SEWELL, NJ – The Philadelphia Rebels (2-2-0-0, 4 pts) host the Maryland Black Bears (5-1-0-0, 10 pts) in their first home games in franchise history this weekend.
Here are five things to know ahead of the weekend series:
1. Home Opener
This weekend marks the first home games at Hollydell Ice Arena in franchise history for the Philadelphia Rebels.
Philadelphia is hosting Hollydell Hockey Night on Friday for its first-ever home game and inviting all youth players at Hollydell to attend the game in their team’s jersey.
All Rebels home games in 2022-23 will have free admission for all fans.
2. Spitz Scores
Rebels forward Greg Spitznagel leads the team with four points so far this season. Spitznagel is the only Rebels player averaging a point-per-game so far.
For the past two seasons, Spitznagel played for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL (Tier I Junior Hockey).
Spitznagel joined the Rebels this season and has made an immediate impact, leading the team in scoring early on.
The big forward stands at 6-2, 216 and proved to be a force at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN to open the season.
3. Hale Yeah
Rebels Head Coach Justin Hale recorded the first two wins of his career at the league Showcase in Blaine, MN last week.
Hale joined the Rebels with prior experience behind the bench in the NAHL as well as higher levels.
With previous stops at Lone Star (NAHL) and Bemidji State (NCAA DI), Hale spent the last few seasons as an assistant coach for the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL).
During Hale’s time in Dubuque, nine Fighting Saints became NHL Draft Picks and 51 players landed Division I commitments.
This week, the first Rebels player in Hale’s tenure committed to play Division I hockey. Defenseman Jacob Margarit announced his commitment to play hockey at Army West Point (Atlantic Hockey).
Margarit joins fellow defenseman Joe Calvarino (Univ. of Vermont) as the only active Rebels players committed to play Division I hockey.
4. Special Teams
In the first four games, the Rebels power play is operating at 21.4% and their penalty kill is stopping the opponents at a remarkable 92.3% clip.
In the first four games of the season, the Rebels scored a power-play goal in all but one of them. One of those tallies came from David Deputy when he scored his first-career goal against Kenai River on Sept. 16.
The penalty kill allowed just one goal in 13 chances at the Showcase. The unit was led by Rebels goaltenders Jakub Krbecek and Jack Fialkoff.
Both goaltenders combined for a .934 save percentage in the first four games for Philadelphia.
5. Scouting Maryland
The Rebels will play their first East Division series this weekend, while Maryland opened its season with a sweep at home over the New Jersey Titans.
This weekend will be the first true road games for Maryland this season after a strong start against New Jersey and at the Showcase.
Maryland won five of its first six games while allowing just 10 total goals.
Forward Christian Catalano leads the way for Maryland with seven assists and nine points. The Black Bears also have had strong goaltending with William Hakansson posting a .938 save percentage in four starts.
Friday’s game will begin at 8 p.m. at Hollydell Ice Arena. Admission will be free for all fans. The game can also be seen on HockeyTV with the Rebels pre-game show beginning at 7:45 p.m.