Tag Archives: Jack Leavy

Weekend preview: 10/6 – 10/8. Knights and Titans invade the Class of 1923 Arena

The Rebels will play three home games this weekend: two against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and one with the New Jersey Titans. Friday night’s game against the Knights is slated to begin at 7:10pm and then again on Saturday at 6:50pm. The game on Sunday against the Titans will start at 6:20pm.

Rebels vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights
Last season the Rebels took nine out of twelve games against the Knights and then swept them in the divisional semi-finals three games to none. During the regular season the Rebels outscored the Knights by 24 (48 to 24). The Rebels converted 20% on the power play while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored 16% of the time. Current Rebels Aaron Maguyon and Jenson Zerban each had 10 points against the Knights while current Knight Matt Kidney had six points against the Rebels.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Overview
The Knights are currently in third place in the East Division with a 5 – 1 record for ten points, four points behind division leader Northeast Generals, although the Knights have three games in hand. WBS has scored 19 goals (eighth best in the league) and have allowed 14 (sixth best in the league). The Knights are led by Jack Olmstead who has seven points (3 goals and 4 assists). Tyrone Bronte (3 goals and 3 assists) and Matt Kidney (3 goals and 3 assists) each have six points. Thomas Farrell leads the defensive unit with four points (all assists). He also leads the team in +/- with +8. Netminder David Tomeo leads the team in penalty minutes with twelve. WBS is ranked twentieth in the league on the power play having scored 10% of the time while they are ranked eleventh on the penalty kill, having prevented the opposition from scoring 83.3% of the time.

Tomeo along with Christian Stoever and Kevin Lake have a combined 2.30 goals against average and a .930 save percentage.

Rebels vs. New Jersey Titans
The Titans were the biggest challenge to the Rebels during the regular season and playoffs. The Rebels defeated New Jersey seven out the twelve regular season games having outscored them 35 to 23. Five of the Rebels seven wins against the Titans were on home ice. This trend continued into the playoffs where the two teams had a very hard-fought give game divisional final series with the Rebels winning three games to two, with all three Rebels’ wins on home ice. The Rebels scored 22% of the time on the power play while the Titans converted on 16% of the time. Current Rebels Andrew Bellant and Maguyon each had nine points against New Jersey.

Titans Overview
The Titans are currently in fourth place in the East Division with a 4-3-1 record with nine points, five behind the first place Generals, although the Titans have a game in hand. The Titans have scored 28 goals on the season (second best in the league) and have allowed 19 (fourteenth in the league). The Titans are led by Hunter Alden’s nine points (4 goals and 5 assists). Alden also leads the team in goals with four. Ryan Wheeler leads the blueliners with six points (all assists). Alden has the best +/- with +8. Tyler Barrow has the most penalty minutes on the team with 26. The Titans are sixteenth in the league on the power play having converted 17.2% of the time while they are ranked thirteenth in the league on the penalty kill having the prevented the opposition from scoring 80.6% of the time.

Titans netminders Brandon Perrone and Matt Ladd have a combined 2.10 goals against average and a .927 save percentage with one shutout (Perrone).

Rebels Overview
Despite being the only undefeated team in the league with a 6 – 0 record, the Rebels are second in the division with twelve points, two behind the Generals although the Rebels have three games in hand. The Rebels have scored eighteen goals on the season (tenth best) and have allowed eight (least amount in the league). The team is led by Jensen Zerban’s six points (3 goals and 3 assists). Zerban and Bellant lead the team in goals with three each. Diarmad DiMurro has the most points among the defensemen with four (1 goal and 3 assists). Zerban and DiMurro lead the team with the best +/- with both having a +4. Bellant has the most penalty minutes on the team with 28. The Rebels are sixth in the league on the power play having converted 25% of the time while they are fifth in the league on the penalty kill having prevented the opposing from scoring 87% of the time.

The Rebels netminders Eli Billing, Ryan Keane and Jack Leavy have a combined 1.33 goals against average and a .943 save percentage with one shutout (Leavy).

Weekend Preview: 9/30 – 10/1; Rebels host Tomahawks in home opening weekend

The Rebels long awaited home opener at the venerable Class of 1923 Arena at the University of Pennsylvania is finally here. The two teams will meet on Saturday night at 7:35pm and on Sunday at 6:20pm. Saturday night’s will feature a festive mood before the game with outdoor music and a beer garden. Philadelphia Flyers legend Bernie Parent will drop the ceremonial first puck and sign autographs through the first period.

