Comeback falls short as Rebels lose to Titans 5 – 3

Comeback falls short as Rebels lose to Titans 5 – 3

The Rebels were playing in their second straight matinee game in as many days. This time the Rebels traveled to Middletown to play the New Jersey Titans for the second time in five days.  Despite coming back from a 3 – 0 deficit, the Rebels ended up losing 5 – 3 to the Titans.

The first period belonged to the Titans. With 3:57 into the opening period, Titans defenseman Oskar Stromberg had the puck at center ice and passed it up the far side boards to Greg Malafronte. Malafronte passed the puck to his left through the crease to Jordan Kaplan who slid the puck passed Rebels goalie Jack Leavy to give the Titans a 1 – 0 lead.

With a minute and a half left in the period, Andrew Bellant was called for interference putting the Titans on the power play. Kaplan would score his second goal of the game with thirty two seconds remaining.  Andrew Cusanelli had the puck at the farside faceoff circle inside the Rebels zone. He passed it back to the point to William Riedell. Riedell inturn immediately passed it back to Cusanelli. Cusanelli looked to his left and fed a seem pass through the slot to an open Kaplan who beat Leavy with a backdoor shot to up the Titans up 2 – 0.

Immediately after the ensuing faceoff, Stromberg was called for boarding with twenty four seconds remaining in the period.  After Titans’ goalie Brandon Perrone made a kick save the puck came out to Riedell. Riedell passed it up to Todd Goehring. Goehring skated through the neutral zone untouched. As soon as Goehring crossed the blueline into the Rebels zone, he took a slapshot that beat Leavy long side with four seconds left in the period to give the Titans a 3 – 0. It was a shorthanded goal.

Looking to breathe life into his team, head coach Joe Coombs replaced Leavy with Mareks Mitens to start the middle period. As much as the Titans owned the first period, the Rebels owned the second.

With thirty two seconds into the second period Brennan Kapcheck had the puck at the top of the point. He passed it over to his left to Jensen Zerban. Zerban passed it down low to Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon found Zerban coming in and passed him the puck. Zerban one-timed it and beat Perrone short side to put the Rebels on the board. It was Zerban’s fifth goal on the season.

After a save by Mitens, the rebound went into the nearside corner where it was picked up by Drew Blackmun. Blackmun skated through the neutral zone and down the far side boards. He took a wrist shot that hit Perrone in the mask but it went off of it and behind him into the net to make it a 3 – 2 game with 11:21 left in the middle period.

Dylan Healey was called for high sticking at 9:34 into the second putting the Rebels on the power play. Ryan Solomon had the puck at the top of the point. He passed to Blackmun at the top of the far side faceoff circle. Blackmun passed it down low to Gianluca Esteves. Esteves passed the puck to Evgeny Yakovlev in the slot and he one-timed it passed Perrone short side to tie the game at three with 9:46 left in the period. It was Yakovlev’s tenth goal on the season.

With the game tied at three going into the third, the two teams played an up and down game. Then at the 7:03 mark Yakovlev was called for unsportsmanlike conduct.  With 11:30 left in the third, Ryan Wheeler had the puck at the top of the point. He passed it to Malafronte at the top of the far side faceoff circle. He took a shot that was initially saved by Mitens by Danny Eruzione pickec up the rebound and put it through Mitens pads to give the Titans a 4 – 3 lead.

With a little over a minute remaining, Mitens was pulled for the extra attacker.  Maxim Andreev intercepted a pass and shot it into an empty net to make the final score 5 – 3.

Leavy and Mitens combined to save 19 of 23 shots while Perrone turned aside 19 of 22 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels just concluded their seven game road stand winning three of them. The team returns home this weekend to play two games against the second place Johnstown Tomahawks.