Tag Archives: Justin Smith

Maguyon scores four in Rebels 6 – 1 win over Johnstown

Forward Aaron Maguyon had a career night as he scored four goals to lead the Rebels to a 6 – 1 win over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks. The victory snapped a Rebels two game losing streak.

During Sunday night’s game the Tomahawks controlled the play throughout most of the evening. It seemed to start the same way in last night as former Rebels’ defenseman Carter Dwyer put Johnstown up 1 – 0 just twenty-nine seconds into the first period. After the opening face, the puck went back into the Tomahawks zone. Johnstown defenseman Chris Trouba went to set up the play by head manning the puck to a forward but it went too far into the Rebels zone where netminder Ryan Keane played the puck up along the far side boards. Ben Schmidling intercepted the puck and sent it back to the point to Trouba who took a shot on net that was gloved by Keane but he couldn’t control the rebound. Schmidling picked up the loose puck by the side of the net and found a wide-open Dwyer in the slot who took a wrister that beat Keane to give the visitors a quick lead.

Maguyon would tie the game at one at 7:45 into the first. After bringing the puck into the offensive zone, the Egg Harbor Township, NJ native went to take a shot that was blocked by Tomahawks’ defenseman Reagan Wortz but the puck slid back to the far side point to Kolby Vegara. Vegara took a wrist shot that was saved by Jack Leavy but the rebound came out to Maguyon who picked up the rebound and deposited the biscuit into the open net for his second goal on the season.

The Rebels would take the lead for good with 7:28 remaining in the first. Justin Smith intercepted a Tomahawks clearing pass at center ice and passed the puck to his right to Jonathan Bendorf. Bendorf would send a cross-ice pass back to Jensen Zerban at the faceoff circle. Zerban took a one-timer that missed the net but Bendorf picked up the puck from the backdoor and put it behind Leavy to put the Rebels up 2 – 1. It was Bendorf’s fourth goal on the season, and it was the Rebels first lead of the weekend.

Diarmad DiMurro would close out the scoring in the opening period with his third goal on the season. As Johnstown’s forward Joe Kile tried to bring the puck out of his own zone he was stripped of it by Adam Peck at the point. As Peck skated to the faceoff circle he dropped passed the puck to DiMurro. DiMurro would cut across the goal mouth and fake out Leavy and put the puck into the back of the net with 4:38 remaining in the first.

Maguyon then would commence with his natural hat trick just 1:08 into the second period.  As he broke out of his own zone, Maguyon would pass the puck up to newcomer Jordin Holmes. The Willow Grove, PA native would bring the puck up along the near side boards and take a shot at the top of the faceoff circle. Leavy made the save but a hard charging Maguyon followed up on the play and picked up the rebound and slid the puck past his ex-teammate to give the Rebels a 4 – 1 lead.

Trouba was called for tripping at 7:09 into the period to put the home team on the powerplay. As the Rebels were setting up the play in the offensive zone, Bendorf would start the play by passing the puck to DiMurro at the top of the point. DiMurro would pass it over to Maguyon at the top of the far side faceoff circle. Maguyon took a wrist shot that handcuffed Leavy and beat him glove side to make it a 5 – 1 game.

Playing 4 on 4 hockey, Zerban took the puck away from Trouba along the near side boards. The puck would come back to Holmes who pushed it to Maguyon as he skated towards the top of the faceoff circle. Maguyon would skate towards the top of the slot and then take a wrist shot that beat Leavy glove side to complete the natural hat trick and his fourth goal of the game with 7:26 left in the game.

Leavy turned aside 32 of 38 of shots while Keane stopped 19 of 20. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels now have a small break in the schedule. They won’t play their next game until Friday, November 10 against the New Jersey Titans but they will then play eight games in seventeen days.

Leavy’s strong debut helps Tomahawks beat Rebels 3 – 1

Former Rebels goalie Jack Leavy was very impressive in Johnstown Tomahawks debut as the visitor’s road his coattails to down the Philadelphia Rebels 3 – 1.

After being traded from the Rebels to the Minnesota Wilderness, Leavy was picked up this week by the Tomahawks. As fate would have it, his first game was against his old team with whom he has six shutouts last season. Leavy had to make several key saves, including a few point-blank, to keep the Tomahawks in the game.