Tomahawks vs. Rebels: 2016-17
Despite defeating the Tomahawks nine out of twelve games last season, the series was extremely close. The Rebels outscored Johnstown by only five goals (27 to 22). In fact, the fate of nine games was decided by one goal between them. The Rebels were 10% on the powerplay while the Tomahawks were 11%. Returning Rebel Aaron Maguyon along with former captain Dom Garcia each had seven points against Johnstown while former Tomahawk standout Donovan Ott had eleven points against the Rebels.

Tomahawks Overview
Last season the Tomahawks finished second in the East Division with a 40-16-4 record for 84 points, the best in team history. This season, however, has not started well for the Rebels rival from Western Pennsylvania. They currently have a 2 – 5 record for four points. The Tomahawks went 1 – 3 at the recently concluded NAHL Showcase. They are currently in last place and eight points behind division leader Northeast Generals.

The Tomahawks have scored 14 goals on the young season (eighth best in the league) and they have allowed 26 (most in the league). Forward Joe Kile leads the Tomahawks in total points with five (all goals) while Karim DelPonte leads the defensemen with three points (1 goal and 2 assists). Chris Trouba has the most penalty minutes with 24, and Samuel Solensky has the best +/- with +1. Johnstown is fifth in the league on the powerplay having scored 25% of the time while they are seventeenth on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 79.3% of the time.

Tomahawks goaltending tandem of Vinnie Purpura and Jack Faulkner have a combined 3.58 goals against average and .897 save percentage with no shutouts.

Rebels Overview
The 2016-17 season was special one for the Rebels. They had a league best 46-11-3 record for 95 points and made it to the Robertson Cup finals. This season the Rebels have started strong going 4 – 0 in the NAHL Showcase, and the Rebels are currently the only undefeated team in the league.

Despite having a 4 – 0 record, the Rebels are in third place in the East Division with eight points, four behind the Northeast Generals (although the Generals have played three more games).

The Rebels have scored ten goals (15th best in the league) and have allowed five (tied for first with two other teams). Jensen Zerban is the Rebels top goal scorer and point leader with five (3 goals and 2 assists). Zerban’s three goals were all game winners. Diarmad DiMurro leads the defensemen with two points (both assists). Andrew Bellant leads the team with ten penalty minutes while Zerban has the best +/- with +3. The Rebels are sixth in the league on the powerplay having converted 23.1% of their chances, and they are fourteenth in the league on the penalty kill having prevent the opposition from scoring 81.3% of the time.

Rebels goaltenders Eli Billing, Ryan Keane and Jack Leavy have a combined 1.25 goals against average and a .949 save percentage with one shutout.

Rebels beat Brahmas 4 – 3 and go 4 – 0 in NAHL Showcase

The outcome was different this time. In a rematch of last year’s Robertson Cup finals, the Philadelphia Rebels held on to defeat the Lone Star Brahmas 4 – 3 and go 4 – 0 in the NAHL’s 15th Annual Showcase.

In a game that had a total of 29 shots on goal, there were seven goals scored. Rebels forward Auggie Moore started it off just thirteen seconds into the game. Immediately after the opening faceoff won by Andrew Bellant, the puck came to Moore by the right side of the faceoff circle. Moore dumped the puck deep inside the Brahmas far side corner. Bellent picked up the puck and sent a pass back to Moore who was at the faceoff circle. Moore took a wrist shot that beat Lone Star’s goalie Ajay Fernandez high, short side to put the Rebels up 1 – 0.

Ryan Patrick was called for holding with 8:23 left in the first period to put the Brahmas on the power play. Lone Star’s forward Andy Willis would bring the puck up the ice along the far side boards into the Rebels zone by the faceoff circle. Willis took a shot on net that was saved by Jack Leavy but the puck came back out to the top of the crease. Jarid Domin tried to put the puck in the net but couldn’t control it and Willis picked it up and put it past a fallen Leavy to tie the game at one with 7:55 remaining in the period.

Seven seconds later Lone Star’s Julian Biondo was called for hooking to give the Rebels the extra attacker. With time winding down in the power play Aaron Maguyon would give the Rebels a 2 – 1 lead. Reid Miller would dump the puck down low along the near side boards and it was retrieved by Julian Makary behind the net. Makary would pass it back to Miller who found a breaking Maguyon at the top of the circle. Maguyon took a wrist shot that beat Fernandez shot side for his first goal on the season.

Fernandez would be replaced by Phoenixville, PA native Mitchell Gibson.

