Tag Archives: NAHL Showcase

Knights Face Four At NAHL Showcase

The North American Hockey League, in conjunction with its 26 member teams have released the schedule for the 2019 NAHL Showcase Tournament. The event takes place once again at Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Mn. All 26 NAHL clubs will compete over a four day span from September 18-21.

The NAHL Showcase gives all teams an opportunity to be under one roof where hundreds of college and NHL scouts will be present. This year, the Knights will take to the road and head to Minnesota following their opening weekend at home against the Johnstown Tomahawks. From there, the Knights will meet with the Kenai River Brown Bears, Aberdeen Wings, Chippewa Steel, and Lone Star Brahmas in that order from Wednesday-Saturday.

Of the four opponents, the Knights have only met the Aberdeen Wings and Kenai River Brown Bears in prior NAHL contests. The last meeting with Aberdeen came September of 2016 at the annual Showcase event, where Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skated away with a 2-1 victory. The Wings enter this season as the defending Robertson Cup Champions. Two of the four games the Knights play at the Showcase will be against recent champions, as the Lone Star Brahmas captured the Robertson Cup in 2017. The Knights will get to play the Brown Bears for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Wilkes-Barre also gets to meet one of the newer teams in the league with the Chippewa Steel,  who began their NAHL tenure last season after relocating the Coulee Region Chill franchise.

For more information on the 2019 NAHL Showcase, please visit NAHL.com

Engelkes Powers Knights to Comeback Win

Photo Credit: NAHL.com

Knights Second-Round Pick Leads the Charge on Day Three of Showcase

Round three of the Knights Blaine road trip had them meet the Minnesota Wilderness at the Schwan Super Rink 4. With both teams coming off a loss, urgency was to be expected in the game’s opening minutes.

Following puck drop, both sides began a see-saw battle of possession, seeing each forecheck trade offensive zones, a theme that would prove prevalent throughout the game. The Wilderness were first to strike off Blake Bride’s 2nd goal of the season, assisted by Andrew Troy and Eric Gotz at 3:58.

Tyrone Bronte responded 45 seconds later, tying the game for the Knights with a shot in close, created by crisp passing from Adrian Danchenko and Jack Olmstead. Olmstead’s assist extended his point streak to four games.

Eric Gotz wouldn’t let the tie live out the period. The Minnesota defenseman took advantage of a power play and ripped a point shot through traffic, besting Knights goalie Christian Stoever for the 2-1 Wilderness lead at 15:48.

The second frame saw an increase in Minnesota’s forechecking pressure. Their attack successfully set up in the Knights zone on numerous occasions, finally breaking through at 12:41 when Gino Lucia hammered a puck to twine on an assist from Gotz. Though the Knights were able to outshoot the Wilderness by one in the period, they were consistently flustered by Ryan Fanti’s solid goaltending.

Finally, at 16:27 the Knights answered to cut the lead to one. After Paul Cimilluca advanced the puck down low to Justin Engelkes, the rookie fought through multiple bodies under the end line to find Matt Kidney alone in the slot. The Knights veteran ripped home the team’s second goal, serving as a crucial boost to their momentum.

Down by one entering the third, the Knights elevated their execution on the attack. After struggling through their first two power play opportunities of the afternoon, Wilkes-Barrre/Scranton cashed in when Lincoln Hatten slammed a puck by Fanti for the tying goal at 8:53 (Olmstead, Kryska).

Minnesota wouldn’t take kindly to losing their lead. They forced two Knights penalties in the following three minutes, and were able to generate a handful of quality chances on net. Christian Stoever answered each and the penalty kill stood strong in their final two deployments of the day.

As the clock wound down, Justin Engelkes turned up ice. With under five minutes to play, the Verona, Wisconsin native’s acceleration carried him through neutral ice. Just as he gained the blue line, he let go a snipe that found its way past multiple defenders and Fanti for the go-ahead goal, Engelkes’ first in the NAHL.

The Knights defense would grind down the clock to the final minute when Minnesota pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. The Wilderness again mounted quality chances, but none that beat Stoever, as the rookie goaltender made a fine kick save in the game’s final seconds to close out the win.

The Knights will complete their NAHL showcase with a 10:30 AM EDT meeting with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays tomorrow morning. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @wbsknights on twitter for live updates.


Knights Take First Loss Against Shreveport

Despite valiant effort in net, Knights can’t overcome Mudbugs

Day two of the NAHL Showcase saw the Knights square off with the Shreveport Mudbugs, one of two team’s younger than the Knights in the North American Hockey League.

Fresh off a 3-1 victory over the Minot Minotauros, the Mudbugs carried an up-tempo energy into the first period of their second day in Blaine.

Early pressure from Shreveport tested the resolve of Knights goalie David Tomeo, who fended off 13 shots in the first period. In his second start, the West Caldwell, New Jersey native stood on his head early and often.

The Knights were denied on an early power play opportunity in the first, but returned the favor late in the period. Neither team was able to generate a goal in the first 20 minutes, as Mudbugs goalie Gustavs Grigals matched Tomeo in a duel of sharp saves.

The second period saw the Knights establish more of an offensive zone presence as the team drew an early penalty, but they were unsuccessful on the ensuing advantage. The Knights appeared to score at 7:51 through a pile of bodies in front of Grigals, but the officials deemed that the net had come off its moorings. They also ruled that this had been done purposely by Shreveport, resulting in a penalty shot.

Jack Olmstead took the puck down the ice and beat Grigals for the game’s first goal and the 1-0 Knights lead. With the tally, Olmstead extends his scoring streak to three games.

Spurred on by the score, the Knights continued to pressure Shreveport in their own zone, but were continually turned away by Grigals. Off the back of their goaltending and steady defense, the Mudbugs forced a two-on-one break in which Jack Jaunich slid Jordan Fader a perfect pass to beat Tomeo to draw the score even at one at 14:57.

On a power play opportunity four minutes later, Cameron Cook and Brendan Gysbers’ found Cole Quisenberry, who willed a sharp-angle shot past Tomeo for the 2-1 Shreveport lead.

The third period saw both teams gridlocked in a back-and-forth transition game, but the Mudbugs were able to generate better chances off Knights mistakes. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton successfully killed an early checking from behind infraction and a mid-period five-on-three, but struggled to sustain possessions in the offensive zone. Their best chances came off the rush, but Grigals was able to answer every challenge sent his way.

Unable to find the tying-goal on a power play in the game’s final five minutes, the Knights pulled Tomeo for the extra attacker with less than two minutes to play. The team generated several solid chances and forced multiple Shreveport icings, but the Mudbugs held on to grind out their third victory of the season.

The Knights will return to the ice tomorrow against the Minnesota Wilderness at 2:15 pm EST. The game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnights on Twitter for live in-game updates!