The Philadelphia Rebels were unable to comeback from two, two-goal deficits and ended up losing to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 5 – 3 at the Revolution Ice Centre last night. The loss moves the Rebels back into a two-way tie for second place in the East Division with the Northeast Generals and a point out of first behind the Knights.
With 5:11 into the opening period, the Knights’ Tyrone Bronte would score his first of two goals on the evening. With a scrum in the Rebels nearside corner, WBS’ Mike Gelatt was able to kick the puck out free to Justin Engelkes. Engelkes would take a snap shot that was saved by Rebels goalie Eli Billing but the juicy rebound came right out to Bronte who put it past Billing to give the Knights a 1 – 0 lead.
Four minutes later the Knights would make it a 2 – 0 game. After a big right pad save by Billing the puck was kicked out to the far side boards where it was picked up by Michael Morrissey, who passed it down low to Reed Robinson in the corner. Robinson saw a wide-open Adrian Danchenko in the slot and Danchenko wristed the puck past Billing for his fifth goal on the season.
Adam Peck would get the Rebels on the board with 3:29 into the second period. With the play behind the Knights net, the puck would come up along the near side boards where Peck picked it up on his backhand. He turned and started to skate behind the net and drop passed the puck to Jensen Zerban. The speedy Rebels forward skated around the net and passed it to Peck who was to the right of Knights’ goalie David Tomeo. Peck flipped the puck and it beat Tomeo in close and up high to cut the Rebels deficit in half.
At the 6:15 mark of the second period WBS’ Luke Robinson was called for interference to put the Rebels on the power play.
Aaron Maguyon had the puck at the top of the far side faceoff circle. He over shot his pass to Zerban who was at the goal line. Zerban chased after the puck behind the Knights net and sent a bounce pass off the near side boards to Dusan Kmec at the point. Kmec took a shot that was saved by Tomeo but the rebound was picked up by Maguyon. As Maguyon was falling to the ice he had the wherewithal to pass the puck to Zerban in the slot and the Air Force Academy commit redirected the biscuit into an open net to tie that game at two at 7:08 into the second period.
The tie game didn’t last very long.
A minute and eight seconds after Zerban tied the game, Jack Olmstead would give the lead back to the Knights. Rebels forward Julian Makary dumped the puck deep inside the Knights zone for a line change where Knights’ defenseman Shay Donovan retrieved the puck and sent it up along the far side boards to Matt Kidney who at the at the Rebels blueline. Kidney send a shuttle pass up to Olmstead who took a wide angle shot that beat Billing down low to give the Knights a 3 – 2 lead.
With time winding down in the second, the Knights were able to reclaim their two-goal lead. Rebels’ defenseman Jordin Holmes had the puck at his far side blueline and went to pass the puck off the glass where it was knocked down by Brandon Stanley. However, the Knights’ Kidney picked up the loose puck and passed it up to Bronte. Bronte entered the Rebels zone on a two-on-one but cut across the goalmouth and put a backhander passed Billing with thirty-one seconds left in the period to give the Knights a 4 – 2 lead.
Andrew Bellant would cut the Knights lead in half with his seventh goal on the season. The Knights’ Danchenko entered the Rebels zone on a two-on-two with Michael Morrissey. As Danchenko went to drag the puck, it went off his skate directly towards Kmec. Kmec would headman the puck up to Bellant but the biscuit was juggled between Bellant and a Knights’ defenseman. Bellant was able to control the puck and skated towards the net and took a backhander that beat Tomeo to make it a 4 – 3 game.
It was too little too late as Gelatt would score an empty net goal with thirty-two seconds left to put the game out of reach for the Rebels.
Billing stopped 25 of 29 shots while Tomeo turned aside 35 of 38. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will finish their three-game series this afternoon at 2:00pm at the Revolution Ice Center.