Twenty-four seconds after Maguyon’s goal, Mack Byers made it a 3 – 1 game. After the puck was dumped into the Brahmas zone, Lone Star tried to bring the puck up along the far side board where it was intercepted by Noah Finstrom.  Finstrom would pass it to Makary who skated towards Lone Star’s net. Makary would pass the puck down low to Byers who skated across the goalmouth and he tucked the puck past Gibson short side with 5:24 remaining in the period.

The scoring in the opening period wasn’t done. Finstrom was called for slashing with 1:40 left in the first. With thirteen seconds remaining the Brahmas looked to set up in the Rebels zone. Biondo had the puck at the top of the far side faceoff circle. He passed it back to the point to Drew Lennon. Lennon passed it over to his right to Kyle Hallbaurer. Hallbaurer passed it back to Lennon who took a shot that found its way through a screen and beat Leavy to make it 3 – 2. It was Lone Star’s second power play goal of the game.

The first period had a total of five goals scored on thirteen shots.

Fernandez replaced Gibson to start the second period.

Hugh Quinn would double the Rebels lead at the 10:19 mark of the middle period. After Lone Star won the draw at the far side faceoff circle the puck went behind the net to the nearside corner. Maguyon would win the battle along the boards and center a pass to Quinn at the top of the goal crease. Quinn would tap the puck past Fernandez to make it a 4 – 2 game.

As time was winding down in the third Lone Star would make it interesting with 4:12 left in the game. As the Rebels tried to break out of their zone along the far side boards the puck was intercepted by Emack Bentley. Bentley skated to the near side boards and into the Rebels zone. He would skate to the top of the circle and drop pass the puck to a trailing Biondo who took a wrist shot that beat Leavy long side to make it a 4 – 3 game.

The Rebels held on to win go 4 – 0 in the Showcase, their first time in team history. The Rebels are now 4 – 0 on the season. Leavy stopped eight of 11 shots by Lone Star’s goaltenders turned aside 14 out of 18 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels next game will be next Saturday night when they play their home opener against the Johnstown Tomahawks. Flyers legend Bernie Parent will drop the ceremonial first puck.

Rebels Main Camp Begins Today!

The North American Hockey League’s two-time defending East Division Champion Rebels begin their main camp today. It will run through Saturday, July 15 culminating with the Blue vs. Red All-Star game at 10:00am on the last day.

The Blue vs. Red game is where the top performing players throughout the camp will be selected to play and possibly receive an invite to the team’s training camp which begins at the end of August. Admission to the game is free, and there will be a free barbeque immediately following.

The Rebels will be seeking defenseman during this camp. The team is returning only three blueliners: Reid Miller, Justin Smith and 2017 Robertson Cup all-tournament team member Kolby Vegara. The team also will be seeking another goalie with Jack Leavy as the sole returner between the pipes. However, all positions are still up for grab.

“We’re looking for the best players” stated head coach Joe Coombs. We have a good blend of young and older players seeking to make our team. It will be a very competitive camp, and I’m looking forward to it” concluded Coombs.

Over 120 players have registered for the camp residing from all over the globe.

Weekend Preview: 5/11 – 5/14. Rebels look to bring home the Robertson Cup

Robertson Cup Preview
The North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup semi-finals begin today at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center in Duluth, MN. There are two series featuring the number one seed Aston Rebels (East Division) against the number four seed Aberdeen Wings (Central Division) while the number two seed Lone Star Brahmas (South Division) will square off against the number three seed Janesville Jets (Midwest Division). The winner of each best-of-three series will play in winner-take-all finals on Sunday, May 14 at 2:00pm ET.

Aston Rebels Overview
The Rebels were the NAHL’s regular season champions possessing a 46-11-2-1 record for 95 points. Aston swept the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights three games to none in the divisional semi-finals and then defeated the New Jersey Titans three games to two in a thrilling divisional final. The Rebels have never faced either Aberdeen or Lone Star. Aston defeated Janesville very early in the season at the Showcase 4-0.

During the playoffs, the Rebels have been led by three players who each have seven points: Evgeny Yakovlev (4 goals and 3 assists), Gianluca Esteves (3 goals and 4 assists) and Aaron Maguyon (1 goal and 6 assists). Yakovlev, Drew Blackmun and Gvido Jansons each have four goals. Andrew Bellant leads the team in penalty minutes (12) while Jansons has a team high +7 +/- ratio. The Rebels enter the Robertson Cup having scored the most goals of the four teams (28) while they have allowed the second most with twenty. During the playoffs, the Rebels are fourth on the power play converting on 26.1% of the time while they are ranked eleventh on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 73.7% of the time. Goaltenders Jack Leavy and Mareks Mitens have a combined 2.32 goals against average and a .891 save percentage.

