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.