The Philadelphia Rebels beat the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights last night by a score of 2 – 1 to keep the team undefeated with a 7 – 0 record on the young season. The Rebels are the only unbeaten team in the North American Hockey League.
Coming into the game with a 5 – 1 record, the vastly improved Knights worked tirelessly up and down the ice. They held the Rebels at bay through the first period virtually matching shot for shot with the Rebels having eight in the period while the Knights had seven. Each team had their chances to score but Knights goalie Christian Stoever and Rebels netminder Ryan Keane had to make several point-blank saves to keep the game scoreless after one.
After Knights defenseman Paul Luebke was called holding at the 7:17 mark, the Rebels would draw first blood at 8:37 on a power play goal from Adam Peck. Auggie Moore would bring the puck up along the far side boards and send it down low to Andrew Bellant. Bellant circled back up to the faceoff circle and then made a soft pass back along to the boards where Moore picked up the puck and sent it back into the corner to Peck. Peck would pass the puck back to the circle to Bellant who would pass it back to Carter Woolley at the point. After noticing the passing lanes being blocked up the middle, Woolley sent a pass back to Bellant at the circle. Bellant took a wrist shot that was saved by Stoever but Moore kept digging at the puck which ultimately squirted out to Peck who put it passed Stoever to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead.
A bench minor was called on the Rebels at 9:46 of the third period to negate a power play and have each side play four on four hockey. After a deep rebound off of Keane came out to Jimmy Glynn, Glynn would send a cross-ice pass up to Julian Makary, who carried the puck into the offensive zone on a 2 on 3 with Glynn. Makary dumped the puck down into the far side corner where Glynn picked it up and circled around the net. He sent a drop pass to Makary at the goal line who skated to the faceoff circle and sent a cross-ice pass to Diarmad DiMurro. DiMurro would take a wrist shot that beat Stoever high long side to give the Rebels a 2 – 0 lead with 9:38 left in the game.
With 2:05 remaining in regulation, the Knights would make the game interesting. Having pulled Stoever for the extra attacker, Curtis Carleson cut the Rebels lead in half with his third goal on the season. With each team trying to control the puck behind the Rebels net, the puck would be kicked free to Carleson in the far side corner. Carleson would send the puck back to Matt Kidney at the point. Kidney would pass the puck over to Kiryll Ulanov on his right. Ulanov took a shot that was saved by Keane but Carleson picked up the rebound to make it a 2 – 1 game.
The knights would keep Stoever on the bench for the extra attacker but it wasn’t enough as time ran out to end the game. Stoever would stop 35 of the 37 shots he faced while Keane turned aside 22 of 23. Click here for the box score.
The Knights and Rebels will meet again tonight at 7:35pm at the Class of 1923 Arena at the University of Pennsylvania.