three minutes later, Michael Morrissey scored a terrific goal with backhand-forehand deke in the middle of the low slot, set up off the give and go from Reed Robinson. Joe Schuler added to the lead with his first career Knights goal, working the puck from the far corner, playing it along the goal line and taking a shot from a sharp angle at 18:38.
With the score favoring the Knights, the Ice Dogs opened up the third with a power play but couldn’t capitalize against an aggressive Wilkes-Barre/Scranton penalty kill. Ample changes of possession and battles along the boards wore the Fairbanks comeback effort down, and with the goalie pulled late in the game Vince Marino put away any hope of a rally by finding the twine at 18:33.
With the win, the Knights improve to 5-1 since the end of the holiday break, 18-18-1-1 on the season and extend their winning streak to three. They’ll look to close out the weekend with a sweep when they face the Ice Dogs once again at the Revolution Ice Centre today at 12:30 pm.