Knights Fall in OT for Consecutive Games
A late goal from Carson Briere tied things in the third, before the Tomahawks yet again finished the Knights in overtime, 3-2 Saturday night. This comes just 24 hours after a 2-1 overtime loss to Johnstown the night prior.
The league's best team improved to 33-5, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stands 13-20-4. The Knights can say they've earned points in four of their last five games, as well as three consecutive.
Johnstown's OT hero from Friday, Alex Wilkins, got the scoring started again 16:03 into the first by knocking a puck over Zach Stejskal for the 1-0 lead.
After the first, Johnstown pressured Wilkes-Barre ferociously in the second with a game-high 18 shots on goal in the period. The Knights not only survived the onslaught, but managed to tie the game on a goal by former Tomahawk, Anthony Mastromonica. Winger John Kaljian entered the zone and passed across to Mastromonica for a bullet from the high slot, beating Tomahawks goalie Cooper Lukenda.
Mastromonica's night wasn't over yet. the 6'4? forward assisted on an early goal by Jake Fuss in the third, ending a 17-game drought for the Fairfield, CT native. After driving the net for a shot, Mastromonica's rebound popped free for an ensuing Fuss who could slam it past Lukenda, giving the Knights their first lead of the game.
With Stejskal making the stops, its looked like Wilkes-Barre would be able to do the unthinkable and end a home winning streak for Johnstown that had reached 106 days. Unfortunately, second generation forward Carson Briere would have something to say about that.
The son of former NHL player Danny Briere look advantage of a fortuitous bounce in front for his 26th goal of the season to make it 2-2 with just two minutes to play.
In overtime, Briere skated down the wing and found forward Bennett Stockdale crashing the net unprotected. Stockdale was beat point blank from Stejskal, but an incredible no-look backhander on his second try allowed Stockdale to roll one into the goal, scoring the final tally 1:13 into the extra session.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth committed-Stejskal finished the game with 41 saves. His opposite, Lukenda, had 20 stops.
Wilkes-Barre can prepare for home hockey coming up next. On Friday, January 25th they'll host the New Jersey Titans for the front end of a home-and-home with the Titans. After Friday's contest, Wilkes-Barre goes away for a six game road trip.
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North American Hockey League Stories from January 19, 2019
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