Despite a valiant comeback, the Philadelphia Rebels were unable to overcome a three-goal deficit and ended up losing 5 – 4 to the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The Rebels now find themselves on the brink of elimination trailing two games to none in this best-of-five Robertson Cup divisional final series.
Rookie Jimmy Glynn scored his second goal of the playoffs to give the Rebels an early 1 – 0 lead.
While the Rebels were on a line change, forward Konur Peterson did an outstanding job to keep the puck moving behind the Knights net as he waited for help. After battling for the puck in the offensive zone’s far side corner, Peterson would skate around the Knights net and take a sharp angle shot that was saved by WBS goaltender Christian Stoever but the rebound came right out to Glynn who tucked in the rebound to give the Rebels the lead just 4:12 into the first period.
The Knights would even the score with 8:37 left in the period.
After the Knights won the draw deep inside the Rebels zone, the puck would go back to the near side point to Luke Robinson. The Knights defensemen took a shot that was saved by goaltender Eli Billing but the rebound went up high and bounced to the top of the faceoff circle to Billing’s right. Blake Kryska would tap the puck up to Matt Kidney in the far side corner. Kidney sent a centering pass to Jake Olmstead who took a backhand shot that went wide of the net. Olmstead picked up his own rebound and started to skate around the Rebels with the puck on his backhand. Olmstead turned and took a shot on his forehand that beat Billing low, short side to tie the game at one.
Three minutes later the Knights would take the lead.
Defenseman Joseph Verkerke would bring the puck out of his own zone and make a centering pass to Lincoln Hatten. As soon as Hatten entered the offensive zone, he passed the puck over to Curtis Carlson on his left. As Carlson went to cut across the goalmouth, Billing went to poke check the puck. As soon as Billing’s stick touched the puck, the biscuit bounced backwards and hit the left post and went into the net to give the Knights a 2 – 1 lead with 5:41 left in the first period.
As time was winding down in the opening period, Brandon Stanley would score the first of his two goals on the night to tie the game at two.
After Alex Frye won the draw in the offensive zone, Stanley would send the puck back to Carson Moniz at the point. Moniz sent a bounce pass up along the near side boards and the puck went behind the Knights net where it was picked up by Stanley. As Stanley battled for the biscuit, he sent a short pass to Luke Radetic who tried to jam the puck past Stoever but the rebound came out to Frye. The Rebels forward swiped at it and Stoever made another save but he was unable to control the rebound and Stanley knocked it in to make it 2 – 2 with twenty-six seconds left in the first period.
The Knights then scored three, second period goals to take a commanding lead.
WBS defenseman Adrian Danchenko sent a clearing pass high off the glass that was picked up by Tyrone Bronte. The Knights forward would enter the offensive zone on a two-on-one with Jeffrey Bertrand. As Bronte gained the line, he passed the puck to Bertrand on his left. Bertrand took a wrist shot that went through Billing’s five hole to give the Knights a 3 – 2 lead with 10:04 to go in the period.
Two and a half minutes later the Knights would double their lead.
As Kryska went to clear the zone, the puck was intercepted by Kolby Vegara at the near side point. Vegara would turn to send the puck deeper into the Knights zone but it was picked off by Bronte. The WBS forward would enter the Rebels zone on a three-on-three. Bronte would take a shot that was blocked by Vegara but Bronte followed up on his own rebound and wristed the biscuit past Billing to give the Knights a 4 – 2 lead.
Shortly after the Knights scored their fourth goal Billing was replaced by Ryan Keane.
Olmstead would score his second goal of the night with one-minute left in the period to give the Knights a 5 – 2 lead.
Kidney would gain the line alone the far side blueline and take a shot that was blocked by Seth Bergeron as Moniz picked up the loose puck and send it up along the glass where it was knocked down by Michael Morrissey. The Knights forward passed the puck back to Kidney in the corner who immediately sent it to a breaking Olmstead who took a shot that beat Keane long side to give the Knights a three-goal lead going into the third.
Although the lead looked insurmountable going into the final period, the Rebels had other plans.
Bronte would clear the puck where it was picked up by Diarmad DiMurro as center ice. The Rebels defenseman would send it back to Stanley at his own blueline. Stanley then passed it up Radetic along the near side boards. Radetic would circle back and made a nice saucer pass to a breaking Stanley across center ice. As Stanley skated towards the top of the circle, he took a wrist shot that beat Stoever long side to cut the Knights lead to two with 4:05 into the third.
Aaron Maguyon would cut the Knights lead in half on a great individual effort.
After Kyrska picked up the puck in his own zone he went to clear the biscuit but it was intercepted by Ryan Patrick at the top of the near side faceoff circle. As the Rebels captain went to play it he was met by Luke Robinson. Patrick turned to shield the puck from Robinson and passed it down low to Maguyon. As Maguyon went to skate towards the goalmouth, he was inadvertently tripped by Stoever who stuck out his stick to prevent a pass out front. As Maguyon started to fall he turned to his left and slipped the puck through Stoever’s five hole to make it 5 – 4 with eight minutes left in the game.
Despite intense pressure for the remainder of the game, the Rebels were unable to tie it.
Billing and Keane combined to stop 24 of 29 shots while Stoever turned aside 30 of 34. Click here for the box score.
The series now shifts to the Revolution Ice Centre where the Rebels have to win two to bring the fifth and deciding game back to IceWorks on Friday, May 4.