Over the weekend, the Rebels had their first home games of 2019, hosting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights for the second-straight weekend. The Rebels came into this past weekend with an overall record of 20-10-2-1, good for second place in the East. The Knights on the other hand were on the outside looking in with an overall record of 12-19-1-1, putting them in fifth place. These two teams met for the fifth weekend series, the most either team has played against an opponent.
On Friday it was a battle between winless netminder Samuel Vyletelka and one of the top-five goalies in the league, Ryan Keane. The scoring came early for the Rebels as just 3:09 into the first, Antonio Venuto stick lifted a Knight and was able to walk right in for the 1-0 lead. While on the power play and with about :15 seconds left in the first, Colin Schmidt made a beautiful back-hand pass as he was falling to the ground to Alex Frye who was wide open at the top of the crease. Frye picked up his 52nd junior goal in what was his 200th junior game. The Rebels picked things up in the second where they left off in the first thanks to Noah Finstrom. He sniped one right past Vyleltelka for a power-play goal, making it a 3-0 Rebels lead. Neither team could find the back of the net for the remainder of the game, giving Keane his second shutout of the season (17SVS). Rebels increased their season-series lead over the Knights to 8-1 and with a little help from some top teams, the Rebels were tied for fourth place in the league at 46pts. With the win Keane now has 16 on the season which ranks him third among goalies.
Saturday marked the first time this season Keane has started four-straight games. He went up against Zach Stejskal who just barely cracked the top 15 for goalies overall. The game seemed to start out déjà vu like as Antonio Venuto notched the first goal of the game just before the halfway point of the period. Following in Venuto’s footsteps was Alex Frye as he put his team up by a pair with under three minutes left in the first. Unfortunately, that is where the déjà vu ended for the Rebels as they let up two goals in the middle period just :58 seconds apart. The Rebels applied a lot of pressure in the late stages of regulation, but it would not be enough as the horn sounded and with a 2-2 game we headed into extra hockey. In the 3-on-3 overtime the Rebels controlled most of the possession but with a lot of open ice and fresher legs, the Knights’ Forward Tyrone Bronte picked up the puck and went the other way. He was able to out muscle Frye who was the only man back for Jamestown and beat Keane for the win. The Knights won their first game here at the Northwest Arena. It was also Keane’s first overtime loss this season.
Jamestown still sits in second place with a record of 21-10-3-1 (46PTS), whereas the Knights, improve their record to 13-20-1-1(28PTS), but not their position as they sit in fifth place. The Rebels will travel to New Jersey this weekend to face the Titans. New Jersey got swept by the Generals this past weekend and they are ten points back on Jamestown. The Rebels will have to go up against a team that is looking for revenge after getting swept and they are also trying to close the gap. The Rebels are 1-2-1 against the Titans this season. It is crucial for the Rebels to come out firing on all cylinders during Friday’s game, so they can gain some confidence back and set the tone for the weekend. For ticket information call 716-484-2624.
Right before the holiday break the Rebels hosted the Maryland Black Bears. Jamestown leads the season series at 4-0-1-1. The last time the Black Bears came to the Northwest Arena they gave the Rebels the most goals they have scored in a game (7) and the following night marked the first shutout of the season for Jamestown (4-0). This time, the Rebels were hoping for some early Christmas presents and to tie their longest win-streak at four.
Jamestown came into the weekend with a record of 17-9-2-1 putting them in second place in the East. As for their counterpart, the Black Bears are well below .500 but do hold the last playoff spot with a record of 10-16-3-2. With Wilkes-Barre not playing over the weekend, Maryland would not drop out of fourth place after their set of games against Jamestown, but they were hoping to separate themselves from the bottom two teams and gain ground on New Jersey.
Things started out very well for the Rebels in the first game of the weekend as they scored two goals not even 40 seconds apart. After a dominate first period, Jamestown went into the locker room with their two-goal lead thanks to Alex Frye and Nick Petruolo. They also were outshooting the Black Bears 13-3 after the first 20 minutes. The Rebels came out in the second period with guns blazing as they added two more goals to their total before four minutes had even passed in the middle frame. Jim Glynn made it 3-0 after redirecting Alex Roy’s slap pass on the power play. Then it was Antonio Venuto that picked up the loose puck in the slot and put it home. With a 4-0 lead going into the final period of regulation it seemed that Maryland was down and out. They came out strong in the third period by scoring just 61 seconds into it, ending their goose egg on the board. They followed that up by adding another one, now putting them within a pair of the Rebels. Venuto would score his second of the night on the power play to put his team back up by three. With almost five minutes left in regulation, the Black Bears found the back of the net to now make the score 5-3. The score would remain that way once the horn sounded, giving the Rebels a three-game win streak and snapping the Black Bears three-game win streak.
