This weekend the Rebels will be making the almost seven-hour drive to visit third place New Jersey. This will be the second trip to Middletown Ice World for the Rebels this season. The previous trip started out with a 2-1 overtime loss for the Rebels but finished on a positive note as Keane picked up his first shutout of the season (4-0). Rebels have an overall record of 21-10-3-1 (46PTS), putting them in second place where they have been for quite some time. The Titans are ten points back on the Rebels and have an overall record of 18-17.
The Rebels ended 2018 on a four-game win streak. The first four games of 2019 though have not been kind to them as they are 2-1-1 (all four games against WBS). Keane has played in all four games to start this calendar year (the most a Rebels’ goalie has started all season) putting him in third place for goalies overall with a goals-against-average of 1.94. The Titans are also finding 2019 to be difficult as their first two games of the year resulted in losses. New Jersey has also had an extended break with them not playing the first weekend of January some of their players have to get back into the swing of things before it’s too late.
Both teams are coming off long stretches of playing the same opponent for four-straight games. The Rebels have now played the Knights ten times this season (most of any team). The Titans ended 2018 against the Generals where they split the weekend, then played this past weekend for the first time in 2019 and allowed seven goals while only scoring four. With the Titans in a slump right now it has allowed the Generals to pull within six points of them. New Jersey must get something going here in the second half of the season or they will soon see the post season slip away from their grasp. On the flip side, the Rebels are looking to bounce back from two consecutive split weekends versus Wilkes-Barre. The Rebels blanked the Knights the first game of this past weekend by a final of 3-0. The following night though Wilkes-Barre was able to beat Keane twice in :58 seconds to tie the game and eventually win it in overtime with the final score reading 3-2.
No Rest for the Weary:
With the NAHL season being 60 games long it is a no-brainer that teams will get tired from time to time and staying healthy becomes tougher each game. The main factor is how the team comes together when facing such problems. The Rebels will look to put the start of 2019 behind them with two big wins in New Jersey this weekend. Every single player for Jamestown will have to play top notch hockey, since the season now looks like it might be on the line for New Jersey. The Titans will look to start hot and not look back. The Rebels though are hoping to silence the home town crowd early and maintain the momentum throughout the weekend.