Krbecek, Band Lift Rebels in First Franchise Win

BLAINE, MN – In the first game in Philadelphia Rebels’ franchise history, the Rebels (1-0-0-0, 2 pts) were able to pick up the win, 5-2 over the Corpus Christi IceRays (0-1-0-0, 0 pts). The Rebels were fueled by a stellar effort in net from Jakub Krbecek. Krbecek stopped 39 shots en route to the win.

Offensively, the Rebels featured goals from Oliver Band (1) and Matt Lewis (1) in the first period. Connor Sedlak (1) put the Rebels up by two in the second period after his pass to the front of the net deflected off the skate of an IceRay and into the net. In the third period, Greg Spitznagel (1) tallied a powerplay marker and Band (2) scored on an odd-man rush for his second of the game. 

The IceRays’ goals were scored by defenseman Dominic Foglia in the first period and forward Michael Casey in the third. 

Throughout the third period, the Rebels continued to draw penalties. They had one full five-on-three powerplay and another abbreviated two-man advantage later in the period. 

“In the third period, we found a way to battle through some adversity and capitalized on a power play to separate us a little bit more,” said head coach Justin Hale. “I told them after the game in the locker room ‘It’s always better to win, then learn.’ There are things we can continue to improve on, but they competed, stuck together and found a way to win.”

The IceRays were able to get a goal back early in the third on the powerplay as Casey scored unassisted. Krbecek was hit in his net before the shot was released prompting a conference between the officials at center ice. After the deliberation, the officials deemed it was a legal goal, making it a one-goal game. 

Following the goal by Casey, the Rebels struck gold on one of their many powerplays during the third period. A shot from Kristians Samitis that was blocked bounced right over to Greg Spitznagel who fired into an empty net, restoring the Rebels’ two-goal lead. 

Oliver Band led the Rebels with two goals in the game. His first goal was the first goal in Rebels’ franchise history and his second put the team up 5-2 and put the game out of reach for the IceRays. 

Head coach Justin Hale picked up his first career North American Hockey League win. The Rebels are back in action on Thursday against Wisconsin at 3:30pm EST. The game can be seen live on HockeyTV.