Playing in his third consecutive game goalie Darion Hanson stopped all 35 shots to earn his first shut out of the season as the Rebels defeated the New Jersey Titans 4-0 at Middletown’s Ice Works. The win moves the teams back into a tie for the East Division lead. The two teams split their home-and-home weekend series.
This game started very much like Friday night’s when the home team took it to the Rebels. Three of the first four shots came off the stick of a Titan but they became too aggressive. Andrew Durham boarded defenseman Mason Van Tuyl sending the Rebels on a power play. As the Rebels set up in the zone, Brennan Kapcheck found Gvido Jansons down low. Jansons caught Titans goalie Spencer Wright cheating to prepare for a back door pass to Frank Spellman and Jansons found the opening short side to put the Rebels up 1-0 on only their second shot of the game.
As the Titans fired more shots on Hanson, the Rebels broke out of the zone and dumped the puck into the Titans corner. Dean Balsamo picked it up and circled around the net and wrapped the puck around and in-between Wright’s five-hole putting the Rebels up 2-0 on their fourth shot of the game. The Rebels finished the first period with only 6 shots while New Jersey had 16, several of them were key saves made by Hanson to keep the visitors in the game.
The turning point was at the end of the first period when Titans forward was assessed a check from behind and game misconduct to put the Rebels on a five minute power play to start the second period.
While the Rebels started slow with the extra attacker, Kristofers Bindulis broke down the far side board and passed it to Dom Garcia. Garcia made a beautiful back door pass to a wide open Ryan Solomon who one timed it passed Wright for a 3-0 lead.
As the game entered the third period, the Titans started strong again. Both teams knew if there was going to be another goal it could determine the outcome of the game. As the Rebels broke out of the zone, there was a costly turnover at center ice where Durham intercepted the puck and walked in on Hanson on a break away. Hanson stoned him keeping the shut out intact.
As time wore down, New Jersey pulled Write for the extra attacker. After another save by Hanson, Solomon picked up the rebound and broke out of the zone and fired the puck into an empty net to give the Rebels a 4-0 win.
Between the two games this weekend, Hanson faced 63 shots and made 61 saves. He earned a 1.00 goals against average and .968 save percentage. Click here for the box score.