Jamestown, NY – Though a comeback bid seemed possible late in the game, it wasn’t quite in the cards for the hometown Rebels (13-24-1-2) who fell short to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (19-16-2-1) by a final score of 5-2 on Saturday, January 18th at Northwest Arena.
Prime scoring opportunities seemed hard to come by for Jamestown for the majority of the game, and when they did arise, the chances didn’t go in their favor. None-more-so than a shot in the third period which seemingly entered the net for Jamestown, but after discussion between the officials, was deemed no-goal.
“I think if certain bounces go our way, and we bring the same intensity that we brought Friday night, we could’ve won that game,” said Rebels Captain Eric Olson, who finished the game with 2 assists.
The visiting Knights drew first blood in the opening period, with a goal from Egor Postnov, putting them on top 1-0. Wilkes-Barre’s Lincoln Hatten, currently sitting seventh in NAHL scoring, added another tally with 35 seconds to go in the 1st, putting the Rebels behind 2-0 going into the second. The Knights out-shot the Rebels 17 to 10 in the opening frame.
The second period of play wasn’t any more forgiving for the Rebels, as Hatten scored his second of the game at 3:58 of the period, causing Rebels Head Coach Joe Coombs to swap out goaltender Noah West in favor of Hunter Garvey, a recent addition to the team, who got his first look at NAHL action. Garvey would allow one goal to the Knights, as Shane Murphy gave the visitors a 4-0 mid-way through the 2nd, but finished the night with an impressive debut, stopping 20 of 21 shots faced. The Rebels answered quick after Murphy’s goal, as forward Nick Siffringer buried his sixth goal of the season, assisted by Olson (8) and Seth Bergeron (10), just 27 seconds later, cutting the deficit to 4-1.
Physicality was the name of the game in the third period, as both teams began throwing the body around more, the crescendo being a massive fight between Jamestown’s Spencer Cosway and Wilkes-Barre’s Sutton McDonald, which got the home crowd roaring in applause and giving a spark to the Rebels.
“That’s huge for our team,” said Olson of Cosway’s fight. “Anytime we’re lacking energy, when guys step up like that, it gets everyone going.”
Down 4-1 with 1:05 remaining, Jamestown found themselves with a sliver of hope in the form of a 6-3 power play following two Wilkes-Barre penalties and Coombs pulling Garvey in favor of an extra man. Siffringer made things interesting by scoring his second of the game with 40 seconds to go, assisted by Renars Karkls (6) and again Olson (9), but Wilkes-Barre’s Lincoln Hatten finished off the hat trick with an empty-netter to seal Jamestown’s fate.
Though the loss is sure to sting, Olson and the rest of the team are already focused on moving forward. “We’ll build off the positives from this weekend, come in, play hard and focus on every shift, focus on what we can control.”
Final shots on goal for the game were 41-35 in favor of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Rebels finished 1/4 on the power play while the Knights went 1/3 with the man-advantage.
The Rebels are back in action at home next weekend, as the team prepares to host the Maryland Black Bears Jan. 24th and 25th. Both games begin at 7:05pm at the Northwest Arena.