Playing in their final home-and-home series of the regular season against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, the Rebels came back from an early 2 – 0 deficit only to lose 3 – 2 in overtime.
The Knights have been a thorn in the Rebels side all year. Prior to last night’s game, the two teams have played .500 hockey against each other, and last night’s game was no different. It was fast paced and evenly matched throughout the game.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got on the board first early in the opening period when Matt Beranek and Stephen Kelly set up Tanner Bennett who beat Rebels goalie Trevor Micucci with 4:10 into the game. The teams took a combined 25 shots in the first period as Micucci and Knights goalie Andrey Svistunov made some key saves to keep their respective team in the game.
Winning 1 – 0 going into the second, the Knights’ doubled their lead when Jacob Hamacher and Blake Bush set up Rebel killer Braden Brown who beat Micucci at 6:39 into the middle period.
The Rebels finally got on the board when Evgeny Yakovlev passed it down low to Jensen Zerban. Zerban passed the puck back to the point to Ryan Solomon who took a blast and beat Svistunov through a screen cutting the Rebels deficit in half. It was Solomon’s third goal on the season.
Twenty seconds after the Rebels scored their first goal, the Knights Isaac Cirinna was assessed a kneeing penalty. The visitors tied it with 5:36 left in the second when Michael Merulla and Brennan Kapcheck set up Dom Garcia who beat Svistunov for his eighth goal on the season.
Micucci faced 14 shots in the final period and made several outstanding standing saves to help send the game into overtime.
With the game now in overtime, Svistunov sent an outlet pass to Dorian Dawson who skated in on a break away on Micucci and beat him giving the home team a 3 – 2 victory. Svistunov had 26 saves on 28 shots while Micucci had 37 saves on 40 shots. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will play their final regular season game against each other tonight at 5:00pm at IceWorks. The Rebels will be honoring Philadelphia Flyers’ Hall of Famer Jimmy Watson. It also is Skate Night with the Rebels immediately following the game.