Tag Archives: Fairbanks Ice Dogs

NAHL: Knights Close Alaska Trip with Loss to Fairbanks

On Saturday night, the Knights met the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for the fourth and final time in the 2017-18 regular season, looking for their first victory against a team riding a 20-game winning streak.

The Ice Dogs struck quickly in a relatively quiet first period that saw just 12 combined shots on net. At 6:51 Tanner Schachle continued his successful season by putting his 22nd goal past Knights starter David Tomeo, coming off assists from Grant Ledford and Connor Chilton. Fairbanks backcheck allowed little to develop for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the remainder of period with Logan Neaton keeping the Knights three shots at bay.

Early in the second, it appeared the Knights would finally get their offense going when Jack Olmstead danced his way into the Ice Dogs zone before setting up Tom Farrell for a backhanded goal. After deliberation, the officials proceeded to disallow the score, stating that the net had come off its moorings.

Fairbanks didn’t blink. Samuel Ruffin came right back down the ice to bury a goal past Tomeo on the ensuing shift (Daniel Haider, Jack Johnston) for a 3-0 lead at 3:12. John Stampohar added to the advantage with another tally just over three minutes later off assists from Robert Blueger and the aforementioned Schachle.

The Knights would finally catch a break when Mike Morrissey would set up Adrian Danchenko who in turn  threaded a perfect, home-run pass to Reed Robinson for a breakaway just under a minute later. Robinson would drive all the way in on Neaton and then put home his own rebound to cut the score to 3-1.

Fairbanks did not allow any further momentum, as their offense came  back on a power play dart from Robert Blueger at 13:09 (Kyle Mayhew, Schachle). Before the Knights could leave the period to regroup, Jack Johnston, set up by Ruffin and Jax Murray, poked a wraparound by Tomeo for the 5-1 advantage.

In the third Connor Chilton would strike early to put a damper on any hopes of a Knights rally. Chilton bested the Knights defense as he shook off heavy traffic in front to flip a puck home at 5:15 (Vanska, Schachle).

Anthony Firriolo wouldn’t go down quietly as he buried a power play goal set up by Jack Olmstead and Curtis Carlson at 6:05, his second of the season. If there was one silver lining on the weekend for the Knights, it was that they were able to turn in a 3/8 (37.5%) performance against the NAHL’s best penalty kill.

Jack Johnston picked up his second goal of the contest just over a minute later with helpers coming from Murray and Ruffin.

At the final horn the Knights left the rink on the wrong end of a 7-2 loss. They’ll look to bounce back with a road series in Johnstown next weekend to close out February before seven of their players and head coach Tom Kowal head to the NAHL’s Top Prospect Tournament to close out the month.

To stay up to date with all Knights news and happenings, stay tuned to www.wbsknights.com, www.nahl.com, and follow Knights social media on Facebook, (WBS Knights Hockey) Twitter, and Instagram (@wbsknights)!


Ice Dogs Down Knights In Fairbanks

The Knights started the second half of their Alaska road trip with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, winners of 19-straight. Friday night’s action started quickly in favor of the home team, seeing Grant Ledford push a rebound past Christian Stoever for the 1-0 lead (Connor Chilton, Robert Blueger) at 6:04. The Ice Dogs dictated the early tempo, while Josh Benson stood down mid-period pressure from the Knights with a string of solid saves.

Following a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton turnover just past the 12:20 mark, Sam Ruffin recorded his 15th tally of the season, set up by Jack Johnston and Jax Murray. Fairbanks would cap a strong start with a third-straight goal, after Hunter Wendt swatted a puck out of mid-air on a dish from Daniel Haider, fed on by Noah Wilson.

In the second, the Knights first penalty would prove costly. Just over 30 seconds after being assessed a slash, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton couldn’t clear the netfront, where Robert Blueger deflected a piece of Erkka Vanska’s shot past Stoever for the 4-0 lead. Kyle Mayhew was credited the secondary assist on the power play goal.

