Over the weekend the Rebels hosted the Maryland Black Bears for the third time this season. The Black Bears have not won at the Northwest Arena yet this season (0-4). They came into this weekend in 5th place (13-21-3-2). The Rebels were trying to make it three-straight sweeps over the newest team in the league. Jamestown entered this weekend ranked 2nd in the East (22-10-3-2). The Rebels also were on a four-game point streak going into this past weekend (season high is 7).
Once the puck was dropped on Friday the Rebels did not let their foot off the gas, scoring 2:32 into the first, thanks to Caleb Price (2). The score would remain 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. Although, not even :30 seconds into the middle frame Nick Petruolo scored (2), putting the Rebels up by a pair. The Black Bears would answer but not until the start of the 3rd period. Shortly after Maryland cut their lead in half, it was Hunter Johannes that put the Rebels back up by two, scoring his first goal in a Rebels uniform. With time winding down in the game, the Black Bears pulled Anthony Del Tufo in hopes of using the 6-on-5 to their advantage. While they were unsuccessful on pulling their goalie, rookie Jake Felker was able to find the back of the empty net for his 13th NAHL goal. Ryan Keane picked up his second-straight win, making 23 saves on 24 shots. He currently is the 2nd best goalie overall in goals-against-average with a 1.83 and his save percentage improved to .927%. Keane also has the 3rd most wins this season for goalies with 18. The Rebels were now just one win away from going 6-0 against the Black Bears at the Northwest Arena.
The next night Jamestown came out riding a huge wave of momentum after their 4-1 victory the night before. However, Maryland was able to get the game’s first goal after a puck redirected in front of Noah West, allowing Bobby Batten to pick up the loose puck and put it in the back of the net. Jamestown trailed for the first time and while they were unable to convert before the horn sounded ending the 1st period, they came out red hot in the middle period. It all started with Nick Petruolo (3) tying the game at 1-1, just 1:24 into the 2nd. He followed that up by scoring on the Rebels first man-advantage of the night, putting him just one goal shy of a hat-trick. On the Rebels second power play they converted again, this time it was Colin Schmidt (6). With under five minutes left in the period, Sam Anzai (6) gave the Rebels a three-goal lead to head into the locker room after 40 minutes of play. The flood gates would remain open once the 3rd period started as Niki Jasko picked up his fifth goal as a Rebel. Later in the 3rd it was Hunter Johannes scoring his second goal as a Rebel in his second game with the team. With six-unanswered goals the Rebels were surely going to skate away with the win, all that would remain is what the final would read once the clock hit zeros. They were just one goal away from tying their season high in goals, which they set against Maryland the very first time they came to Jamestown back on Nov. 23rd. Also, right after Johannes scored his goal, Head Coach Clint Mylymok of Maryland sent on David Tomeo to replace Del Tufo. This was the first weekend Del Tufo has faced Jamestown and one he will surely want to forget, giving up ten goals in nearly two full games. The Black Bears would tally one more goal before the end of the game, making the final score 6-2 Jamestown.
Noah West recorded his first win since his 4-0 shutout over Maryland back on Dec. 22nd. Jamestown now leads the season series 8-0-1-1, with six of those wins coming on home ice. The next match up between these two teams will be in Maryland on Mar. 1st and 2nd. Who knows, by then Maryland’s season could be on line as they have lost ground on Northeast, who swept Johnstown over the weekend. Jamestown still retains 2nd place in the East and 5th overall in the league with a record of 24-10-3-2 (53pts). The Black Bears still sit in 5th place in the East with a record of 13-23-3-2 (31pts) and are just one point ahead of last place Wilkes-Barre. The Rebels are looking to eclipse their season high point streak (7) this weekend with two wins over the best team in the league, the Johnstown Tomahawks. If they pickup two wins in regulation, they will be within ten points of Johnstown for the 1st place spot in the East. A spot the Rebels have been in at the end of the regular season for three-straight years.