Lone Star Brahmas
The Lone Star Brahmas finished in first in the South Division during the regular season with a 44-14-2 record for 90 points. They defeated the Wichita Falls Wildcats three games to none in the divisional semi-finals and then beat the Corpus Christi Ice Rays three games to two in the divisional finals.

The Brahmas are led by Drake Glover’s seven points (3 goals and four assists). Three players each have six points: Carson Kelley (4 goals and 2 assists), Troy York (4 goals and 2 assists) and Hunter Stanley (1 goal and 5 assists). Kelley and York lead the team with four goals respectively. John Zimmerman leads the team in penalty minutes with ten while Kelley leads the team in plus/minus ratio with +5. Lone Star is tied with the Wings for having scored twenty-three goals while the Brahmas have allowed the second least amount of goals with eighteen. Lone Star is ranked sixth during the playoffs on the power play converting twenty percent of the time while they are ranked eighth on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 85.7% of the time.  Max Prawdzik has played in six games between the pipes. He has a 1.83 goals against average and a .911 save percentage with two shutouts.

Janesville Jets
The Jets won the regular season Midwest Division championship with a 42-13-1-4 record for 89 points. They defeated the Coulee Region Chill three games to none in the divisional semi-finals and then beat the defending NAHL champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs three games to one in the divisional finals.

Janesville is led by Kip Hoffman’s eleven points (7 goals and 4 assists). Hoffman also leads the team with four goals. Forward Keegan Miller has the most penalty minutes with ten while Hoffman also has the team’s best +/- ratio with +10. The Jets have scored the second most goals with 25 while they have allowed the least with thirteen. During the playoffs, the Jets are ranked twelfth on the power play converting 11.1% of the time while they are thirteenth on the penalty kill having prevent the opposition from scoring 66.7% of the time.            Jacob Barczewski have played in all seven of the Jets’ playoff games. He has a 1.72 goals against average and a .935 save percentage with one shutout. Local native alert: Audubon, NJ native and former Team Comcast defenseman Colin Felix plays on the Jets.

Aberdeen Wings
The Wings finished in fourth in the Central Division during the regular season with a 29-24-3-4 record for 65 points. However, the Wings had the best record in the division during the last thirty games of the regular season. Aberdeen defeated Central Division regular season champion Minot Minotauros three games to one during the divisional semi-finals and then defeated the Minnesota Wilderness three games to two during the divisional finals.

Aberdeen is led by Kevin Fitzgerald’s nine points (3 goals and 6 assists) and Colin Raver (6 goals and 2 assists) and Carson Dimoff’s (4 goals and 4 assists) eight points. Raver leads the team with six goals. The Wings have four players respective with twelve penalty minutes (Colton Fletcher, Jack Kelly, Dusan Kmec and Riley Murphy). Three players (Filip Dusek, Dimoff and Fitzgerald) each have a +3 +/- ratio. The Wings have the most goals of the four remaining playoff teams with twenty-three. The Wings are ranked ninth on the power play during the playoffs converting on 12.5% of the time while they ranked seventh on the penalty kill having prevent the opposition from scoring 90% of the time. Forbes Ploszaj has played in all nine playoff games posting a 2.20 goals against average and a .922 save percentage with one shutout.

Robertson Cup Schedule

Rebels vs. Wings
Game 1: Thursday, May 11 at 5:30pm (ET)
Game 2: Friday, May 12 at 5:30pm (ET)
Game 3: Saturday, May 13 at 4:00pm (ET) – if necessary

Lone Star Brahmas vs. Janesville Jets
Game 1: Thursday, May 11 at 8:30pm (ET)
Game 2: Friday, May 12 at 8:30pm (ET)
Game 3: Saturday, May 13 at 7:00pm (ET) – if necessary

NAHL Championship Game
Sunday, May 14 at 2:00pm (ET) – winner of Rebels/Wings vs. winner of Brahmas/Jets

Rebels win game five 6 – 2 to advance to NAHL’s semi-finals in Duluth

Evgeny Yakovlev scored two goals to lead the Aston Rebels to a 6 – 2 victory over the visiting New Jersey Titans. The win enabled the Rebels to win their second straight East Division playoff championship three games to two and advance to the NAHL’s semi-finals in Duluth, MN as the league’s number one seed.

The Rebels will play the winner of tonight’s fifth and deciding game between the Aberdeen Wings and Minnesota Wilderness.