Between the 9:17 and 10:42 marks, consecutive Fairbanks penalties nullified an Ice Dogs power play and turned four-on-four into an eventual 5-on-3 advantage for the Knights. They didn’t waste the opportunity. Curtis Carlson put his team on the board after refusing to quit on a Matt Kidney rebound. Multiple swats of the puck finally vested Benson to cut the Fairbanks lead to three (Kidney, Tom Farrell).

Before the second penalty’s expiration, Blake Kryska put a loose puck through Benson off a chance created by Farrell and Mike Morrissey. The goal marked Kryksa’s first in a Knights sweater.

Riding the wave of momentum, Mike Morrissey looked to add fuel to the fire when he and Connor Chilton dropped the gloves just shy of the 17:00 marker. Despite getting the better of the exchange of fists, the Knights could not solve Benson again before the close of the middle frame.

The third period reverted to the patterns of the first. Fairbanks resumed its control of play, outshooting the Knights 10-5. Each netminder traded quality saves, but the continual pressure applied to the Knights end of the ice resulted in little quality chances developing for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Down two scores late, the Knights were unable to gain the necessary space to pull Stoever (26 saves) until the game reached its final minute. Not long after he hit the bench, Sam Ruffin fired a puck into the yawning net to put the seal on a 5-2 Fairbanks win (Luke Orysiuk, Mayhew).

The Knights will look to finish their Alaska tour on a high note by snapping the Ice Dogs 20-game winning streak tonight at 11:30 PM EST/ 7:30 PM AKST. The broadcast will be available at HockeyTV.com, follow WBS Knights Hockey on Facebook, @wbsknights on Twitter and Instagram, and visit www.nahl.com for in-game updates!

Recap: Knights Comeback Falls Short Against Fairbanks

A meeting of the leaders of the NAHL’s East and the Midwest divisions lived up the billing on Friday afternoon when the Knights played host the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The game got off to a blazing start as Tyrone Bronte netted the game’s first goal on a dart from the top of the zone to put the Knights up 1-0 just 33 seconds in. Tomas Koblizek picked up a helper for the second-straight game, while Adrian Danchenko pushed his point-streak to four with the secondary assist.

The Ice Dogs awoke five minutes later, when Jake Borgida tipped in his second goal of the season to knot the game at one off the set up from Tanner Schachle and Connor Chilton. Caleb Hite followed up with Fairbanks second goal at 12:55 when he found a loose puck behind Knights starter David Tomeo and backhanded it home (Noah Wilson, Daniel Haider). Schachle then added a goal of his own, served up on a late-period power play by Robert Blueger and Erkka Vanska to cap a strong first for Fairbanks.

The opening shift of the middle frame saw little relief for the Knights. Just 45 seconds in, the Ice Dogs extended their lead to three when Vanska powered a puck by Tomeo off assists from Nolan Schaeffer and Caleb Hite.

Down three, the Knights dug in. Grinding out their forecheck’s early sluggishness, the Olmstead-Carlson-Kidney line ignited for the Knights at 6:43. Matt Kidney fed Luke Robinson at the blue line who hammered a heavy shot off the pads of Ice Dog’s goalie Josh Benson. Pouncing on the rebound was Knights captain Curtis Carlson, who buried it for his 11th goal of the season.

Carlson followed that up just under two minutes later with another tally, this time supplied by Olmstead and Kidney to pull the Knights within one.  On a power play that started at 9:10, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first of the contest, they appeared to have bested Benson for the game-tying goal through a scrum in front. Instead, the ’97 netminder made a show-stopping kick save to keep his team ahead by one.

Following the expiration of the power play, the Knights would again nearly tie the game on a Justin Engelkes feed to Gabe Temple off the rush, but again they would be robbed by a post-to-post save by Benson. The second would expire without further scoring and the Knights still trailing.

In the third, the period was mostly even, with both team’s trading zones but not initially an abundance of grade-a looks. A turnover in front of the Knights net in the later half of the frame presented the best opportunity of the afternoon. Hunter Wendt didn’t miss, burying a goal from the middle of the slot to build a 5-3 lead.

