Nail-Biter Weekend

This past weekend the Rebels faced off against the Maryland Black Bears for the first time this season. Both teams were below .500 and the Rebels were on a three-game losing streak. There was a lot on the line for the Rebels going into Odenton, Maryland as they were trying to get out of last place. Whereas Maryland was sitting in the middle of the division and trying to close in on second place New Jersey. While it was their first time playing against one another this season, these two teams will be facing each other again in just two weeks.
The first period on Friday was a very dull period as there was no scoring or penalties through the first 20 minutes. Things did pick up though once the second started, just four minutes into the middle frame it was the Black Bears that would score first. They scored another goal before the horn sounded, giving them a 2-0 lead to start the third period. Even though they were down by a pair, the Rebels were leading in shots 22-15. They also had a flurry of shots on Black Bears net-minder David Tomeo towards the end of the second, which then carried their momentum into the third. Just 36 seconds into the third period it was Auggie Moore that finally put the Rebels on the board, assisted by Nate Clarke and Alex Frye. Now with 19 minutes left in regulation all the Rebels had to do was get one more goal. They kept firing the puck at Tomeo hoping one would get by him and after a flurry of shots by the Rebels, Alex Frye managed to get one past Tomeo to tie the game with just under 2 minutes to play in regulation. Neither team would score again prior to the horn sounding to end the period, sending the Rebels into their first overtime game this season and the Black Bears into their fourth. Even though Maryland had been to overtime four times already this season, their record was 1-3. With it now being 3-on-3 for five minutes there was a lot of ice out there for the players to use, which means more players look for stretch passes in hopes of setting up a breakaway or an odd-man rush. With 1:57 gone in overtime the Black Bears took a tripping penalty, giving the Rebels a 4-on-3 power player. Although they were unsuccessful on the power play they did put up eight shots in OT compared to the Black Bears who only managed to get one shot on Keane. Since no one scored in OT the game went to a shootout to decide the winner. This was the first time for both teams that a game went to a shootout. The Rebels sent out Noah Finstrom to take the Rebels first shot, which unfortunately he did not convert on. The Black Bears sent out their first player and he scored to give them the 1-0 lead in the shootout. Next up for the Rebels it was Nick Stuckless, he was able to beat Tomeo and tie the shootout at 1-1. Ryan Keane stopped the Black bears second shooter, giving the Rebels the chance to take the shootout lead. The Rebels sent out Jim Glynn to get the job done and that he did. After he scored it was all up to Keane to stop the Black Bears last shooter. Matteo Menotti tried going forward then backhand on Keane but was denied by the veteran goaltender. The Rebels were finally able to snap their three-game losing streak and, in the process, they picked up their first shootout win, and beat the Black Bears by a final of 3-2.
Going into Saturday’s game the Rebels looked focused and had their eyes on their first weekend sweep. The first period of Saturday’s game was a lot different than the one during Friday’s game. There was a total of four goals scored in the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s game, four were in favor of the good guys. The Black Bears ended up scoring the game’s first goal just 4:05 into the first period. They would end up losing that lead 32 seconds later thanks to Seth Bergeron scoring his first goal of the season, assisted by Auggie Moore and Jake Felker. Exactly half way through the first period it was Auggie Moore that scored to give his team their first lead of the weekend. Nick Stuckless would score on the power play 61 seconds after Moore’s goal, with assists coming from Auggie Moore and Sam Anzai. Rebels had a two-goal lead as time was winding down in the first period, Stuckless decided to give thee Rebels a three-goal lead as he scored again. The Rebels not only were out scoring the Black Bears in the first 20 minutes of play, but they were out shooting them as well, as they put up 14 shots compared to the Black Bears who only put up two. The Black Bears pulled Ben Beck after letting in four goals in the first period and replacing him was David Tomeo. With a three-goal lead and still 40 minutes of hockey to be played the Rebels seemed to have everything going their way. There was no scoring from thee Rebels in the second period, although the Black Bears were able to find the back of the net with just 36 seconds left on the clock. Pulling them within a pair of the Rebels and giving them a chance to get back in the hockey game with 20 minutes left in regulation. There was a scrum at the end of the second period, which resulted in the Black Bears having a power play to start the 3rd period. They would kill of the penalty but then received another call against them and would be right back on the penalty kill. Once again, the Rebels killed off the penalty only to be put right back in the box moments later due to Jackson Wille getting called for hooking. On the third straight power play for the Black Bears they made the Rebels pay for it as they scored and now what once was a 4-1 lead for the Rebels is now a 4-3 lead. Maryland would strike again tying the game at 4-4 with just about 12 minutes left in the third period. As the game was winding down the Rebels were trying their best to regain the lead and get their first weekend sweep. A cross-checking call against Maryland sent the Rebels to the power play for the fourth time in the game. The Rebels were able to capitalize on their man-advantage thanks to Lukas Uhler and the Rebels hopes of getting a weekend sweep was just a little over three minutes away from being a reality. Just under two minutes left to play in regulation, Jake Felker got called for hooking. The Black Bears pulled their goalie giving them a 6-on-4 power play, it was now or never for them. With 40 seconds left on the clock they scored to tie the game for a second time in the period. After 60 minutes of regulation these two East division teams were heading into their second straight overtime game. Just like the night before, the Black Bears got a penalty called against them giving the Rebels a 4-on-3 once again. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in overtime, so the game went to a shootout. The Rebels scored on their second and third shots, but the Black Bears scored on all three of theirs, giving them their first shootout win and completing their comeback after being down by three at the end of the first to now winning the game by a final of 6-5. As for the Rebels it marked their first shootout loss and while they were extremely close to picking up their first weekend sweep they did manage to secure three out of a possible four points over the weekend. Moving them from last place, now into a tie for fourth place against the team they face this weekend for the first time this season, the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Knights. This weekend will be a test for the Rebels, and if they come away with the weekend sweep they have a chance to be in third place.