Former Rebels goalie Jack Leavy was very impressive in Johnstown Tomahawks debut as the visitor’s road his coattails to down the Philadelphia Rebels 3 – 1.
After being traded from the Rebels to the Minnesota Wilderness, Leavy was picked up this week by the Tomahawks. As fate would have it, his first game was against his old team with whom he has six shutouts last season. Leavy had to make several key saves, including a few point-blank, to keep the Tomahawks in the game.
Johnstown’s Cade Groton would score his first of two goals on the night at the 12:13 mark of the opening period. After the Tomahawks’ won the draw deep inside the Rebels far side faceoff circle, Johnstown’s Ben Schmidling would pick up the loose puck and took a shot that just missed the post and went behind the Rebels net where Groton retrieved it. Groton sent the puck up along the boards where teammate Brendan White picked it up and immediately sent it into the corner where a scrum ensued. Groton would exit the scrum with the puck and skated behind the Rebels net and scored on a wrap-around that beat Eli Billing to give the visitors a 1 – 0 lead.
With time winding down in the period, Roman Kraemer picked up a rebound behind the Rebels net after a shot went wide. Kraemer tried a wraparound but the puck went out to the top of the faceoff circle to Chris Trouba. Trouba would take a slapshot that went wide but was picked up behind the net by Samuel Solensky. Solensky kicked the puck into the nearside corner to Kraemer. Kraemer would pass it back to the point to Chase Davidson who took a wrist shot that found its way through a screen that beat Billing high-glove side to make it a 2 – 0 with 2:42 left in the first.
After outshooting the Rebels 14 – 9 after the first period, the Tomahawks would go up 3 – 0 with 6:36 into the second period. Rebels defenseman Christian Juliana would bring the puck up along the near side boards and was knocked off if by Brendan White. White would make a cross-ice pass to Groton. Groton would enter the Rebels zone and took a wrist shot that beat Billing long side for his second goal of the game.
After some fisticuffs between Andrew Bellant and Johnstown’s Andrew Andary, the Rebels would go on the powerplay when Andary was called for a five-minute major. With time winding down with the extra attacker, Adam Peck won the draw deep inside the Johnstown zone. The puck would come behind him where it was controlled by Jonathan Bendorf who immediately sent the biscuit back to Justin Smith at the point. Smith took a shot that beat Leavy through a screen to make it 3 – 1 with 3:46 left in the second.
The Rebels would dominate the third period outshooting Johnstown 14 – 6 but Leavy made a few grade A saves to preserve the lead.
Billing stopped 19 of 22 shots while Leavy turned aside 35 of 36. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will be back at it tonight at 7:00pm.