Josh Benson, on his way to a 29-save performance, closed out the contest with a third robbery of a Knights grade-a chance and then received help from the iron which stoned a laser from Reed Robinson. With a late power play and the extra attacker on, the Knights came up just short in their comeback efforts to fall in a 5-3 final. They’ll look to rebound tomorrow with a rematch against the Ice Dogs at 6:30 pm EST. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow Knights social media on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for in-game updates!

Knights Swept by Fairbanks

Eriksson and Gordon lead the way as Ice Dogs Repay Knights Favor from January

With the first leg of their Alaska road trip in the rear-view mirror, chances are the Knights would like to leave it there. After sweeping the defending Robertson Cup champions earlier in the season, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton encountered a much different Ice Dogs team waiting for them at the Big Dipper Ice Arena this weekend.

Fairbanks handled the Knights on Friday to the tune of a 7-0 victory on their way to their third-straight victory. Saturday presented the Knights with the opportunity for a bounce back, but they would have to do so against a hot goalie. Entering Saturday night, Erik Gordon had allowed one goal or less in the Ice Dogs three consecutive wins.

Gordon would prove a worthy challenge again for the Knights as the team mounted an assortment of chances in Saturday’s first period. All 10 shots placed on net by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forecheck were turned away. Fairbanks’ offense would draw first blood 9:40 into the frame with some familiar faces. Fresh off a two-assist performance Friday, Hunter Wendt would take his turn at filling in the goal off assists from Dean Hewines and Cayden Cahill.

The Ice Dogs put their foot to the pedal in the second period. They were quickly rewarded with a goal just 3:38 in off the efforts of Connor Chilton, set up by Bauer Neudecker and Erkka Vanska. That tally would serve as the period’s only goal, but the Ice Dogs would control the pace, outshooting the Knights 15-5. Wilkes-Barre did little to help their cause by going 0-1 on the power play while being forced to make two kills of their own.

In the third, the Ice Dogs broke the game open. Aided by a bevy of Knights penalties, Fairbanks would again dictate the tempo. Outshooting the Knights 14-7 led the way for scores from Hampus Eriksson (2), Robert Blueger and Luke Orysiuk. Eriksson’s second tally and Orysiuk’s goal both came by virtue of the power play. Erik Gordon closed things out with his second-straight shutout, his third of the season.

The Knights will make a quick turnaround to play Kenai River next Friday and Saturday where they will attempt to snap their now two-game losing streak. Following another road game in Boston on April 4th, the team will return home on April 7th and 8th to close out their regular season.

Knights Fall in Alaska Road Trip Opener

Cayden Cahill’s Hat Trick Paves Way for Ice Dogs

Following a week of inclement weather and dynamic travel plans, the Knights were eager to get their Alaska road trip started on a high note. That high note will have to come in their second game against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs tonight at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.

Things started ugly and stayed ugly. In a portent of things to come, Cayden Cahill buried the game’s first goal just 2:12 into the contest on helpers from Hunter Wendt and Robert Blueger. Ryan Kero followed that up just under two and a half minutes later with the Ice Dogs second goal (Samuel Ruffin, Benton Maas).

The Knights only immediate response was a march to the penalty box. Nine seconds after their second such offense, the Ice Dogs entered their third goal of the period off the blade of Grayson Gavin from Eriksson and Aaron McPheters. The Ice Dogs would hold their advantage for the remaining 7:15 of the first, taking a 3-0 lead into the dressing room.

The defending Robertson Cup champions weren’t done adding to their lead and Cayden Cahill wasn’t done adding to his stat sheet. After a scoreless 10:52 to open the second, the 96 birth year would break the silence with a power play tally off assists from Ruffin and Blueger. Cahill would finish off the hat trick at 15:05 (Blueger, Wendt). Ice Dogs netminder Erik Gordon would hold the Knights at bay through their first two power plays sending Fairbanks to the second intermission with a 5-0 lead.