The next day marked the last game of 2018 for the Rebels and Black Bears. With everyone getting ready to go home in just 24 hours it was a matter of which team came ready to play and which team was already checked out for the holiday break. Both teams made changes to their goalies. In net for the Black Bears it was David Tomeo (8-11) and for the Rebels it was Noah West (4-3). West recorded the Rebels first shutout of the season by a final of 4-0 against this Black Bears team back on November 24th. With that in mind the Rebels came out firing on all cylinders as Nate Clark wristed one from the point right past Tomeo, giving him his first NAHL goal. With just five seconds left in regulation it seemed that the Rebels would go into the locker room with a 1-0 lead until, Colin Schmidt made a filthy dangle around a Black Bear and scored. Giving his team a 2-0 lead after the first. In the middle frame the Rebels were on the power play and Jim Glynn’s shot missed the net but picking it up on the far side was Nick Stuckless who scored putting the Rebels up by three. With Glynn getting the assist he set a new franchise record for a point streak at 12-straight games (4G,11A). The Rebels had another power-play goal to start the third period after Caleb Price’s shot deflected off the glove of Jake Felker now making it a 4-0 deficit for the Black Bears. Maryland threw everything they could at West, but he was a brick wall from start to finish stopping all 23 shots and giving him another shutout this season.
Rebels now tied their longest-win streak at four games and a lot of players got to take home some early presents right before the holiday. As for the Black Bears, they have not beat the Rebels in regulation this season and are 0-4 when coming to Jamestown. To start 2019 the Rebels will face the Knights four-straight times. The first set of games will be played at the Revolution Ice Centre and then the very next weekend the teams will battle at the Northwest Arena. The Rebels are currently getting the better of the fifth place Knights this season, having not lost to them yet (6-0). Jamestown started off this 2018-2019 season struggling but quickly found their groove as the season progressed. They currently sit in 2nd place in the East with an overall record of 19-9-2-1 (41PTS). They are five points ahead of 3rd place New Jersey but sit 13 points behind 1st place Johnstown. The only New Year’s resolution the Rebels are making is to keep winning. They have the chance to go on their longest-winning streak of the season on January 4th if they beat Wilkes-Barre. The second-half of the season will surely be one you will not want to miss as this Rebels team is poised to make a run at the top spot in the East to try to capture their fourth-straight East Division title.
This past weekend the Rebels hosted the Maryland Black Bears for the first time this regular season. Two days before the Rebels played them, the Black Bears were in Johnstown and lost 8-2. They trailed the Rebels by five points to start the weekend and the series was split going into this weekend 2-2 with neither team getting a sweep yet. During both games the Rebels looked sharp whereas the Black Bears seemed to have too much to eat for Thanksgiving.
On Black Friday, the Rebels started out hot as not even five minutes into the game they were already on the scoreboard thanks to Niki Jasko scoring his first goal as a Rebel. Just past the halfway point in the period Auggie Moore ripped a shot off the post and in to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead. After Jasko got called for slashing the Rebels went on the penalty kill but Alex Frye got the defense sleeping and was able to go on a breakaway. As he was one-on-one with Black Bears’ goalie David Tomeo, he sniped it top shelf knocking off his water bottle and gave his team the 3-0 lead. His goal was also the first shorthanded goal the Rebels have scored this season. With just eight seconds left in the first period the Rebels were not done as Antonio Venuto scored putting the Rebels up 4-0 after the first 20 minutes. When the 2nd period started the Black Bears tried to put up a fight by throwing the puck towards Ryan Keane every chance they got. It did not remain 4-0 for long as Nick Stuckless scored on the power play before the half-way point of the game giving the Rebels a five-goal lead and tying their season-high in goals. The Black Bears were able to get one past Keane though as their captain scored on the power play to pull his team within four. With 45 seconds left in the middle period it was Noah Finstrom that scored putting his team up by five again and making it the highest scoring game for the Rebels this season. Though they would not stop at six as Alex Frye scored top shelf again, although this time he knocked the cap off the water bottle spilling all the water onto the ice. With a dominant 7-1 win on Friday the Rebels were now on a three-game winning streak but still two points behind New Jersey for 2nd place. Friday’s win was also the eighth time this season the Rebels have won a game and only allowed one goal. Also, throughout the 60 minutes on Friday there was a plethora of penalties, scrums, and big hits. All of this resulted in a combined 86 penalty minutes, Rebels still had the fewest in the division whereas the Black Bears were now second in the league in PIMS.
