Rebels’ defenseman Brennan Kapcheck had two goals while fellow blue liners Ryan Solomon and Gvido Jansons had one and goaltender Jack Leavy turned aside all 30 shots he faced for his first NAHL shutout as the home team defeated the New Jersey Titans 4 – 0.
The Rebels got on the board first at the 4:13 mark of the opening period. Gianluca Esteves brought the puck up the far side boards into the Titans zone and behind their net. He went around it and passed it back to Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon passed the puck up the near side boards to Jansons who was pinching on the play. Jansons sent the puck back to Maguyon who made a nice, one-time pass in the slot to a wide open Kapcheck who buried past Titans goalie Brandon Perrone for his eighth goal on the season.
After out shooting the Titans 14 – 8 in the first, the tide turned in the second period as New Jersey rushed the Rebels net throughout but Leavy made several key saves to keep the visitors off the board. Then the game became more physical. While the Rebels Ryan Patrick was called for high sticking, New Jersey’s Dylan Healey and William Riedell were called for roughing putting the Rebels on the power play.
Andrew Bellant won the faceoff deep inside the Titans zone and passed the puck back to Solomon. Solomon passed it to his left to Kapcheck. He in turn passed it to Maguyon who feed it back to Solomon at the top of the slot and Solomon took a cannon of a shot that beat Perrone with 6:05 left in the second.
With a minute and seven seconds left in the period, it was Kapcheck again. Carter Woolley brought the puck deep inside New Jersey’s far side corner. He passed it to the side of the net to Patrick. Patrick forwarded the puck Drew Blackmun who hit a wide open Kapcheck in the slot and he buried it for his second goal of the game to give the Rebels a 3 – 0 lead.
With seven minutes left in the third period, New Jersey’s Greg Malafronte was called for boarding and a game misconduct when he hit Rebels defenseman Martino Picariello from behind putting the home team on the power play. Jensen Zerban won the faceoff deep inside the Titans zone. The drawl went back to Kapcheck. Kapcheck passed the puck up to Bellant. Bellant passed it down low to Zerban who passed the puck through the goal mouth to Jansons who put it behind Perrone to finish the Rebels scoring at 4 – 0.
Perrone stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced. Click here for the box score.
The rubber game of the series will be played at 5:00pm. It will be $1 Hot Dogs and Skate Night with the Rebels immediately following the game.