The Aston Rebels returned home late last night a very happy bunch. After all, they should be. The team earned it by playing tight defense the entire NAHL Showcase, and yesterday’s game was no exception. The Rebels and goaltender Mareks Mitens defeated the Wichita Falls Wildcats 3 – 0 giving the team an overall 3 – 1 record during the Showcase.
The Wildcats Isaac Kobienia was called for boarding 2:48 into the game putting the Rebels on the power play. The Rebels were working the puck well. Then Ginluca Esteves passed the puck back to the point to Michael Underwood. Undy took a slapshot towards the net and Drew Blackmun redirected the puck through a maze of players and put it past Wichita Falls goalie Evan Moyse to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead at the 3:59 mark of the first period. It ultimately would be the game winner.
Looking to extend their lead in the second period, Dom Garica, Esteves and Aaron Maguyon got things going. As Garcia was breaking out the Rebels zone, he passed the puck up to Esteves, who was trailed by Maguyon. The two forwards found themselves on a 2 on 1. As they went around the Wildcats defenseman, Esteves passed the puck to Maguyon. The two had a nice give and go passing the puck back to each other. Finally, Esteves passed the puck back to Maguyon who took a wrist shot that beat Moyse blocker side to put the Rebels up 2 – 0 at 4:07 in the middle stanza.
Garcia was given a two minute slashing penalty with 11:20 left in the middle stanza. After Mitens made a save, the rebound came out to defenseman Carter Dwyer. Dwyer passed the puck to Blackmun who found Brendan Cherwalk at center ice. Cherwalk had a burst of speed and walked in on Moyse for a breakaway and put the biscuit behind Moyse with 9:55 left in the second period giving the Rebels a 3 – 0.
There were no goals in the third. Although each team had 28 shots, the Rebels defensive play stymied Wichita Falls to mostly perimeter shots. Mitens wound up with his second shutout of the showcase, helping the Rebels to an overall 3 – 1 record in the 14th NAHL Showcase. In fact, the Rebels only allowed seven goals in four games for a 1.75 goals against average. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels will play their home opener on Friday against the Northeast Generals. The team possess a 5 – 1 record and will celebrate next weekend hoisting their championship banner on Friday night and honoring Folcroft police officer Christopher Dorman on Saturday night.