It was a fitting end to Veterans Appreciation Weekend with the Rebels and New Jersey Titans playing yet another very close, hard fought game with the home team winning with a goal from Chris Deprez with 18 seconds left to give the two teams a split in the weekend series.
The vocal crowd gave a very nice ovation for Army Captain, and Travis Manion Foundation Ambassador, Eric Adelsberger who dropped the ceremonial first puck. It didn’t take long for the fireworks to begin when fan favorite and opposing team pest Connor Wood and line mate Dom Garcia started banging the Titans hard into the boards. New Jersey took exception to the roughness when Bruno Birzitis took a hooking penalty to open the game.
The Rebels fed off each others energy when Dean Balsamo took a pass from Evgeny Yakovlev and Kennett Square native Michael Merulla and beat Titans goalie Jack Berry 3:45 seconds into the first period for a power play goal.
A minute later Frank Spellman beat Berry to put the Rebels up 2-0.
Although it started to look like a blowout, Titans coach Rich McKenna settled his troops. Keegan Miller took a pass from Victor Ostling and Andrew Durham and scored on a power play goal with three minutes left in the opening stanza beating Trevor Micucci.
New Jersey tied the game at the 7:17 mark of the second period when Adrew Durham picked up his second point of the game by beating Micucci.
After the Titans knotted the score at 2, the teams played close, checking hockey with each goalie keeping his respective team in the game.
With overtime looming in yet another Rebels and Titans game, Kristofers Bindulis took a feed from Austin Swingle and blasted a shot from the near side point that Chris Deprez redirected past Berry with 18 seconds left sending the Rebels and the crowd into frenzy. It gave the Rebels a weekend split with their East Division rival.
Micucci had 26 saves on 28 shots. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels will play a home-and-home series next weekend against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knight with Saturday night’s home game is “skate night with the Rebels.”