On Saturday, the Black Bears decided to start Tomeo again after he let in seven goals on 35 shots. While he is their number one goalie it sure was surprising to not see backup netminder Kevin Lake get the nod for Saturday to try to split the weekend series for the third time this season. The Rebels have won all their games against the Black Bears on Friday but then have lost the next day in extra hockey. With them having home ice advantage and coming off their biggest game of the season they were determined to change the narrative. Rebels did change their goalies though as Noah West got the start. The Rebels were riding a huge wave of momentum when the puck was dropped on Saturday to start thee first period. They put up 16 shots through the first 20 minutes and only gave up six shots to Maryland. Two of those 16 shots found the back of the net thanks to Jake Felker (PP) and Jim Glynn. Their goals were scored less than a minute apart. With almost half of the game gone it was Antonio Venuto that scored on the power play to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead with just about 10 minutes left in the 2nd. A few minutes later Colin Schmidt scored to now give the Rebels a 4-0, his goal was also on the power play. The Rebels went 3/6 on the man-advantage on Saturday. The Black Bears tried their hardest to get one past West before time expired, but it was too little too late as the horn sounded giving the Rebels their first shutout this season along with putting them on a four-game winning streak, their longest this season.
Noah West had this to say about getting the first shutout for the Rebels this season “It felt really good, we have been playing some of our best hockey lately”. He also had this to say when asked about their match-up with New Jersey this weekend “It should be a playoff series and a battle for the next spot, it should be interesting”. When asked about this past weekend and how he felt about how the team played Head Coach Joe Coombs states “I thought it was the best 120 minutes of hockey we have played all season”. He also added this about the two big games against New Jersey this weekend “We are going to try to work our process and prepare like we do for any other weekend”. The Knights beat the Titans Saturday giving the Rebels a tie with New Jersey for second place in the East. This Saturday’s game between the Rebels and Titans will also be the NAHL Game of the Week as puck drop is scheduled for 7:30pm. Tune in on HockeyTv for the free coverage of the battle for second place. For any ticket information call 716-484-2624.
Last week the Rebels played three games within the span of four days. The first game took place on Wednesday against the first-place team in the league the Johnstown Tomahawks. The Rebels were able to get the game’s first goal about half-way through the first period, thanks to Antonio Venuto. In the second period it was all Tomahawks though as they scored three straight goals to put them up by a pair. The past series between these two teams was split and the Rebels won the first game which was opening night for Johnstown. The Rebels have shown that they can clearly hold their own against the veteran Johnstown team. After reflecting in the locker room on the past 40 minutes, the Rebels came out hungry for a goal. Just 38 seconds into the third period it was Noah Finstrom who scored to pull the Rebels within one. Throughout the third period it was a back and forth game, with both teams blocking a lot of shots along with hits being thrown left and right. As time dwindled down in the game the Rebels did everything they could to try to tie it even pulling Keane with just around 30 seconds to go. Unfortunately, it would not be enough as the final horn sounded, giving the Tomahawks their eighth win in a row. The loss put the Rebels on a two-game losing streak and in jeopardy of losing third place if they did not win against the Generals over the weekend and if the Black Bears ended up beating the Tomahawks.
On Friday the Rebels were facing a struggling Generals team as they came to Jamestown, NY on a four-game losing streak. Before the first game of the weekend the past four games for the Generals have resulted in them only scoring nine goals and allowing twenty-three. Whereas the Rebels previous four games before Friday was a lot closer as they too had scored nine goals but only allowed seven. Both net-minders for the Generals were on a losing streak going into Friday and the Rebels were hoping to not let that change. In the first period on Friday neither team could find the back of the net. The second period was a different story though as the Rebels scored three straight goals thanks to Lukas Uhler (PP), Sam Anzai, and Alex Frye. With a 3-0 lead and just 20 minutes left in regulation the only chance the Generals had at coming back in the game was to start get a goal early, and that they did. Just 20 seconds into the final period the Generals scored pulling them within a pair of the Rebels. Though they would not be able to put anymore past Keane, the Rebels added two more to their tally with goals coming from Frye and Uhler. The Rebels snapped their two-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over Northeast and put them on a five-game losing streak. The Rebels also peppered the Generals goalie during the entire 60-minute game on Friday as they put up 43 shots whereas Northeast only had 23.
The next day started out the same for both teams as they went into their locker rooms scoreless after the first period. Although in the second period it was the Generals that scored first giving them their first lead of the weekend. They would score one more time before the end of the middle period, giving them a 2-0 lead to start the third. The Rebels came out hot in the third period scoring two goals in less than seven minutes to tie the game (Antonio Venuto, Lewis Crosby (PP)). Although with exactly eight minutes left to go in regulation the Generals added another goal to regain the lead. They scored another goal just 1:39 later to put them back up by two. Even with Keane pulled it would not be enough to get their second weekend sweep as they fell to the Generals 4-2. These two teams won’t face each other again until the weekend of February 22nd and those two games will be played once again at the Northwest Arena.