Johnstown’s Cade Groton would score his first of two goals on the night at the 12:13 mark of the opening period. After the Tomahawks’ won the draw deep inside the Rebels far side faceoff circle, Johnstown’s Ben Schmidling would pick up the loose puck and took a shot that just missed the post and went behind the Rebels net where Groton retrieved it. Groton sent the puck up along the boards where teammate Brendan White picked it up and immediately sent it into the corner where a scrum ensued. Groton would exit the scrum with the puck and skated behind the Rebels net and scored on a wrap-around that beat Eli Billing to give the visitors a 1 – 0 lead.

With time winding down in the period, Roman Kraemer picked up a rebound behind the Rebels net after a shot went wide. Kraemer tried a wraparound but the puck went out to the top of the faceoff circle to Chris Trouba. Trouba would take a slapshot that went wide but was picked up behind the net by Samuel Solensky. Solensky kicked the puck into the nearside corner to Kraemer. Kraemer would pass it back to the point to Chase Davidson who took a wrist shot that found its way through a screen that beat Billing high-glove side to make it a 2 – 0 with 2:42 left in the first.

After outshooting the Rebels 14 – 9 after the first period, the Tomahawks would go up 3 – 0 with 6:36 into the second period. Rebels defenseman Christian Juliana would bring the puck up along the near side boards and was knocked off if by Brendan White. White would make a cross-ice pass to Groton. Groton would enter the Rebels zone and took a wrist shot that beat Billing long side for his second goal of the game.

After some fisticuffs between Andrew Bellant and Johnstown’s Andrew Andary, the Rebels would go on the powerplay when Andary was called for a five-minute major. With time winding down with the extra attacker, Adam Peck won the draw deep inside the Johnstown zone. The puck would come behind him where it was controlled by Jonathan Bendorf who immediately sent the biscuit back to Justin Smith at the point. Smith took a shot that beat Leavy through a screen to make it 3 – 1 with 3:46 left in the second.

The Rebels would dominate the third period outshooting Johnstown 14 – 6 but Leavy made a few grade A saves to preserve the lead.

Billing stopped 19 of 22 shots while Leavy turned aside 35 of 36. Click here for the box score.

The two teams will be back at it tonight at 7:00pm.

Weekend Preview: 10/13 – 10/15; Rebels travel to Johnstown for Tomahawks Home Opener

The Rebels will travel to Johnstown to play a pair of games this weekend against the Tomahawks. Saturday’s game will start at 7:05pm while Sunday’s game will begin at 1:05pm. This will be the third and fourth games this season between the two teams. The roles will be reversed this weekend, however, with the Tomahawks hosting the Rebels for their home opening weekend. The Tomahawks will have National Hockey League Hall of Famer Paul Coffey drop the ceremonial first puck at the beginning of Saturday’s game.

The Rebels won the first two games by a combined score of 8 – 3.  The Schmidling brothers (Ben and David) lead the Tomahawks in scoring against the Rebels with two points each (Ben has one goal). Johnstown has yet to score on their seven chances on the power play. The Tomahawks goaltending tandem of Vinnie Purpura and Jack Faulkner have a combined 3.50 goals against average and .877 save percentage against the Rebels.

Carter Woolley leads the Rebels in points against the Tomahawks this season with three (1 goal and 2 assists). Four players (Andrew Bellant, Diarmad DiMurro, Adam Peck and Justin Smith) each have two points against Johnstown. The Rebels are 27% (3 for 11) on the power play. Rebels netminders Ryan Keane and Eli Billing have a combined 1.50 goals against average and .930 save percentage against the Tomahawks.

Johnstown Overview
The Tomahawks currently reside in last place in the East Division with a 2 – 10 record with four points. They are 16 points behind division leading Northeast Generals. Johnstown has scored 20 goals (17th in the league) on the season and they have allowed 47 (most in the league). Forward Joe Kile leads the team in points with five (all goals). He also leads the team in goals. Mitchell Hale has the most penalty minutes on the team with 47. Johnstown is ranked thirteenth in the league on the power play having converted on 20% of their chances while they are ranked nineteenth in the league on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 71.7% of the time.

Johnstown goalies have a combined 3.67 goals against average and a .892 save percentage with no shutouts.

Rebels Overview
Despite coming into this weekend with an 8 – 0 record for 16 points, the Rebels are in second place in the East Division and trail the Generals by four points, although the Rebels have four games in hand. Philadelphia has scored 25 goals on the season (ninth in the league) and they have allowed 13 (tied for first with the least allowed in the league). Defenseman DiMurro tops the team in points with seven (2 goals and 5 assists). Bellant, Ryan Patrick and Jensen Zerban each have three goals. Bellant has the most penalty minutes on the team with 30 while DiMurro has the best +/- with a +7. The Rebels are tenth in the league on the power play having scored on 22.6% of their chances while they are ranked fourth in the league on the penalty kill having prevented the opposition from scoring 84.8% of the time.

