After three weeks on the road, the Rebels returned to the friendly confines of the IceWorks Skating Complex where the team has yet to lose a game. It didn’t get off to a good start but home team ended in the plus column.
Three minutes and six seconds into the game, the Johnstown Tomahawks opened the scoring when Zak Galambos had the team’s first of three power play goals by beating Rebels goalie Darion Hanson who was starting his fourth straight game. It was a beautiful and well executed play with a nice back door past from Casey Linkenheld.
The Rebels then tied it at 16:55 when Frankie Spellman redirected a shot from Michael Merulla and beat Tomahawks goalie Jacob Gwillim who never saw the shot from the point. It was Spellman’s fifth goal of the year. Twenty one seconds later Evgeny Yakovlev scored an unassisted goal that Gwillim wish he could have back. The Rebels lead 2-1 after the first.
Johnstown tied the game at almost the very start of the second period when Casey Linkenheld received passes from Zak Galambos and Filips Buncis on the Tomahawks second power play goal of the night. The game seesawed a little in the middle period. Andrew Bellant scored his first goal of the evening at the 3:30 with assists from Kristofers Bindulis and Ryan Solomon.
The game then took a strange turn when Gwillim, who was fighting the flu, physically got sick on the ice and had to leave the game. In a strange way it energized the Tomahawks who began starting to take it to the Rebels. Johnstown’s Justin Cmunt then tied the game at the 10:48 mark by beating Hanson through the five hole, a goal Hanson wish he could have back. Fortunately, the Rebels when a head for good when defenseman Michael Underwood beat Nick DeSimone at 12:54 with assists from Bellant and Victor Bergstrom.
With the Rebels entering the third period leading 4-2, Drew Blackmun extended the Rebels lead with assists from Austin Swingle and Bindulis – his second point of the night. Johnstown kept it closed when Luke Lynch scored the team’s third power play goal at the 11:51 mark of the final period. After tense moments and Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia pulling DeSimone for the extra attacker, Bellant scored and empty neter with assists from Bergstrom and Spellman.
The Rebels are now 11-5 on the season, three points back behind East Division leader New Jersey Titans. The Rebels have a game in-hand. While Bellant had four points, Bindulis, Bergstrom and Spellman each had two points. Hanson saved 17 of the 21 shots he faced. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels will visit the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights tonight at 7:00pm.