The Rebels started off the North American Hockey League’s 14th annual showcase with a 4 – 0 win over the Janesville Jets. The team had balanced scoring and strong defensive play and controlled most of the play throughout the game.
The Rebels got on the board with 4:34 into the first period when center Ginluca Esteves brought the puck into Janesville zone. After a nice bank pass to himself off the nearside boards, Esteves turned around and found Andreas Maier in the slot who put it passed Jets goalie Derek Schaedig to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead. It also turned out to be the eventual game winner.
Maier was back at it again in the beginning of the second period. He brought the puck down the far side boards. As he carried the puck behind the Jets net with a Janesville defenseman on him, Maier found Dom Garcia wide open in the slot. Garcia took a one-timer and put it past Schaedig to put the Rebels up 2 – 0 with just 1:48 into the middle period. Although only being up 2 – 0 at the end of the second, the Rebels hit the post twice, both from Gvido Jansons.
Janesville started the third period strong and applied pressure in the Rebels zone. However, Rebels goalie Mareks Mitens made a nice, download and far side pad save that kept the Jets off the board. Mitens would be tested again immediately but made two consecutive saves to keep the score at 2 – 0.
The Rebels then started to control the game again. With 9:36 into the final period, defenseman Carter Dwyer took a shot from the far side point that found its way through a screen and past Schaedig to give the Rebels a 3 – 0 lead.
As time was winding down in the third, Drew Blackmun brought the puck up the leftwing board and into the Jets’ zone. As he skated to the top of the circle, he took a wrist shot that beat Schaedig long side to give the Rebels a 4 – 0 lead.
The Rebels next game takes place tomorrow at 12:15pm (ET) against the Bismarck Bobcats, who lost today 4 – 1 against the Lone Star Brahmas.