Rebels goaltenders have a combined 1.62 goals against average and a .930 save percentage with one shutout.

Moore’s game winner in OT completes Rebels comeback

Auggie Moore’s goal with 2:51 left in overtime gave the Rebels a thrilling 5 – 4 come from behind victory over the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights last night. The win kept the Rebels perfect on the season with an 8 – 0 record.

Ryan Patrick started the scoring for the Rebels just under the midway point of the first period. After Andrew Bellant won the draw deep inside the Knights zone, the puck would go along the far side boards where it was picked up by Patrick. With a Knight on him, Patrick sent a pass back to the point to Diarmad DiMurro. DiMurro took a shot that was save by Knights goalie David Tomeo but the rebound came out to Patrick who tucked the puck behind the Knights netminder to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 with 9:21 remaining in the opening period.

The Rebels lead lasted fifty-seven seconds.

As the puck went to the far side boards after the Knights won the draw deep inside the Rebels zone, it was picked up by WBS’ Matt Kideny who had fended off a check from Rebels defenseman Seth Bergeron. Kidney would send the puck back to the point to Blake Kryska who took a slapshot that was redirected by Reed Robinson in the slot past Rebels goalie Eli Billing with 8:24 left in the opening period.

With 1:42 left in the period, the Rebels would find themselves in a situation they haven’t been in all season: they were trailing. Justin Engelkes would bring the puck into the Rebels zone and dumped it into the far side corner. The puck would come up along the boards where it was picked up by Robinson who passed it back to Kidney in the high slot. Kidney took a shot that was saved by Billing but the deep rebound came right back to Robinson who beat Billing blocker side to give the Knights a 2 – 1 lead going into the second period.

Carson Briere would knot the game at two just 2:25 into the middle stanza. With Patrick battling for the puck along the near side boards, it would come out to Bellant who skated towards the slot. He took a shot that was saved by Tomeo but it hit the goalie in the mask and the rebound came out to Briere who lifted the puck into the net for his first goal of the season.

Justin Smith’s second goal on the season would give the Rebels a 3 – 2 lead with 6:26 left in the second. Bergeron would dump the puck deep inside the Knights zone where Adam Peck picked it up behind the net. He passed it up along the boards to Bellant who was looking for Patrick in the slot. The puck would come off Patrick’s stick and go back to the point to Smith who took a slapshot that beat Tomeo long side.

Briere would be called for holding with 5:48 remaining the second to give the Knights their fifth power play chance of the evening. This time they were able to convert. After the Knights won the ensuing draw inside the Rebels zone, Mike Morrissey would pick up the puck and bring it behind the Rebels net and pass it back to the point to Paul Cimilluca. Cimilluca would pass it back to Morrissey at the top of the circle and he passed it download to Mike Gelatt, who was at Billing’s blocker side. Gelatt would take a short side shot that was saved by Billing but the rebound came back to Gelatt who had skated to the top of the goal mouth and he put the puck into an open net to tie this seesaw game at three.

The second period ended in similar fashion as the first: the Knights scored with 1:34 left in the period to take a 4 – 3 lead. Gelatt would win the draw deep inside the Rebel zone. As the puck slid to the corner, Gelatt would outwork a Rebels’ defender along the boards and skated towards the net. As Gelatt went to the top of the crease he took a shot that beat Billing between his pads. It was Gelatt’s second goal of the game.

Patrick would tie it with his second goal of the game. With the Rebels on a delayed offside, the Knights tried to dump the puck high into the neutral zone but Kolby Vegara gloved it at his own blueline and skated through center ice. As Vegara skated into the Knights zone he passed it over to Patrick on his right. Patrick would take a backhand shot that beat Tomeo high, short side to make it a 4 – 4 game with 3:11 left in regulation.

The Rebels and Knights would then go into overtime. With now less than three minutes remaining in the extra period Moore would bring the puck behind his own net and start to skate out of his end. He sent a cross-ice pass up to DiMurro who brought the puck into the Knights zone on a 2 on 1 with Moore. As DiMurro got to the top of the faceoff circle he passed the puck over to Moore on his right. Moore would redirect the puck passed Tomeo high glove side to give the Rebels the 5 – 4 victory. It was the Rebels second overtime win of the season.

