This past weekend the Rebels played their first two games of 2019 in Pittson, PA. This also marked the last time the Rebels would travel to Scranton during the regular season. They went into this past weekend leading the season series 6-0. The Rebels ended 2018 on a four-game win streak and the Knights came into the weekend on a four-game losing streak. The Rebels have been sitting comfortably in second place in the East for quite some time. Whereas the Knights were in sixth place and battling for a playoff spot.
Friday marked the first of four-straight games between the Rebels and Knights. Wilkes-Barre scored a short-handed goal early in the first period to give themselves the 1-0 lead. They held onto that lead for the remainder of the first frame. It was in the second period when things started to pickup for Jamestown. With just 8:27 left in the middle period, Nick Stuckless was able to fly right past the defense of the Knights and beat Zach Stejskal to ties things up. The score would remain 1-1 after 60 minutes of play forcing overtime. This was the first time this season the Rebels and Knights required extra hockey to decide a winner. Even though the Rebels put up four shots during the five minute 3-on-3 overtime, it would not be enough as Stejskal stood tall on every shot. Since 65 minutes was not enough time to declare a winner both coaches got ready to send out three players for the shootout. The Rebels SO record was 1-1, as for the Knights their SO record was 1-0. The first four shooters could not convert so it came down to the final round. Auggie Moore was the last to go for the Rebels and he would not make Joe Coombs regret it as Moore was able to wrist one right past Stejskal to put the Rebels up 1-0 in the SO. For the Rebels to win all they needed was Ryan Keane to stop Jacob Badal’s shot, and that he did. The Rebels won their fifth-straight game (longest of the season) and extend their perfect record against the Knights to 7-0, five of those wins coming in Scranton.
Less than 24 hours later these two teams laced them up again for a matinee game. Going into Saturday’s game the Knights desperately needed the two points if they wanted to stay in the race for a playoff spot. Both goalies stayed the same, but the outcome did not. It started off very well for the Rebels as Jackson Wille scored his first NAHL goal just 2:33 into the start of the game. Although just over a minute later the Knights would answer to tie the game at 1-1. With :45 seconds left in the first period the Knights found the back of the net for the second time, giving them the 2-1 lead to end the period. The second period is when the Knights started to get things going offensively. They put up 16 shots in the middle frame and one of those shots beat Keane to give Wilkes-Barre a 3-1. This marked the first time this season that the Knights scored more than two goals on the Rebels. The rookie Jake Felker was able to pull his team within one right before the end of the second period. Unfortunately, the Knights would add another to their tally in the third period putting them back up by a pair. The Rebels did everything they could to try and tie it, but the horn sounded ending the game and with it the Rebels five-game win streak. The Knights picked up their first win against the Rebels this season and snapped their five-game losing streak.
The Rebels now have an overall record of 20-10-2-1 (43PTS) and have now lost to every team in the East, but still reside in second place. With the Knights gaining three points over the weekend they improve to 12-19-1-1 (26PTS) but are on the outside looking in as Maryland currently holds the last playoff spot with 27PTS. This weekend, the Rebels and the Knights will square off again but this time it will be in Jamestown, NY. The Rebels sit six points ahead of the Titans but 15 points back of the Tomahawks. Regardless of the outcome from this weekend the Rebels will still be in second place, but they are looking to get back to their winning ways and try to close the gap on Johnstown. For ticket information call 716-484-2624