This was a very good series with both teams displaying grit, determination, speed and physicality. It was a shame one of them had to lose. Each team pushed the other and helped the other prepare for the semi-finals.

New Jersey’s Hunter Alden was called for cross-checking at the 11:39 mark of the first period putting the Rebels on the power play. With time winding down with the extra attacker, Ryan Solomon brought the puck out of his own zone and passed it up to Drew Blackmun. Blackmun would take a wrist shot that was kicked aside by Titans goalie Ryan Ferland into the far corner. Blackmun would pick up his own rebound and passed it back slightly to Gianluca Esteves. Esteves passed it back to Solomon at the top of the point and he took shot that beat Ferland long side to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead with 6:35 remaining in the opening period.

After outshooting the Titans 12 – 4 after one period, the Rebels looked to grow their lead. And they did by scoring two goals 1:17 apart from each other early in the second.

After Dustin Manz won the draw deep inside the Titans zone the puck would go into the near side corner where it was picked up by Adam Peck. Peck would battle for the puck and passed it up slightly along the boards to Andrew Hart. Hart would charge towards the net and take a shot that was saved by Ferland but Peck picked up the rebound and put it past Ferland to make it a 2 – 0 Rebels lead just 2:16 into the second.

Yakovlev then would score his first goal of the night to give the Rebels a 3 – 0 lead. New Jersey’s Anthony Cusanelli hustled into the Rebels zone to prevent an icing call. As he picked up the puck he went to pass it back to a teammate but it was intercepted by Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon would bring the puck up along the far side boards and into the Titans zone. As he reached the faceoff dot he found a trailing Yakovlev in the slot and the big Russian buried Maguyon’s pass by Ferland at the 3:33 mark of the middle stanza.

New Jersey, however, never quit. Gordie Helmuth would put the Titans on the board just 2:17 later. After time had just expired on Gvido Jansons cross-checking penalty there was a faceoff deep inside the Rebels near side zone. Alden would win the draw and the puck came out to Helmuth who immediately took a shot that beat Rebels goalie Jack Leavy short side to make it a 3 – 1 game.

The Rebels would regain the three-goal lead with 5:45 left in the second. Maguyon would bring the puck into the Titans zone and immediately passed it over to Esteves on his right. Esteves would take a shot that was saved by Ferland but Maguyon picked up the rebound and passed the puck back to Jansons at the top of the point. Jansons would slightly skate further into the zone and took a wrist shot that beat Ferland high to make it a 4 – 1 game. Ferland was then replaced by Brandon Perrone.

A minute and twenty-eight seconds later Helmuth cut the Rebels lead in two again. After Dom Garcia dumped the puck into the Titans zone for a line change it was picked up by Helmuth in the high slot. Helmuth saw daylight and skated untouched into the Rebels zone. As he crossed the blueline he took a wrist shot the beat Leavy glove side to make a 4 – 2 game with 4:17 remaining in the period.

Yakovlev would score his second goal of the game a minute and nine seconds later. Maguyon, who had three assists on the evening, won the draw deep inside the Titans far side corner. The puck went back to Yakovlev at the top of the circle and he took a shot that beat Perrone 3:08 left in the second. It was Yakovlev’s fourth goal of the playoffs.

The Rebels continued to play shutdown defense in the third. With time winding down in the game and Perrone pulled for the extra attacker, Blackmun would score his fourth goal of the playoffs – an empty netter –  with thirty-seven seconds left to make it a 6 – 2 game.

Leavy stopped 14 of 16 shots with Ferland/Perrone turned aside 34 of 39 shots. Click here for the box score.

After finding out who they will play later tonight, the Rebels will have a practice on Tuesday and then take a 8:30am flight out to Minneapolis on Wednesday morning. The team will have a brief practice at 8:00pm ET and their first game will be played on Thursday at 5:30pm ET.

Titans defeat Rebels 3 – 2 in overtime to force game 5

Titans’ defenseman Ryan Wheeler scored with 3:27 remaining in overtime to give New Jersey a 3 – 2 victory over the visiting Aston Rebels to force a game five in this best-of-five divisional finals. The fifth and deciding game will be played tonight at 7:00pm at IceWorks.

The Rebels opened the scoring with 9:38 remaining in the first period. A Titans’ defenseman took a shot from the point that was saved by Rebels goaltender Jacky Leavy. The puck came off Leavy’s stick directly to Ryan Solomon who sent a lead pass up to Andrew Bellant at center ice. Bellant skated in on a breakaway against New Jersey’s goalie Ryan Ferland. Bellant took a wrist shot that trickled off Ferland’s blocker and into the net to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead. It was Bellant’s third goal on the playoffs.

