Last week the Rebels faced the Tomahawks for their first home-and-home series of the season. I was a battle of first versus second in the East Division and it surely did not disappoint. The Rebels went into the two games with a record of 26-11-3-3 (58pts) Whereas Johnstown has the best record in the league, 38-6-0-1 (77pts). Jamestown’s record against the ‘Hawks this season is 2-4-0-1.
It all started on Wednesday when the Rebels and Tomahawks took the ice at 11am in front of a record number of fans (1287). It was the first school day game the Rebels have done in their new arena and they sure did not disappoint thee students. The first period started out with the Tomahawks scoring with just under five minutes left in the period. After a scoreless middle frame, the Tomahawks were just 20 minutes away from picking up two points. While the Rebels were flexing their muscles throughout the first 40, they were having trouble getting anything past the number two goalie in the league, Carter McPhail. Almost five minutes into the find period of regulation, Alex Frye (25) scored to tie the game at 1-1. Less than two minutes later it was Eric Olson picking up his first goal of the season, giving the Rebels a 2-1 lead. They would hang on to the lead for a while until Cameron Hebert notched his second of the night, tying the game once more. With neither team unable to break the tie before the end of regulation we were forced to go into overtime to decide a winner. The Rebels were coming off their first overtime win against the Titans who have not lost in extra hockey all season and now they had to go into OT against a team that is 4-0 in 3-on-3 hockey. Luckily for the Rebels they have the number one ranked goalie, Ryan Keane, to back them up. On the Rebels fourth shot in extra hockey it was Auggie Moore that came away from the corner with the puck and let one rip from the top of the left circle that beat McPhail glove side. Giving the Tomahawks their first overtime loss of the season. Also, with their win it marked the third straight at home. The Rebels finished the game with 34 shots and only allowed 24. The Rebels were now just two days away from sweeping the ‘Hawks for the first time this season.
Friday night in Johnstown the Rebels were searching for their fourth-straight win. It was Keane versus McPhail once again. Cam Hebert was able to score the game’s first goal on his team’s first power play. Noah Finstrom (7) figured he should get in on the action by scoring on the Rebels first man-advantage. Late in the 1st period. Sam Anzai was pestering the ‘Hawks zone while the Rebels made changes. He eventually was able to strip a Tomahawk of the puck and passed it right over to Jake Felker (15) for the goal, giving the Rebels a 2-1 to end the 1st period. Early in the middle period Johnstown was able to score, tying the game at 2-2. With under five minutes left in the 2nd Johnstown converted on another shot, giving them the lead once more. Now with less than 60 seconds left in the period, Caleb Price (3) was able to stuff the puck through the five-hole of McPhail to make it a 3-3 game. The second-leading scorer for the Tomahawks, Carson Briere, did not want to go into the locker room tied so decided to beat Keane with just :32 seconds left on the clock. After 40 minutes of play and multiple lead changes, the Rebels were looking to battle back and still were within a goal when the 3rd period started. The Rebels made a goalie change when the 3rd period started as Noah West came in to replace Keane. The Tomahawks entered the final period of regulation the same way they ended the 2nd by scoring 1:33 into the period. Cam Hebert was the one to score early putting his team up by a pair, also giving him his fourth goal in these two games against the Rebels. While on the power play again, Antonio Venuto (13) was able to pick up the loose puck at the top of the crease and put it in the back of the net. Venuto’s goal surely did spark his team as Niki Jasko (7) was able to get on the scoring sheet, tying the game again, this time though it was 5-5. Jim Glynn scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play, 15:08 into the 3rd. With three-unanswered goals and time winding down in the game the Rebels were realizing that they were just moments away from sweeping the Tomahawks for the first time this season. Ending their hopes was Roman Kramer as he scored with :34 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 6-6. His goal also came on a 6-on-5 advantage after Head Coach Mike Letizia pulled McPhail. This put us into our third-straight overtime. With there only being six skaters on the ice as compared to the usual ten, there was a lot of open ice to work with for both teams. Using the open ice to their advantage and capitalizing on a broken play in the Rebels zone, Hunter Toale walked right in on West and was able to get it over his pad for the 7-6 win.
While the Rebels lost in OT, they did extend their point streak to four games. They host the Northeast Generals this weekend, who hold the last playoff spot in the East. The Rebels and Generals have only played each other four times and the season series is split 2-2. This will be the second and final time the Generals will visit the Northwest Arena. This weekend will also be our Pink the Rink weekend as the team will be wearing specialty breast cancer awareness jerseys, make sure if you come to either game to wear pink! For ticket information call 716-484-2624, also make sure to follow us on all our social media.
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