The Philadelphia Rebels used a balanced scoring attack and relentless backchecking and forechecking en route to a 5 – 0 win over the visiting Northeast Generals in the fifth and deciding game of the Robertson Cup’s divisional semi-final series.
The Rebels now advance to the divisional final series against the winner of the New Jersey Titans and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights series that will be decided later today.
Brandon Stanley would give the Rebels an early 1 – 0 lead just 6:12 into the opening period. It ultimately would be the game winning goal.
After Northeast’s goalie David Fessenden stopped a backhanded shot from Eric Olson, the Generals’ Jeff Skinner picked up the rebound and went to clear the puck around the near side boards but it was intercepted by Bryant Gunn at the point. The Rebels defenseman took a wrist shot that Fessenden was unable to catch and Adam Peck tried to poke in the rebound but Fessenden made another pad save. The rebound, however, came right out to Stanley, who was positioned at the top of the crease, and he tapped in the loose puck behind Fessenden for his third goal of the playoffs.
The Rebels second goal was arguably one of the prettiest on the season.
After Jensen Zerban won the draw deep inside his own zone, the puck would come out to Aaron Maguyon who skated through center ice. As Maguyon got to the top of the far side faceoff circle, he stopped and made a drop pass to Zerban. The Air Force Academy commit sent a sensational cross-ice pass to a wide-open Carson Moniz in the slot and Moniz redirected the puck into open net to double the Rebels lead at 8:33 of the second period.
With Northeast pressuring in the Rebels zone, Peck would clear the puck into center ice where it was picked up by the Generals’ Colin Bilek. As the West Point commit went to pass the puck over to his defensive partner Ryan Rowland on this right, it was intercepted by Stanley who carried the puck into the near side corner. After battling for the biscuit, Stanley would send a short pass up to Peck along the boards. Peck would look to his left and he found an open Jimmy Glynn in the slot. Glynn would move to his left and backhanded the puck up high and past Fessenden into the net to give the Rebels a 3 – 0 lead with 7:55 remaining in the game.
Eighteen seconds later, the Generals’ Matthew Wiesner was called for head contact and received a game misconduct which resulted in a five-minute powerplay for the Rebels.
Slightly less then two minutes later, Zerban would score his third goal of the playoffs.
Moniz was behind his own red line and he sent a long outlet pass to Stanley along the near side boards. As Stanley gained the offensive zone line, he skated towards the net on a two-on-one with Maguyon. Stanley went to pass it over to Maguyon but Rowland blocked it with his stick. The puck would bounce off Rowland’s blade and came right out to a trailing Zerban who wristed it by Fessenden to give the Rebels a 4 – 0 lead.
Gunn would score an empty netter with twenty-four seconds remaining to make it a 5 – 0 game.
Rebels goalie Ryan Keane, who stood tall throughout the game, stopped all nineteen shots he faced while Fessenden turned aside 28 of 32. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels now will face the game five winner between the Titans and the Knights, which will be played later today at 5:00pm at Middletown’s Ice World. The Rebels will be the home team for the divisional final series which will begin either Thursday, April 26 or Friday, April 27.