The Titans would tie the game at 9:15 into the second period. After a save by Ferland the rebound came out to Tyler Antonucci at the top of his own near side faceoff circle. Antonucci head manned the puck to Todd Goehring who brought it through the neutral zone. As Goehring entered the Rebels zone he passed the puck to Jordan Kaplan on his left. Kaplan took a wrist shot at the far side faceoff circle and beat Leavy long side to make it a 1 – 1 game.

The Rebels would go back on top with 5:52 into the third. Gianluca Esteves picked up a deep rebound in his own near side zone off of a save by Leavy. Esteves brought the puck up ice and passed it over to Evgeny Yakovlev on his right. Yakovlev entered the zone and took a shot that went wide but the rebound came out to Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon passed the puck to Esteves on his right and Esteves slid the puck passed Ferland to make it a 2 – 1 game.

Three minutes later New Jersey would tie it. Dylan Healey brought the puck up along the near side boards after picking it up from a scrum behind the net. He passed it back downlow to Max Andreev. Andreev sent a pass back to the point to Ryan Wheeler, who took a slapshot that the redirected by Goehring out front past Leavy to make it a 2 – 2 game with 10:57 left in the third.

With time winding down in the first overtime Wheeler would score his first goal of the playoffs. After Kolby Vegara retrieved the puck in his own zone he passed it up along the far side boards to Ryan Patrick. As Patrick went to dump the puck to make a line change it was picked up by William Riedell at the top of his own faceoff circle. Riedell sent a lead pass up to Wheeler at the Rebels blueline. Wheeler cut across and took a long shot that beat Leavy short side to give the Titans a 3 -2 win and force a fifth and deciding game.

Leavy stopped 23 of 26 shots while Ferland turned aside 41 of 43 shots. Click here for the box score.

Weekend Preview: 4/28 – 4/29. Divisional Finals begin at home against Titans

The North American Hockey League’s Divisional Final series begins this weekend pitting the East Division’s number one seed Aston Rebels against the number three seed New Jersey Titans. The winner of this best-of-five series will advance to the League’s Robertson Cup semi-finals which begins on Thursday, May 11 in Duluth, MN. Each game this weekend will be played at IceWorks.

Both teams swept their respective series three games to none to advance to this round: the Rebels defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights while the Titans defeated the number two seed Johnstown Tomahawks.

Rebels vs. Titans regular season overview
The Rebels defeated the Titans seven out of twelve times this season, with five of the wins coming on home ice while four of the Rebels’ wins were shutouts (2 home and 2 away). The last time these two teams played each other was on April 5 at Middletown’s Ice World when the Rebels blanked the Titans 5 – 0. Jack Leavy turned aside all 27 shots he faced for his sixth shutout on the season. Andrew Hart had two goals.

The Rebels outscored the Titans by the score of 35 to 23 during the twelve games. Aston went 10 for 45 (22%) on the power play during the season against New Jersey while the Titans went 7 for 43 (16%). The Titans were led by Dylan Healy’s seven points (4 goals and 3 assists) while Danny Eruzione (1 goal and 5 assists) and Jordan Kaplan (3 goals and 3 assists) each had six points. Healy scored the most goals against the Rebels with six. New Jersey’s goaltenders have a combined 2.92 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. Brandon Perrone has played in six of the twelve games carrying a 2.33 goals against average and a .907 save percentage against the Rebels. Ryan Ferland has played in the three most recent games against Aston. He has a 2.67 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.

Andrew Bellant (4 goals and 5 assists), Gianluca Esteves (3 goals and 6 assists) and Aaron Maguyon (2 goals and 7 assists) each had nine goals against the Titans. Bellant and Brennan Kapcheck had four goals against New Jersey respectively. Mareks Mitens and Leavy had a combined 1.92 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Each had two shutouts. Mitens has appeared in eight of the games posting a 1,85 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.

Titans Playoff Overview
The Titans have scored seven goals (tied for eleventh in the post season) and have allowed three (least amount in the league) during the playoffs. Todd Goehring leads the team in points with three (2 goals and 1 assist). He is followed by Nick Boyagian (2 goals and 0 assists), Jordan Kaplan (2 goals and 0 assists) and Anthony Cusanelli (1 goal and 1 assist) two points respectively. Goehring, Boyagian and Kaplan have six out of the seven Titans goals in the playoffs.

