5 Things: Philadelphia Opens Road Series at Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN, PA – The Philadelphia Rebels (3-6-0-0, 6 pts) travel to face the Johnstown Tomahawks (1-4-2-0, 4 pts) in a two-game series this weekend.

Here are five things to know ahead of the series:


1. Bounce Back

The Rebels have proven an ability to bounce back after losses so far this season. Philadelphia has yet to lose more than two games in a row in 2022-23.

The Rebels trip to Johnstown will be their second East Division road trip this season after visiting Johnstown on Oct. 1.

After this weekend, the Rebels return home for four consecutive games.


2. Last time in Johnstown

On Oct.1, Philadelphia completed a come-from-behind victory 4-3 over the Tomahawks.

The Rebels went down 3-1 early in the second period, but after a Kris Samitis goal tied the game in the third, Philadelphia forced overtime.

On a power play in overtime, Greg Spitnzagel circled to the top of the zone and ripped a shot past Johnstown goaltender Matt O’Donnell to win the game for the Rebels.


3. Goaltending

Philadelphia’s goaltending tandem of Jakub Krbecek and Jack Fialkoff have combined for a .925 save percentage through nine games.

Krbecek has started six times and has faced pressure consistently, but has kept Philadelphia in games with his .917 save percentage. In four games, Fialkoff has logged a .938 save percentage. 

Philadelphia has allowed the third fewest goals in the East Division.


4. Special Teams

Part of the reason for Philadelphia’s defensive success has been their league-best penalty kill.

It has allowed just two goals on 34 opposing power plays. One of those goals was scored into an empty net.

The Rebels 94.1% penalty kill is one of three in the North American Hockey League operating above 90%.


5. Scouting the Tomahawks

Johnstown has allowed 23 goals over its seven games this season. Goaltenders Matt O’Donnell and Alec Rajalin-Scharp have combined for an .890 save percentage.

The Tomahawks offense is led by three forwards that all have five points each (Johnny Ulicny, James Barbour and Drake Albers).

The last time Johnstown played was in that overtime loss to Philadelphia on Oct. 1. The Tomahawks have four points this season, but has won just one of its seven games in regulation.


Friday’s puck drop from Johnstown will be at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on HockeyTV.