Backed by two, third period goals from Brandon Stanley, the visiting Philadelphia Rebels defeated the Johnstown Tomahawks 5 – 1 to sweep the weekend series against their rival from Western Pennsylvania and run their record to 10 – 0 on the season. The Rebels are the only undefeated team in the North American Hockey League.
The Rebels took an early lead again in this game on Eric Olson’s first goal on the season at 2:23 into the opening period. After Olson won the draw deep inside the Tomahawks’ zone, the puck came out to Ryan Patrick on the right-hand side of the near side faceoff circle. Patrick sent a cross-ice pass back to Bryant Gunn. Gunn took a wrist shot that Johnstown’s goalie Britt League made the initial save but Olson picked up the rebound and tuck it in the net to put the Rebels out front 1 – 0.
The Tomahawks would even the score off of an Alex Singley goal. After Andrew Andary won the scrum along the near side boards in the Rebels zone, he passed the puck back to Hunter Carrick at the point. Carrick took a slap shot that was redirected by Singley in the slot and passed Rebels goalie Ryan Keane with 5:17 left in the first period.
As the game entered the second, Carter Woolley would give the Rebels back the lead. After Johnstown dumped the puck deep inside the Rebels zone it was retrieved by Gunn in his near side corner. Gunn would pass it up to Mack Byers at his own blueline. Byers sent a pass to a streaking Woolley in the neutral zone and the Bloomfield Hills, MI native beat League blocker side for his second goal on the season.
The old adage in hockey is the best defender on a 5 on 3 is your goaltender, and that old adage was correct today. Diarmad DiMurro was called for hooking at 8:34 into the second period and then Byers was called for holding 45 seconds later to give the Tomahawks a 5 on 3. Keane had to make at least three-point blank saves to keep the Rebels on top.
It then was the Rebels turn to go on a 5 on 3 advantage. After former Rebel Carter Dwyer was called for roughing at 12:17 into the second, teammate Nic Azarovitz was called for slashing seventeen seconds later. Twelve seconds into the 5 on 3 Hugh Quinn would make it a 3 – 1 game.
After Andrew Bellant won the draw deep inside the Johnstown zone he passed the puck to his left to Aaron Maguyon, sent the puck back to DiMurro at the point. DiMurro skated deeper into the Tomahawks zone and passed to Maguyon on his left. Maguyon fed a pass back to Quinn at the top of the faceoff circle and beat League blocker side with 7:18 left in the second period.
Stanley would put the game out of reach with his first goal of the game the 9:54 mark of the third period. As Tomahawks forward Brendan White tried to bring the puck out of his own zone, he was checked hard into the boards by Maguyon and puck went back to Stanley at the point. Stanley lobbed a shot on net that League misplayed and the biscuit went past him and into the net to make it a 4 – 1 game.
With time winding down in the game the Rebels would go on the power play. After the puck went into the Johnstown far side corner, Maguyon would fight for the puck and send it back to Carson Moniz. Moniz would pass it over to his right to Quinn who took a one-timer that was deflected by Stanley in the slot to make it a 5 – 1 game with 3:44 left in regulation.
Keane, who allowed only one goal all weekend, stopped 22 of 23 shots while League turned aside 9 of 14. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels will play the first-place Northeast Generals on Wednesday night at 7:00pm at the Class of 1923 Arena.