New Knights Dazzle in First NCDC Showcase

Knights go 2-1-0 at first showcase

Thomas Cuthbert

10/5/20235 min read

October 4, 2023 – The first showcase of the 2023-24 NCDC season is complete, and the Wilkes-

Barre/Scranton Knights are off to a promising start to this season with their performance.

Several players joining the Knights for the first time this season gave Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

some great performances that propelled them to a positive finish in their first showcase of the

year. After a 1-1 start to the season, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (3-2-0) faced three

opponents in the showcase at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts:

the Northern Cyclones (0-5-0), the Islanders Hockey Club (3-0-2), and the Twin City Thunder (0-


The Knights began their showcase against the Cyclones, where goaltender Tade Carman

would get his second start of the season. The first period was uneventful on the scoresheet,

with only a boarding penalty on Eron Mitchell of the Knights to show.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would break the ice eight minutes into the second period with a

powerplay goal from Justin Ouelette, his second goal of the season. Justin Filippelli would

double the Knights’ lead only two minutes later, with assists, from Chance Uzzell and William

Jasmin. The Cyclones would get on the board late into the second with a powerplay goal from

Keenan Schneider, bringing the period to an end with a 2-1 score in favor of Wilkes-


The third period started much like the first, and the Cyclones needed to change that,

pulling their goaltender with two minutes to go. The Knights capitalized immediately as William

Jasmin buried the first of two empty-net goals the Knights would score, bringing their first

contest of the showcase to a close with a 4-1 win in favor of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Uzzell

would end with two assists, leading the team in points. Carman claimed the win, going 18/19

on saves in the crease, and adding an assist to his name.

The second contest in this showcase would feature the Knights taking on the Islanders

Hockey Club. Much like the first contest, no goals were scored in the first period, and only one

penalty was assessed, a roughing call on Filippelli.

Things would change drastically in the second period however. The Islanders Hockey

Club would get on the board first with a goal from Max Lundgren. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would

then be on the penalty kill as a contact to the head major penalty was assessed on the goal

against Spencer Gallant. The Islanders Hockey Club would capitalize with one goal three

minutes into the major powerplay, the goal coming from Nicholas Arend. Halfway through the

period, the Islanders Hockey Club would be on the penalty kill as Braxton Powers went to the

box after being called for interference. Despite the man-advantage scenario, the Knights would

give up a shorthanded goal to Philippe Guay of the Islanders Hockey Club. Powers would head

to the penalty box again, this time called for a trip 18 seconds after his first penalty expired.

This time it would be the Knights to capitalize, as Justin Ryan would pot one. The Knights would

go back to the penalty kill not too long after as Gallant was called for hooking. One minute

later, another Knight would join him in the box as Jasmin was called for slashing. The Islanders

Hockey Club scored on the 5-on-3, with the goal coming from Miro Keltikangas.

The Knights would start the third period on the penalty kill on a slashing call against

Shawn Swavely, however the penalty kill unit would ward off the Islanders Hockey Club attack.

Less than a minute after the Swavely penalty expired, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would cut the lead

to two with a goal from Andrew Uturo. The Knights would go on the penalty kill three minutes

later, but once again let zero goals through. With less than eight minutes remaining, Wilkes-

Barre/Scranton’s Bogdan Stepanchuk scored his first of the year, giving the Knights a chance to

come back. However, the Knights could not tie the game up, and fell to the Islanders Hockey

Club 4-3.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wrapped up their showcase with a game against the Twin City

Thunder, starting with a different story than the last two contests. Halfway through would see

the first penalty of the game, an interference call against Knights player Charles Murray. The

Knights would hold off the Thunder’s powerplay, and start the scoring just under 13 minutes in

with a goal from William Jasmin, assisted by Justin Ryan and Andrew Piccirillo. The scoresheet

would be empty for the remaining seven minutes.

The Knights gained a powerplay early in the second period with a holding call against the

Thunder’s Gavin Brandon, but could not score on the man-advantage. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

would then be called for Too Many Players on the Ice, and give up a powerplay that the

Thunder would score on. Aidan Bender would claim the goal, his first of the season, tying the

contest at one goal each. Aidan Elkins of the Knights would be called for roughing two seconds

after the Bender goal. The scoresheet would be unchanged, but there would be three more

penalties in the second period, including another call for too many players on the ice against

the Knights.

The third period would start in the Thunder’s favor, with a penalty against the Knights in

the form of cross-checking against Murray. However, the Thunder would end up on the

backfoot with a goal from Justin Ryan four minutes in. A delay of game penalty against the

Thunder would only worsen their situation, as Jasmin scored thirty seconds into the powerplay,

with Ryan and Uzzell adding up their assist tallies on the goal. The Knights would find

themselves in deep trouble with a Swavely roughing penalty followed swiftly by a tripping call

on Logan Herbener. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton thwarted the 5-on-3 attack from the

Thunder and held their two-goal lead throughout it. They even had a chance to add another

with a penalty shot attempt from Sacha Trudel, however Twin City Thunder goaltender Stefan

Carney stopped the shot. Bender would score his second goal of the game thirteen seconds

after the Herbener penalty, bringing the game within one goal. The Thunder would empty the

cage in a last attempt to tie the game, but in the final moments, Jasmin would complete the hat

trick with an empty-net goal assisted by Ryan, as the Knights would win the contest 4-2. Justin

Ryan led the team in points with four, in the form of one goal and three assists, with Jasmin

scoring three points and Uzzell adding two.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ended the showcase with plenty to look forward to in their

season. Goaltender Tade Carman now leads the NCDC in wins with three, going 3-0 this far into

the season with a .936 SV% and a 2.27 GAA. Defenseman Chance Uzzell stands at second in the

NCDC in points among all defenseman with his seven assists. Justin Ryan stands tied for third in

the NCDC for points with nine, and William Jasmin now leads the NCDC in goals scored having

now scored five goals to start the season.

"We are very proud of our group's performance at the Junior Bruins Shootout," commented General Manager, Nick Perri on behalf of the staff. "Seeing our young players stand out the way that they did was impressive. And of course, watching our older guys step up and lead us to two points against Twin City was important, too. We are a young team, so it is important that our veteran-status players lead by example, especially early in the season."

The team looks to carry this momentum with them to their next showcase at the Ice

Vault in Wayne, New Jersey on Thursday October 5. The Knights will have a rematch against the

Northern Cyclones and then take on the South Shore Kings (4-0-0) on Friday October 6.