If any glimmer of hope for a comeback existed, the Ice Dogs extinguished it in the third period’s first minute. Set up by Daniel Haider and Grayson Gavin, Hampus Eriksson scored Fairbanks’ 6th goal just 49 seconds into the frame. Discounting a fight between that ended the Knights of both the Ice Dogs Luke Orysiuk and the Knights Jim Elser, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would only outpace the Ice Dogs on the penalty scoreboard in the third. On their second infraction of the period and Fairbanks’ 6th power play of the game, Benton Maass made them pay (Eriksson, Gavin), notching the game’s final goal of the game at 13:58.

Making his sixth-straight start, Grant Valentine would stick around until 15:57 of the third period before new emergency goaltender Austin Ryman was called on in relief to close out the final 4:03 of the game. Ice Dogs netminder Erik Gordon would cruise to his 2nd shutout and 19th victory of the year (now 19-3-0-3), stopping all 21 shots he faced.

The loss snaps a Knights three game losing streak they carried with them after a clean sweep of last weekend. In pursuit of a bounce back tonight, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will have to do a better job of competing in the special team’s department. Fairbanks scored on three of their seven tries on the man advantage while the Knights were held scoreless in their three attempts.

Limiting the likes of Cayden Cahill (three goals), Grayson Gavin (one goal, two assists) and Hampus Eriksson (one goal and two assists) would be a good first step in splitting the weekend with Fairbanks. The two opponents will square off again at 7:30 PM Alaska Standard Time/11:30 pm Eastern Standard

Knights Complete Weekend Sweep of Fairbanks

Knights ride three-goal third period to 4th-straight win

Entering Sunday, the Knights looked to continue their strong start to 2017. They would have to do so against the defending Robertson Cup Champions in their consecutive meeting.

A first period dominated by penalties saw each team gain multiple opportunities on the power play. On the period’s fourth penalty and the Knight’s second power play, Curtis Carlson tallied the game’s first goal and his eighth of the season at 12:23 on assists from Markus Komuls (10) and Joe Schuler (6).

Penalties would again prove prevalent in the second period, and with both kill units having plenty of ice time in the first, it came as little surprise that neither power play could find twine. What did stand out was Ryan Kero’s shorthanded effort at 17:10. Dorian Dawson had a bouncing puck skip his stick at the point, and in his effort to hold the zone, lost his footing. Kero surged ahead, grabbing the loose puck and moving his way in alone on Grant Valentine, beating him unassisted for the first shorthanded goal allowed by the Knights on the season. The score would remain knotted at one heading into the dressing room.

Fairbanks would parlay the momentum into the opening of the third period when Nick Rogers would beat Valentine, unassisted to give the Ice Dogs their first lead at 4:23.

The advantage would hold for the visitors well into the second half of the period thanks in large part to a tremendous effort by goalie Joshua Sarlo. Following a growing number of opportunities for the Knights, the dam would finally break at 13:20 when Joe Schuler ripped his second goal of the season by Sarlo to knot the game at two.

Five minutes later, Paul Maust would give the Knights lead with his team-leading 12th goal of the season, set up from Vince Marino (9) and Curtis Carlson (15).  Markuss Komuls would seal the deal on an open net at 19:05 set up by Grant  Valentine (2), and Sam Antonitsch (11). In addition to the assist, Grant Valentine would stop 25 of 27 shots to earn his 11th win of the season.

Following wins in six of their last seven 7 games, the Knights find themselves eight points behind the third-place New Jersey Titans in the NAHL East Division. They’ll travel to New Jersey to take on the Titans in their next game at 7:45 pm this Wednesday night, January 18th.

Knights Earn Hard Fought Win

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.

Knights Set to Host 2nd Annual Scouts Night!

Knights fans!

This Saturday, January 14th at 7:30 pm the Knights will play host to the defending Robertson Cup Champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs. It will be a special night inside the Revolution Ice Centre as the Knights will be hosting Scout Night at the Rink.

The team will wear custom-made jerseys made by OT Sports paying tribute to the Boy Scouts of Northeast PA. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game to benefit the long-standing organization.

Anyone in attendance wearing their scouts uniform will receive a free hot dog and small soda.

Tickets for general admission will be $5 for this night only! Reserve tickets today by calling (570) 883-1100 or by emailing [email protected]