Boyagian has two of the Titans game winning goals while Goehring leads the team in penalty minutes with 25. Three players have a +3+/- ratio. New Jersey is ranked twelfth on the power play (8.3%) and tied for first for the least amount of goals allowed shorthanded. They have not given up a power play goal during the playoffs.

Ferland leads all NAHL goalies in the playoffs with a .99 goals against average. He is second in the league with a .962 save percentage. He has one shutout.

Rebels Playoff Overview
The Rebels have scored twelve goals (fifth best in the playoffs) and have allowed seven (tied for fifth) in three playoff games. Jensen Zerban leads the team in total points with five (2 goals and 3 assists). Five different players have three points each. Zerban, Drew Blackmun and Gvido Jansons each have two goals.

Esteves, Jansons and Zerban each have a game winning goal. Dustin Manz and Auggie Moore lead the team in penalty minutes with four respectively. Zerban has a +5 +/- ratio. The Rebels are ranked third on the power play with a 33% conversion ratio while they are thirteenth in which they have prevented the opposition from scoring 69.2% of the time.

Mitens and Leavy have a combined 2.33 goals against average and a .891 save percentage.

Divisional Final Series Schedule
Game 1: Friday, April 28 at 7:00pm at IceWorks
Game 2: Saturday, April 29 at 7:00pm at IceWorks
Game 3: Friday, May 5 at 7:30pm at Middletown’s Ice World
Game 4: Saturday, May 6 at 7:30pm at Middletown’s Ice World (if necessary)
Game 5: Sunday, May 7 at 7:00pm at IceWorks (if necessary)

Leavy named to NAHL’s East Division All Rookie Team

The North American Hockey League announced today its All-Rookie Teams for the 2016-17 season, as voted upon and selected by the league’s 24 head coaches. The NAHL has also named All-Rookie Teams in each of the four divisions. Rebels goaltender Jacky Leavy was named as the goalie for the East Division’s all-rookie team.

The 6’5”, 205 lb. netminder played in twenty games during the regular season posting a 13-1-2-1 record. He had a 1.82 goals against average and a .929 save percentage. He also had six shutouts, which were the second most in the league.

The Birmingham, MI native also played in the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament back in February. He played in two games (58 minutes in total) and had a 1 – 0 record. He had a 2.07 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.

This is the fourth time this season Leavy has received league recognition. He was named the East Division’s second star of the week for week ending December 18; he was the East Division’s player of the week for week ending January 8 and he was named honorable mention for goalie of the month honors for February.

Rebels score five goals in third to sweep Knights and advance to divisional final series

The Aston Rebels overcame a two-goal deficit with 18 minutes remaining in the third period and scored five goals to give them a 7 – 5 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights to sweep the best-of-five divisional semi-final series three games to none.  The win moves the Rebels into the divisional final series against the New Jersey Titans.

It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was downright ugly! However, good teams have to go through adversity and find ways to win and that is exactly what the Rebels did to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

The Knights entered the game having gone 0 for 8 on the power play but that would dramatically change this game. Andrew Noel was called for tripping with 6:48 into the opening period to give WBS the extra attacker. Paul Cimilluca took a shot from the near side point that was blocked in front of the crease but the puck came back out to the far side point to Joey Verkerke. Verkerke took a shot that was going wide of the net but Paul Maust was standing back door and the puck went off of Maust’s shin pads and bounced past Rebels goalie Mareks Mitens to give the Knights a 1 – 0 lead with 8:43 into the first period.

With 2:06 remaining in the opening period, the Knights dumped the puck deep inside the Rebels zone. Michael Underwood would retrieve the puck and bring it up the ice. As he skated towards his own blueline he was taken down by a Knights forward. While he was falling, Underwood passed the puck to Dustin Manz on his left. Manz would cut across center ice and take a wrist shot at the top of the far side faceoff circle and beat Knights’ goalie Grant Valentine high and long side to tie the game at one.

Having only taken four shots on goal in the first period, the Knights wanted to make the most of their shots in the second period. And they did. Carter Woolley was called for tripping fifty seconds into the middle stanza putting the Knights on another power play.  As the puck came loose from players battling in the Rebels near side corner, it was picked up by Maust along the boards. Maust sent a pass back to the point to Cimilluca. The Knights’ defenseman took a shot that was redirected by Mike Gelatt at the top of the crease and the puck went through Mitens five-hole and slowly crossed the goal line to give the Knights a 2 – 1 lead with 2:09 into the second period.