In just two days the Rebels are going to Wilkes-Barre to face the Knights who are currently sitting in last place in the East division. The Rebels still hold third place and are three points ahead of the Black Bears, but they sit six points back from second place New Jersey. The last time these two teams met was the last weekend in October when the Rebels swept the Knights, scoring a total of six goals and only allowing two. If the Rebels can sweep the Knights this week, they could find themselves behind New Jersey by two points, if the Titans get swept by first place Johnstown this weekend. With a third of the season over the Rebels are sitting in a playoff spot with a chance to get closer to second place if they secure the full four points this week.
A few days ago, the Rebels went to Odenton, MD to square off against the Maryland Black Bears. The previous two meetings between these teams resulted in a shootout with each team winning one of them. The Rebels were coming off their first weekend sweep and their first win on home ice. Whereas the Black Bears had just gotten swept by the Titans and dropped to fourth place in the division. This time at Piney Orchard Ice Arena it was a different result by the end of the first game.
On Friday the Rebels came out with a lot of momentum and urgency as it was the birthday boy Sam Anzai that scored the weekend’s first goal exactly half through the first period. The score would remain 1-0 until Jake Felker scored almost five minutes into the 3rd period. Shortly after his goal the Black Bears got on the board, unfortunately they would not be able to put up any more. The Rebels added two more to their tally thanks to Antonio Venuto and Alex Frye giving them a 4-1 win. This also gave them their third straight win and hopes of picking up their second weekend sweep the next night.
Saturday’s game started out very similar to Friday’s as the Rebels jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 1:23 into the opening frame after Colin Schmidt scored. There would not be another goal until Maryland scored with 8:17 to go in the final period of regulation. With no more goals the game went into overtime. Saturday marked the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams and the third time a game has required extra hockey to determine a winner. With 1:19 left in overtime it was Luke Posner that scored giving his team the full two points and snapping their three-game losing streak. The Rebels managed to gain three points out of a possible four and still hold possession of third place. Tomorrow they will face not only the first-place team in the East Division but also in the NAHL. It will surely be a hard-fought hockey game as soon as puck drops at 7:05p.m.
This weekend the Rebels make their way to Odenton, Maryland for the first time. They will go up against the new East Division team, the Maryland Black Bears. The Black Bears are brand new to the North American Hockey League and are currently tied with the WBS/Knights for third place in the division. Whereas the Rebels (4-6-0-0) are tied with the Northeast Generals for fifth place in the division. This is a crucial set of games for the Rebels as they are looking to snap their three-game losing streak. While the Black Bears are looking to have a positive record after this weekend concludes, currently (4-5-3-0).
On paper the Black Bears are starting their inaugural season in the NAHL on a good note. Multiple players are putting up numbers for them, especially #17 Connor Pooley who is now in his second year in the NAHL. He currently leads his team in points with 13. Last season when he was with the Lone Star Brahmas, he played 42 games and only recorded 12 points. While their offense has been clicking, it is their goaltenders that are not holding their own. Just like the Rebels, the Black Bears have not swept an opponent yet this season. While they do have three goalies on their roster, they tend to lean more towards NAHL veteran David Tomeo. He has now been in the NAHL for three seasons, starting out with the Generals and then the year after that with WBS/Knights. Now he has played 9 out of 12 games for the Black Bears and will surely get the nod for one of the games this weekend, if not both. His record is (4-4-0-1) and his GAA is 3.03, with a SV% of .910%. Having a consistent netminder is key to any team winning a weekend series of games.
For the Rebels what they must focus on is getting what happened this past weekend out of their head. This is a young team with only five returning players. They will find their groove as the season picks up. What sticks out the most for the Rebels is that they get back Seth Bergeron and Antonio Venuto. Seth Bergeron has not played a regular season game yet and was finally cleared by his doctor on Monday. This is what he had to say about getting the chance to finally play “I am really excited, getting hit in the face in preseason and being out for a month was pretty disappointing. I stayed in shape and I am ready to go help the team win some games”. Venuto is coming off his two-game suspension that he picked up in the second game against Johnstown, for spearing one of their players. He missed opening weekend here in Jamestown and is looking to keep himself out of trouble to help his team secure a much-needed sweep. The Rebels also have added a new player to their roster; Sam Hanson, from Eau Claire, Wisconsin is 6’1” 194lbs., a left-handed forward who has played for the NAHL Minot Minotauros and the NA3HL Wisconsin Whalers. In his 36 games played in his career he has recorded 50 points, 34 of those points coming from assists. To say the least, this Rebels team this weekend will look a lot different and hopefully with these three players they are able to piece together a win streak.
While these two teams have not faced each other during the regular season, they did play a pre-season game against one another in Jamestown on September 8th. The Rebels ended up winning the game 4-1 and even though it was only a month ago, both of their rosters have changed significantly. It will without a doubt be a must-win set of games for the Rebels this weekend as they have a chance to climb into third place, depending on how WBS/Knights and Northeast Generals play this weekend.