The long trip, jet lag and time difference took its toll on the boys in the first game between the Rebels and the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and it showed in the results. However, the team showed its resiliency last night by bouncing back with a gritty 2-1 win over the team with the best record in the league.
While there wasn’t much scoring during the game, there were plenty of penalties – 27 in all for both teams. And the first period mirrored the game. There were no goals but 8 penalties.
The teams continued to battle as they went into the second period but new comer Michael Merulla hit the back of the net on a power play goal at the three minute mark of the second period with assists from Andrew Zurban and Ryan Solomon. A minute and 17 seconds later, the Ice Dogs tied the game when Clay Cross beat Rebels goalie Darion Hanson with an even strength goal – the only blemish on a spectacular evening for the Rebels goalie.
Dean Balsamo scored the game winner with :45 second left in the second period for the Rebels second power play goal of the game on a nice feed from Kristofers Bindulis and beat Fairbanks Gavin Nieto.
Fairbanks dominated in the third period only allowing the Rebels three shots on goal but Hanson stood on his head and preserved the win. The Rebels netminder stopped 41 of 42 shots.
The Rebels will have today off and then fly to Anchorage to play two games next weekend against the Kenai River Brown Bears.
Please click here for box score.