Quick Hits: NAHL Game 19 Preview

After a brilliant performance from Zach Stejskal in Friday’s 1-0 win, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights hit the road for a rematch with the New Jersey Titans Saturday at Middletown Ice World Arena.

Zach Freakin Stejskal
The goaltender had a 53 save shutout Friday. What more needs to be said? He almost single-handedly  won the game for Wilkes-Barre, who snapped a seven game losing skid. He stopped 23 shots alone in the second period, and 15 in each the first and third. Stejskal now holds a .940 save percentage; good for second in the North American Hockey League.

A Titan-ic Power Outage
Over the last five games, New Jersey has managed just one power play goal on 22 opportunities. Their man advantage sits 21st in the league at 13.1%. Wilkes-Barre allowed seven power play opportunities to the Titans on Friday, but the squad barely managed to get set up for the bulk of the opportunities, or missed the net when they would position themselves.

Watch For Jeffers
Titans’ forward Kyle Jeffers was held scoreless with the rest of his team Friday afternoon at Revolution Ice Centre. The ’99 birth year is in his second full season with the Titans and ranks second on the team in points with 21 through the first 19 games. Friday’s 1-0 New Jersey loss snapped a seven game point streak for Jeffers. The winger hasn’t went more than one game without registering a point, and in the four previous games he failed to find the scoresheet, Jeffers followed the next game with at least one goal.

For What It’s Worth
The Knights earned their 20th all-time regular season win against New Jersey Friday afternoon. Saturday will be the 43rd regular season game between the clubs, with New Jersey holding a slight 22-20 edge.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ended a four game win streak for the Titans. That said, the junior hockey field in the Garden State has been tremendous since the start of October. The Titans have won eight of their last 10 games. Their EHL affiliate, New Jersey 87’s has  taken 11 of their last 12 contests, while the EHL Premier 87’s strung together a seven game winning streak they carried into November. That’s 26 wins across three New Jersey junior teams. Impressive.

Evan Orr scored the first goal of his NAHL career, serving as the only goal, and therefore the game winner on Friday. He became the sixth Knights’ player to score their first goal in ” the league of opportunity” this year. Jacob Badal, Davis Pennington, Beck Moore, Max Klanow, and Brett Postula share the accomplishment.

Zach Stejskal’s 53 save shutout was his first in the NAHL. The net minder made 51 saves in the Knights first game of the season; a 3-2 loss to Johnstown. Of the 12 games Stejskal has played in, he has had a save percentage of .930 or higher in nine of them.

Puck drop is schedule for 7:30pm from Middletown Ice World Arena in New Jersey. You can catch the live broadcast online at HockeyTV.