Tomeo stopped 27 of 32 shots he faced while Billing turned aside 17 of 21 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels will conclude their five game homestand tonight at 6:20pm against the New Jersey Titans.

Woolley named East Division Star of the Week while Smith is honorable mentioned

The North American Hockey League announced today its Divisional Stars of the Week for week ending October 1 and Rebels forward Carter Woolley was chosen as the East Division’s Star of the Week while teammate Justin Smith was named honorable mentioned.

Woolley had three points (1 goal and 2 assists) in this weekend’s sweep over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks. The 6’0/185 lbs. native of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, had an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 win and a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 5 – 2 victory.

“Carter has been a great player for two years” stated Rebels head coach Joe Coombs. “It’s nice for him to finally be getting some recognition for his hard work,” concluded Coombs.

Smith, the 6’1”/185 native of Lansing, MI, had two points this past weekend. He had an assist in Saturday night’s game and the returning Rebels’ defenseman scored his first NAHL goal in Sunday’s victory.

Rebels remain unbeaten with 5 – 2 win over Tomahawks

The Rebels used a balanced scoring attack to give them a 5 – 2 win over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks last night. The victory gives the Rebels a perfect 6 – 0 record on the young season. They are the only undefeated team in the North American Hockey League.

Former Rebel Carter Dwyer helped his old team in the very beginning of the game when he took a slashing penalty at 4:41 into the opening period. The Rebels were having good puck movement on the powerplay but were unable to get any shots on net due to Johnstown’s defense. Then the puck went back to Diarmad DiMurro at the near side point. As he started to walk the blueline to his right he passed the puck back to Jensen Zerban, who promptly passed it downlow to Aaron Maguyon at the bottom of the faceoff circle. Maguyon found a wide open DiMurro at the top of the slot and he took a wrist shot that beat Tomahawks’ goalie Vinnie Purpurra blocker side to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead at 5:43 into the opening period.

A little over four minutes later Adam Peck would give the Rebels a 2 – 0. After Rebels goalie Eli Billing made a nice back-door pass save to keep the Tomahawks off the board, the rebound came out to Julian Makary who skated up the far side boards. Makary sent a cross-ice pass to a streaking Jimmy Glynn along the near side boards. As Glynn skated to the faceoff dot he passed the puck to Makary in the slot. Makary took a shot the was saved by Purpurra but Peck picked up the loose puck and put it behind Purpurra for his first goal of the season.

Despite being outshot 12 – 7 after one period of play, the Rebels entered the second period with a two-goal lead. After a battle in the corner the puck skirted out to Carter Woolley who promptly passed it back to Justin Smith as the far side point. Smith crossed the puck over to DiMurro who took a shot that blocked in front of the net. Mack Byers picked up the rebound and passed the puck back to the slot to a breaking Smith who took a snapshot that beat Purpurra long side to give the Rebels a 3 – 0 lead at 6:33 into the middle period. It was Smith’s first-ever NAHL goal.

Jonathan Bendorf would make it a 4 – 0 game with 9:23 left in the second. Zerban would bring the puck up along the far side boards and cut across to center ice as he entered the offensive zone. He took a shot that was saved by Purpurra but Bendorf tapped in the rebound for his first goal as a Rebel.

Johnstown’s Chase Davidson was called for holding with 5:19 left in the second. Thirty-four seconds later Woolley would make it a 5 – 0 game. With Johnstown looking to clear the puck it was blocked by Peck and the puck went to Auggie Moore along the far side boards. Moore passed the puck back to DiMurro at the point. DiMurro started to move closer into the offensive zone where he saw an open Woolley at the top of the near side faceoff circle. Woolley stepped up and took a snipe of a shot that beat Johnstown’s Jake Faulkner short side for the Rebels second power play goal of the game.

The Tomahawks would make it 5 – 1 just 34 seconds later, and they added their second goal with three minutes remaining to finish the game’s scoring.

Billing would stop 25 of 27 shots while Purpurra and Faulkner would combine to stop 21 of 26 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels will be home this upcoming weekend playing a total of three games, two against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and one against the New Jersey Titans.

Rebels home opener begins with a bang in 3 – 1 win over Tomahawks

Andrew Bellant had two points and goaltender Ryan Keane stopped 15 shots to lead the Rebels to a 3 – 1 victory over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks. It was the Rebels first ever regular season home game at the Class of 1923 Arena at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Rebels opened the night in class when Philadelphia Flyers legend Bernie Parent dropped the ceremonial first puck. Prior to the game Parent mingled with all the fans and showed he is as great as person off the ice as when he was on it, telling stories of his glory days and reminiscing about the ’23 arena since it was there the Flyers practiced in the team’s glory years.

