The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights defeated the visiting Philadelphia Rebels 2 – 1 to complete a three-game sweep of this best-of-five Robertson Cup divisional finals to end the East Division’s top seed’s season.
Despite being almost out shot two-to-one, the Knights were able to get timely goals and some ten bell saves from goaltender Christian Stoever to win a very close and well played game by both teams.
The Knight would take a 1 – 0 lead with 4:28 left in the first period on Tyrone Bronte’s third goal of the playoffs.
After Rebels center Alex Frye won the draw inside his own zone, the puck would go up along the end boards where it picked up by Jeffrey Bertrand in front of the visitor’s bench. The Knights forward would pass the puck to Adrian Danchenko in the corner. Danchenko would skate to the top of the near side faceoff circle with the puck on his backhand. He would turn and pass the biscuit to Bronte who was falling down and the Knights forwarded backhanded a shot up high and past goaltender Ryan Keane to give the Knights the lead.
The Rebels would tie it with 6:24 left in the second on Carson Moniz’s second goal of the playoffs.
Knights defensemen Joseph Verkerke sent the puck around the end boards where it was picked up by Brandon Stanley at the top of the far side faceoff circle. Stanley passed it down low to Nico Appendino who found Moniz skating towards the slot, and the Rebels defensemen took a wrist shot that beat Stoever through a screen to even the score.
With time running out in the middle period, Matt Kidney would score the ultimate game winner.
Verkerke would skate along the far side boards through the neutral zone and dump the puck into the near side corner where it was picked up Jack Olmstead. The Knights forward would skate up along the boards and towards the top of the slot. Olmstead took a backhanded shot that was blocked out front but the rebound came right out to Kidney who knocked in the loose puck past Keane to give the Knights a 2 – 1 lead with just fifteen second remaining in the second period.
Each team had chances in the third but Stoever and Keane made several tough saves to keep the score intact. In the end, it wasn’t enough. Keane finished the game stopping 27 of 29 shots while Stoever turned aside 39 of 40. Click here for the box score.
This will be the first time in the Rebels three-year history that the team will not advance to the Robertson Cup tournament. Despite the loss, the Rebels had a great season, capturing their third straight regular season East Division championship and winning 41 regular season games, including a historic game at the Wells Fargo Center.