After a 2-1 weekend previously, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (5-5-1, 11pts.) wrap up their five game home stand both Friday and Saturday to match up with the North American Hockey League East Division leading Johnstown Tomahawks (8-4, 16pts.) for a pair of games on the weekend.
Last Time Against Johnstown
The Knights kicked off their fourth season in the NAHL against the Tomahawks in September, where Johnstown took two games against Wilkes-Barre at Revolution Ice Centre.
In the opening game, Johnstown secured a 3-2 win, despite Wilkes-Barre/Scranton holding a 2-1 lead with less than seven minutes to go in the third. Chad Merrell tied it up for the visitors, before a power play granted Cameron Hebert a goal with 3:12 left to play, giving Johnstown the late victory.
Game two was a shooting gallery for the Tomahawks, who posted 47 shots on goal. Knights’ keeper Samuel Vyletelka played well in making 42 stops, but his efforts weren’t enough in the 5-1 loss. Jacob Badal scored the lone tally for the Knights.
Son of a Pro
When you play the Tomahawks, you play against Carsen Briere, the son of former NHLer Danny Briere, who played 973 games in the National Hockey League.
Carsen is in his second full season in the league of opportunity and has started with a point per game pace, registering five goals and 12 points in as many contests. Briere has four goals and seven points against the Knights in his career, including a three point game (1G-2A) in the 5-1 Tomahawks win over Wilkes-Barre in September.
This weekend will mark the third and fourth meeting between these two clubs on the 2018-19 campaign. Afterwards, the Knights head on the road to visit Jamestown, before returning home to kick off November against the Tomahawks again.
The first two days of November will feature the Knights and Tomahawks playing each other, making it the fifth and sixth occasion this season. The Knights won’t be able to say they’ve played another team six times until late November when they equal their number with Johnstown by taking on the Titans.
Knights’ forward Adrian Danchenko was named the NAHL East Division Star of the Week after a fascinating performance against the Northeast Generals.
The player of over 100 games in the gray and blue dominated in three games with a seven point stretch, consisting of three goals and four helpers. Danchenko’s goals came shorthanded, even strength, and on a power play. He scored once in each game, all of which were multi-point outings. “Adrian showed how he can truly take over the game and put the team on his back,” said Knights Head Coach Tom Kowal.
Danchenko, a University of Alabama-Hunstville commitment, now has nine points in six contests this season.
For What It’s Worth
Danchenko, along with Sacha Guillemain, Tyrone Bronte, and Jordan Strand all scored points in each of the three games last week against Northeast. Additionally, they are the only players to have had three game point streaks this season for Wilkes-Barre.
Knights’ goalie Zach Stejskal has not lost since September 19th. Since then, he is 5-0 with an incredible .967 save percentage, stopping 208 of the last 215 shots he’s faced.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has scored a power play goal in each of the last three games. The Knights are 3-1 at Revolution Ice Centre this season when scoring a power play goal.
When down a man, the Knights have killed off 24 of their last 27 shorthanded situations, including a shorthanded goal from Danchenko last Thursday.
Johnstown has the best power play efficiency in the East Division, operating at 24%.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton owns the division’s best penalty kill, standing at 84.6%.