Knights drop 5-4 decision to division-leading Panthers

by dentonramsey

Knights drop 5-4 decision to division-leading Panthers

 

By Denton Ramsey / Sports Editor

 

The puck just didn’t bounce in the Knights favor on Thursday night at Duncanville’s StarCenter as DeSoto/Grand Prairie dropped a 5-4 decision to the Plano East Panthers.

Too many defensive flaws led to open scoring opportunities for the Panthers as Plano East took advantage of the youthful Knights’ errors.

But early on, things looked good for the home team Knights.

At the 10:51 mark in the first period, Knights’ goalie Matthew Padgett made a stop in the crease to keep the game scoreless.

However, just seconds later at the 10:06 mark in the opening period, Plano East struck first when Tim Monell fired a shot past Padgett to give the Panthers the early 1-0 lead.

But just moments later, it was time for the speedy Grand Prairie native Jeremy Seiter to put on his game time clinic.

At the 9:46 mark in the first period, Seiter struck pay-dirt on a breakaway goal to tie the game, 1-1.

Padgett made another fantastic sprawling save with 2:31 left in the opening period to keep the game tied at 1-1.

And although the Knights and Panthers were deadlocked after one, the home team was getting out-shot 11-4.

The second period began with both teams having a hard time controlling the puck in their zone, but that all soon changed.

With about 6:30 remaining in the second period, Padgett stopped a barrage of shots when Plano East went on the attack.

And at the 3:49 mark in the second period, the Knights would reward Padgett by giving the home team a 2-1 lead.

After the Panthers failed to clear the puck, the Knights’ Juan Barrientos took his time and slapped a one-timer from just inside the blue line and past Taylor Stobaugh to give DeSoto/Grand Prairie a one-goal lead.

As the puck slipped past Stobaugh and into the netting, Barrientos raised his arms in jubilation as the Knights managed to take their first lead of the game.

However, the Knights failed to hold on in the clutch moments ending the second period as the Panthers answered and then took the lead on two shorties to end the frame.

With 55.6 seconds remaining in the second period, poor defensive passing led to a Panthers attack as Andrew Mobley pushed the puck past Padgett to knot the game at 2-2 on a short-handed goal.

And just seconds later, with 35.1 seconds left in the second period, Mobley found pay-dirt again on another short-handed goal as the Knights’ defense once again failed to clear the puck, giving Plano East a 3-2 lead after two.

But the third and final period of action left fans and players on the edge of their seats as the game came down to the final buzzer.

The Knights quickly deadlocked the game with 11:16 remaining in the third period when Bryan Zientek passed the puck to Paul Watkins, who successfully knocked the puck past Stobaugh to tie the game, 3-3.

However, Plano East regained the lead at 4-3 at the 10:11 mark in the third period on a goal by JP Harris, assisted by teammates Andy Waldschmidt and Mobley.

Once again, though, the resilient Knights fought back to tie the game at 4-4 with 8:13 remaining in the final period on Seiter’s second goal of the night, assisted by Sawyer Stinchfield.

A Plano East power-play goal with 5:53 remaining in the period gave the Panthers a 5-4 lead as a Will Young pass led to a Chris Schultz goal.

With 4:47 left in the period, the Knights were on a 3-on-2 attack but were whistled offsides as the players crossed the blue line, nullifying any attempt at a quick scoring opportunity for the home team.

At the 2:40 mark in the third period, an icing call against the Knights led to a face-off on their end of the ice, but the home team won the face-off and was able to quickly knock the puck out of their zone.

DeSoto/Grand Prairie pulled Padgett with about 30 seconds left in the third period to give the Knights a 6-on-5 scoring opportunity, but the home team was unable to put together a successful drive as the Panthers held on for a 5-4 victory.

And looking at shots on goal, one could easily wonder how the Knights kept the score so close.

The only reason the Knights were able to stay in the game was due to phenomenal goaltending by Padgett, as the home team was brutally out-shot by Plano East, 30-13.

With the loss, the Knights drop to 9-3-1 overall, good for 19 points and a third-place standing in the Varsity Silver Division as the Panthers remain in first-place with an 11-1-0 record (22 points).

13 games into the season, Jeremy Seiter leads the Knights in five categories, including goals (20), assists (16), points (36), power-play goals (4) and short-handed goals (3).

Connor Joyner leads DeSoto/Grand Prairie goalies in wins with 4 while Knights’ defender Brandon Christenson leads the team in penalty minutes (101).

The Knights return to the ice on Thursday, Jan. 18 as DeSoto/Grand Prairie faces off against Plano Senior Silver at the Duncanville Green rink at 9:30 p.m.

 

Sports Editor Denton Ramsey can be reached via e-mail at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

 

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