After an icing call was waived off in the Rebels zone, Curtis Carlson intercepted a Brennan Kapcheck pass at the far side blueline. Carlson took a shot that went wide of the net but Cimilluca picked it up at the side of the net. Cimilluca passed the puck to Gelatt at the top of the slot and he took a shot that beat Mitens to give the Knights a 3 – 1 just 8:19 into the middle period.

Head coach Joe Coombs then replaced Mitens with Jack Leavy.

Despite being down by two goals, the Rebels started to get some life in them in the second period. However, Valentine had to make several grade A saves to keep the visitors off the board. With time running out in the period, the Rebels would cut the deficit by one.

After another nice save by Valentine, the rebound came out and was cleared to the Rebels blueline where is was picked up by Underwood. Underwood would pass it up to Drew Blackmun at center ice. Blackmun would pass the puck over to Dom Garcia on his right. Garcia would bring the puck into the Knights zone along the near side boards. Garcia would cut to his left and took a shot that was saved by Valentine but Blackmun picked up the rebound and put it past the fallen Knights’ netminder to make it a 3 – 2 game with forty-one second left in the second.

Kapcheck would start the third period off by taking a holding penalty just forty-two seconds into the final period. The Knights would capitalize on it by scoring their third power play goal of the game. While a scrum was taking place in the Rebels far side corner, the puck would come out to Maust who passed it back to the point to Cimilluca. Cimillica took a shot that was redirected by Tim Gelatt in the slot passed Leavy to make a 4 – 2 game just 2:09 into the final period.

Realizing that there was a strong possibility that they would have to travel back up the Pennsylvania turnpike to play the Knights again on Saturday night, the Rebels suddenly redirected their course and returned to playing Rebels hockey. And the comeback began with the team’s two Gino’s.

Gvido Jansons would start the play by picking up a Knights’ clearing pass. He passed the puck over to his right to Kapcheck. Kapcheck head manned the puck to a streaking Gianluca Esteves along the far side boards. He entered the Knights zone on a two-on-one with Evgeny Yakovev. Esteves would send a back-door pass to Yakovlev who redirected the puck behind Valentine to make it a 4 – 3 game with thirteen minutes left in the game.

Having a 4 – 3 lead with 10:25 left in the period, the Knights’ Mike Gelatt was called for hooking to give the Rebels the extra attacker. Kapcheck started the play at the top of the point and passed the puck to Jensen Zerban on his left. The speedy forward would pass the puck down low to Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon sent a pass across the goalmouth to Jansons who took a one-timer that was stopped by Valentine but the rebound came right back out to Jansons who put it top shelf passed Valentine to tie the game at four with eleven minutes remaining in the game.

The Rebels would take their first lead of the game with 5:26 left. After Zerban won the draw at the Knights’ near side faceoff circle, the puck would be picked up by Andrew Bellant. Bellant would cut across the goalmouth and take a turnaround shot that beat Valentine over the shoulder to make it a 5 – 4 game.

Carlson then was called for tripping with 4:26 left in the third putting the Rebels on the power play. Zerban would win another draw deep inside the Knights’ near side faceoff circle. The puck would come back to the point to Kapcheck. Kapcheck would play give-and-go with Auggie Moore. Once Kapcheck received the puck back from Moore he passed it over to his right to Jansons who took a one-timer and blew it by Valentine to make it a 6 – 4 game with 4:17 left in the game.

But the game wasn’t over. Manz would be called for elbowing with 2:51 remaining in the game. The Knights’ pulled Valentine to make it 6 on 4. After a shot from the nearside faceoff circle went through the Rebels goalmouth the puck was picked up by Matt Kidney in the corner. Kidney send a pass back to the far side point to Jimmy Elsner. Elsner took a shot that was redirected by Mike Gelatt to make it a 6 – 5 game 1:49 remaining. It was the Knights fourth powerplay goal on the night.

Having pulled the goalie for the extra attacker the Knights applied strong pressure in the Rebels zone. After a clearing the puck the Knights went to regroup and brought the puck back into the offensive zone. Kapcheck stripped the Knights’ player of the puck and sent it into the empty net to make it a 7 – 5 game.

Mitens and Leavy combined to make 16 saves on 21 shots while Valentine turned aside 19 of 25 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels will open the divisional finals against the New Jersey Titans on Friday, April 28 at 7:00pm for game one of the best-of-five series. The Titans defeated the Johnstown Tomahawks by the score of 3 – 2 in overtime to sweep their best-of-five series.

The divisional final series schedule series will be announced very early in the week.