Jacob Badal scored the game winning goal with under a minute to go in the second period, helping the Knights get past the rival New Jersey Titans by a 2-1 final Friday night at Revolution Ice Centre.
With the win, Wilkes-Barre has now won three straight, while the Titans have lost four consecutive and five of their last six. The encounter marked the 40th regular season meeting between the clubs. The Knights skated away with their 19th regular season win against the Titans in what served as the first game between the teams since their NAHL East Division Playoff Series in April.
After a back and forth exchange of both shots, chances, and hits, the home team found the back of the net nearly 13 minutes in. Sasha Guillemain took a pass from Gabe Temple off the half wall, then walked in front for a wrist shot that beat Titans’ goalie Brandon Perrone to give Wilkes-Barre the 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, the Knights were in the midst of nearly four consecutive minutes of penalty kill time. Just before Jeffrey Bertrand’s cross-checking minor expired, Tyrone Bronte went to the box for slashing. Eventually, the Titans capitalized on the latter power play, when Michael Outzen buried one right in the crease past Zach Stejskal to tie the game.
In the final minute of the second, Knights’ forward Jacob Badal broke through New Jersey’s defense for a partial breakaway and netted his third of the season. The score remained status quo from there, with Stejskal yet again propelling the Knights to victory with a 43 save performance.
Both teams played physical throughout. The height of things came when a scrum behind the net led to Max Klanow and New Jersey’s Gavin Gulash each getting removed from the game. More penalties continued to pile up, leading to a combined 76 PIMs for both squads.
With the win, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improves to 3-3-1. The weekend continues Saturday night in a rematch against the Titans; this time on the road in New Jersey for a 7pm puck drop.