The Aston Rebels completed this weekend’s home sweep by defeating the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks 5-1 behind a natural hat trick from Kennett Square native Michael Merulla while teammate Ryan Cusin had a three point game.
After a tight checking game on Friday night, the Rebels came out slow in last night. But it all changed with 3:33 left in the first period when defenseman Mason Van Tuyl took a blast from the point to beat Tomahawks goalie Ryan Glander. It was Van Tuyl’s first goal of the season assisted by Cusin and Kristofers Bindulis.
With the Rebels leading 1-0 in the second, Drexel Hill, PA native Andrew Romano was set up by Tommy Horn and Kelly O’Brien to knot the score at one. It was Romano’s 29 point on the season. Then as the Tomahawks attempted to take the lead, Austin Swingle and Carter Woolley broke out of the zone and set up Dean Balsamo on a virtual breakaway as Balsamo walked in on Glander to put the Rebels up for good.
The third period became the Mike Merulla show.
Defenseman Jerry Miettuten head man the puck to Cusin who feed Merulla and beat Glander at the 5:21 mark of the final period. Johnstown’s Ryan Burr was called for crosschecking at 10:33 putting the Rebels on the power play. Cusin again set up Friday night’s hero Frank Spellman who found Merulla wide open to put the Rebels up 4-1. Then with a minute and a half left in the game Dom Garcia found Merulla who light the lamp to complete the natural hat trick. It was Merulla’s tenth goal on the year.
Rebels’ goaltender Trevor Micucci played very well and made some key saves stopping 27 of them on the night. Click here for the box score. It was the Rebels ninth home win on the season out of eleven, and they have fifth victory against Johnstown this year – all of them at home.
The Rebels have three home games next weekend. They take on the Kenai River Brown Bears on Friday and Saturday then play Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Teddy Bear Toss Night on Sunday.