Forward Andrew Bellant had three points and goaltender Ryan Keane turned aside all 21 shots he faced to lead the visiting Philadelphia Rebels to a 4 – 0 victory the Johnstown Tomahawks. The win keeps the Rebels undefeated on the season with a 9 – 0 record.
It was the Tomahawks home opener and the team did it right with a spectacular indoor light show and then had National Hockey League Hall of Famer Paul Coffey drop the ceremonial first puck. It was a very festive atmosphere but Bellant quickly changed the good mood just 3:07 into the first period.
With the puck in their own zone, a Rebels defenseman dumped the puck up high into the neutral zone where it was picked up along the near side blueline by Johnstown’s defenseman Reagan Wortz. As Wortz started to skate towards center ice he sent an errant pass that was picked off by Bellant and the crafty forward skated in on a breakaway and beat Tomahawks’ goalie Vinnie Purpura left, glove side to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead. It was Bellant’s fourth goal on the season.
The Rebels started the second period on the power play. As time was expiring with the extra attacker, Auggie Moore had the puck at the top of the near side faceoff circle. He sent a pass downlow to Bellant who skated up the boards and sent a pass back to Diarmad DiMurro back to the point. DiMurro send a seamless, cross-ice pass down low to Brandon Stanley who took a one-timer and beat Purpura short-side to give the Rebels a 2 – 0 lead just 2:25 into the second period.
With less than five minutes remaining in the third period, Purpura made a nice toe save on Aaron Maguyon but the rebound went off a Johnstown defender’s skate and the puck went behind the net where it was picked up by Ryan Patrick. After battling for the puck, Patrick kicked the puck free to Bellant who was at the side of the net. Bellant looked up and found Julian Makary all alone in the slot and Makary took a one-timer that beat Purpura to give the Rebels a 3 – 0 lead with 3:15 left in the game. It was Makary’s first goal on the season.
With time winding down in regulation and on their sixth power play, Moore sent a pass down low to Bellant who positioned himself to the right of Purpura. Bellant sent a pass through the goalmouth to Seth Bergeron who took a one-timer but Purpura made a nice save but the rebound came right back to Moore who put the puck in the net to finish the scoring.
It was Keane’s first shutout of the season. Purpura, who played extremely well, stopped 24 of 28 shots. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will be back at it today at 1:00pm at the Cambria County War Memorial.