Rebels defenseman Gvido Jansons scored a natural hat trick to lead the Rebels to a 3 – 0 victory over the visiting Kenai River Brown Bears. It also was the tenth shutout on the season for netminder Mareks Mitens which ties him for the most shutouts by a goalie in one season in the North American Hockey League.
The first period seemed to be more of a feeling out process between the two teams although it was physical throughout. While there were no goals in the first it did featured a fight between Rebels forward Adam Peck and Kenai’s Carter Wade. Wade was subsequently given a game misconduct for head contact on Rebels defenseman Andrew Noel.
It then became the Gvido Jansons show. With 8:26 left in the second period, Drew Blackmun won the draw deep inside the Brown Bears near side faceoff circle. The puck went to the boards where Dom Garcia was able to pry it loose and pass it to Jansons who was at the high slot. Jansons moved slightly to his left and took a wrist shot that beat Kenai’s goalie Robbie Goor high glove side to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead at the 8:13 mark of the middle stanza. It was Jansons’ eleventh goal on the season.
With 3:52 left in the second, Brown Bears forward Luke Radetic was called for unsportsmanlike conduct putting the Rebels on the power play. Jensen Zerban won the draw inside Kenai’s zone. Garcia retrieved the puck and passed it back to Brennan Kapcheck at the point. Kapcheck passed it over to Jansons at the top of the nearside faceoff circle and he took a one-timer that beat Goor through a screen to give the Rebels a 2 – 0 with 2:33 remaining in the second period.
Early in the third period, Kenai defenseman, and Willow Grove, PA native, Jordan Holmes was called for hooking. With time winding down on the power play, Zerban won the draw deep inside the Brown Bears zone. The puck went to his left to Andrew Bellant who passed the puck back to the point to Kapcheck. Kapcheck passed the puck over to Jansons who took another one-timer and beat Goor for his third goal of the evening to give the Rebels a 3 – 0 lead with 13:30 left in the game. It was Jansons thirteenth goal on the season. It was Jansons’ first hat trick in the NAHL. In addition to Jansons to three goals on the night, Garcia and Kapcheck had two points respectively.
Mitens turned aside all 20 shots he faced. The shutout now ties him with current University of Connecticut goalie Robby Nichols with ten on the season. Nichols set the record during the 2011-12 season with the Wenatchee Wild. It was the team’s twelfth shutout of the season. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will play again tonight at IceWorks at 7pm.