Andrew Bellant’s goal 1:34 into overtime gave the Rebels a thrilling 2 – 1 win over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks to complete a weekend sweep between the two teams. The victory also gives the Rebels a three-point lead over the second place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in the East Division.
Unlike the previous night where the game was essentially over after the first period, last night’s match had more of a playoff feel between the two teams. It was very physical; a lot of neutral zone play and excellent goaltending from former Rebel Jack Leavy and current netminder Ryan Keane.
The Tomahawks would draw first blood when Rebels forward Alex Frye was called for slashing at the 8:08 mark of the opening period. After the ensuing faceoff was won by Johnstown, the puck would go to Joe Kile along the near side boards. The Tomahawks’ forward made a spin move to send the puck back to Toby Sengvongxay at the point. Sengvongxay would pass it to Donovan Ott at the top of the far side faceoff circle. Ott would immediately pass it down low to Andy Nedeljkovic. Nedeljkovic made a nice touch pass to Roman Kraemer in the slot and he buried the puck past Keane on a one-timer to give Johnstown a 1 – 0 lead at 8:27 into the first period.
Chase Davidson was called for holding with 4:54 left in the first to put the Rebels on their second power play of the night.
After a save was made by Leavy, the deep rebound would go back to Kolby Vegara at the far side point. Vegara would pass it to Bellant on his left. The Michigan Tech commit then sent a pass to Aaron Maguyon at the top of the faceoff circle. The Egg Harbor Township native stepped up and took a shot that was saved by Leavy but Maguyon picked up his own rebound in the slot and immediately passed the puck to Jensen Zerban at the side of the net and the Air Force Academy commit would put it into the open net to tie the game at one with 3:53 remaining in the first.
Despite being outshot 10 – 2 in the second period, the Tomahawks rode the coattails of Leavy who had to make some key saves to keep the game tied going into the third.
With a lot of center ice play and limited shots between the two teams in the third, the game would go into overtime.
With Ott trying to enter the Rebels zone he was met by Bryant Gunn at the near side blueline as the puck would go behind the Rebels net where it was picked up by Bellant. Bellant would leave it behind for Gunn who then skated up the ice. As Gunn brought the puck passed his own blueline he sent a pass to a streaking Jimmy Glynn along the near side boards. As Glynn got to the top of the faceoff circle he saw Bellant breaking towards the net. Glynn sent a cross-ice pass to Bellant who redirected the puck past a sprawling Leavy to give the Rebels the 2 – 1 win. It was the Rebels’ all-time leading goal scorer his eighth goal on the season.
Keane turned aside 14 of 15 shots he faced while Leavy stopped 29 of 31. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels will travel to New Jersey on Wednesday night to play the Titans at 7:00pm. It will be the Rebels last game before the holiday break.