The Rebels visited Middletown’s Ice World today to play the New Jersey Titans in a matinee. It was a make up game for the snow canceled game back on January 23, and it was the first of three straight games against the first place Titans. Unfortunately, turnovers and penalties cost the Rebels which resulted in a 4 – 2 loss.
The Titans started quickly. As the Rebels started to breakout of their zone, an errant pass was intercepted by Roberts Smits who walked in all alone on Rebels goalie Darion Hanson and put it past Hanson’s glove giving the Titans a 1 – 0 lead.
Forty five seconds later there was another Rebels turnover at center ice that was picked up by the Titans Raymond Brice. Brice brought the puck into the Rebels zone and passed it to Keegan Miller. Miller made a very nice cross-ice pass to Joseph Schuler who one-timed it past Hanson for a quick 2 – 0 Titans lead.
With time winding down in the first, it appeared that Frank Spellman put the Rebels on the board after nice hustle from Dom Garcia who passed the puck back to Kristofers Bindulis. Bindulis took a shot that Spellman redirected into the net to cut the Titans lead in half. However, the goal was overturned and Spellman was called for goaltender interference.
The two teams played up and down hockey. With seven minutes into the third, Colton McMenamin took a shot that was stopped by Titans goalie Jack Berry. After the draw was won by the Rebels, Bindulis picked up the puck and passed it back to Michael Underwood who blasted a long side shot past Berry. It was Underwood’s third goal on the season.
At 5:54 left in the second period Brennan Kapcheck was called for high sticking. With less than a minute left in the penatly, Darren Brady beat Hanson long side putting the Titans back up by two.
As soon as the third period began the Titans began to break out of center ice and Kapcheck was assessed a check from behind and 10 minute misconduct. With the Titans on the power play, Garett Hallford passed it to Anthony Cusanelli who slid the puck underneath Hanson’s pads to put the Titans up 4 – 1. Finally, Evgeny Yakovlev scored his eleventh goal on the season when he beat Berry with less than three minutes left in the game to make the game 4 – 2.
Berry had 32 saves on 34 shots while Hanson made 26 saves on 30 shots. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will play a home-and-home series this weekend with the first game being played at IceWorks. The loss put the Rebels four points behind the division leading Titans.