The Aston Rebels defeated the Northeast Generals 3 – 0 in a Monday matinee today at IceWorks. It was the Rebels third straight win in four days. Andrew Bellant had two goals and Mareks Mitens recorded his fourth shutout of the season.
Northeast’s goaltender Gabe Vinyl was stellar between the pipes today. In the first period alone, he faced 13 shots on goal and turned all of them aside, making several 10 bell saves.
With no score at the beginning of the second period, the Generals’ Grant Wellinger was called for slashing at the 3:25 mark of the middle stanza putting the Rebels on the power play. After having Vinyl make some tough saves, Bellant had the puck at the middle of the point. He passed to his left for defenseman Brennan Kapcheck. Kapcheck passed it forward to Bellant who now was at the top of the far side circle and took a slap shot that beat Vinyl short side giving the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead five minutes into the second period. The Rebels would barrage Vinyl with 18 shots during the second but only one found its way past him.
Clinging onto a one goal lead going into the third period, the Generals’ Brian Glover was called for tripping only a 1:49 into the final period. With the Rebels on the power play, Ryan Solomon brought the puck down low into the Generals far side corner. He passed it to Gianluca Esteves who was positioned to Vinyl’s glove side. Esteves tried to stuff it but the puck came loose to Evgeny Yakovlev who was on the doorstep and put it into the open net to give the Rebels a 2 – 0 lead at 2:57 of the third period.
Northeast’s head coach Bryan Erickson pulled Vinyl for the extra attacker with two minutes left in the period. Shane McMahan intercepted a Generals’ pass and then passed the puck to Bellant who scored his second goal of the game, this time an empty netter with 1:30 left in the final period.
Mitens stopped all 15 shots he faced while Vinyl stopped 43 of 45 shots. Please click here for the box score.
The win puts the Rebels in sole possession of first place in the East Division with a 10 – 2 record with 20 points. It also gives them the best record in the North American Hockey League.