The first of four straight games against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights did not go well for the Rebels. The Knights used two points from Blake Bush and Jacob Hamacher to give the home team a 3-2 victory over Aston.
While the entire game was back and forth, the first period has a total of 28 shots between both teams. The Rebels struck first. Bush took a slashing call at 14:13 of the period putting the Rebels on the power play. Brennan Kapcheck passed it down low to Dom Garcia. Garcia found Michael Merulla who beat Knights goalie Andrey Svistunov giving the Rebels a 1-0 lead. It was Merulla’s fourteenth goal on the season.
After Svistunov made a nice save on Andrew Bellant, defenseman Paul DeNaples picked up the rebound and broke out of the zone. DeNaples passed it off to Hamacher. Hamacher then passed it to Busch who beat Rebels goalie Darion Hanson knotting the game at one. Two minutes later Hamacher and Busch set up Rebel killer Braden Brown who light the lamp giving the Knights a 2-1 lead going into the second period.
The Rebels started the middle stanza strong. Five of the first eight shots in the period were taken by them. The Knights’ Austin Redders tried to get things stirred up but he received a two minute unsportsmanlike penalty and then a game miscount for taking his helmet off trying to start a fight putting the Rebels back on the power player. It didn’t last long as Dean Balsamo and Frank Spellman found Bellant who beat Svistunov for his eighth goal on the season tying the game at two. The Knights then took the lead for good with 7:21 left in the second when Stephen Kelly beat Hanson for his twelfth goal on the season.
While no goals were scored in the third, the end of the period was chaotic. With slightly less than two minutes left in the game, Connor Wood received a two minute penalty and a game misconduct for spearing. The call enraged head coach Joe Coombs so much that he received a two minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a game misconduct.
Svistunov made 37 saves on 39 shots while Hanson, who has played four of the last five games, made 31 shots on 34 saves. Click here for the box score.
The scene now moves back to IceWorks with the two teams will play again tonight at 7:00pm.