The defending NAHL East Division champions looked to get off to a quick start in their new building and Ryan Patrick did it for them. Auggie Moore brought the puck up along the far side boards into the Johnstown zone. He head manned the puck to Patrick who passed it down low back to Moore in the corner. Moore send a wraparound pass to Andrew Bellant at the near side faceoff circle. Bellant sent it back to Justin Smith at the point. Looking to take shot, Smith walked the blueline and passed the puck over to Diarmad DiMurro. DiMurro made nice head fake and sent a pass to Patrick in the high slot and the returning Rebel took a wrist shot that beat Johnstown goalie Vinnie Purpura long side to give the home team a 1 – 0 lead with just 4:25 into the opening period.

Although Johnstown entered the game with a losing record, head coach Mike Letizia has his team playing sound defense. The Rebels had their chances to score more but Purpura needed to make some key saves to key his teammates in the game.

With time winding down in the first, Roman Kraemer was able to tie the game at one. David Schmidling won the draw deep inside the Rebels near side faceoff circle. The puck went into the corner where it was picked up by Schmidling’s brother Ben who passed it down low to Kraemer. Kraemer tried a wraparound that was initially saved by Keane but the rebound came out quickly back to Kraemer who put the puck in the back of the net with 2:54 remaining in the opening period.

With both goaltenders having to make key saves to keep their team in it, the game entered the third period still tied. Then with nine minutes remaining in the game, Ben Schmidling was called for high sticking to put the Rebels on the powerplay. Looking to set up the play, Moore took a quick wrist shot from the near side faceoff circle that Purpura had to make a nice glove save but the puck bounced out of it. The puck skirted into the corner to Bellant, who then passed the puck back to the point to Carter Woolley. Woolley sent it back to Bellant who was at the faceoff dot. Bellant made a nice cross-ice back back to Carson Moniz. Moniz took a shot that beat Purpura long side to put the Rebels up 2 – 1 with 8:03 left in the game.

Looking to tie the game, Johnstown pulled Purpura for the extra attacker. Bellant was able to intercept an errant Johnstown pass at center ice and cross over the blueline and sailed the puck into the empty net to give the Rebels a 3 – 1 win.

Keane turned aside 15 of the 16 shots he faced while Purpura stopped 29 of 31 shots. Click here for the box score.

The two teams will be back at it tonight at the Class of 1923 Arena. Game time is 6:20pm.

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.

Tomahawks upend Rebels 4 – 2 with one game left in the regular season.

Daniil Bokun’s three-point game help lead the Johnstown Tomahawks to a 4 – 2 win over the visiting Aston Rebels. It was only the second game out of eleven between the two teams this season that the game wasn’t decided by a goal.

Having clinched the division and wanting to prepare for next weekend’s first round of the playoffs, head coach Joe Coombs rightly decided to give extra playing time to some players while resting others – including five who had a combined 218 points on the season.

Bokun would get his first point of the evening just 3:40 into the game when he setup Nick Bruce for his twenty seventh goal of the season. After Johnstown won the draw deep inside the Rebels nearside faceoff circle, the puck went back to the point to Bokun. Bokun then passed it over to Donovan Ott who in turn passed it back to Bokun. The Johnstown defender took a shot from the point that was redirected by Bruce past Rebels goaltender Mareks Mitens to give the Tomahawks a 1 – 0 lead. It was the first shot on goal of the game for either team.

After Dustin Manz dumped the puck into the Johnstown zone for a line change the puck was retrieved by Brandon Young who passed it over to Bokun on his right. Bokun passed it up to Cade Groton. Groton entered the Rebels zone and took a shot at the top of the far side faceoff circle that beat Mitens long side to give the Tomahawks a 2 – 0 lead at the 9:06 mark of the first period. It was Groton’s first NAHL goal.

The Rebels didn’t cave in after being down early in the open period. Carter Woolley picked off a Johnstown outlet pass inside the Tomahawks’ zone and he passed it to Jensen Zerban at the far side boards. Zerban passed it downlow to Andrew Hart who went behind the net and passed it back to Zerban in the corner. Zerban skated to the bottom of the far side faceoff circle and passed the puck back to Andrew Noel at the point. Noel took a clapper that was redirected by Hart in the slot past Johnstown’s netminder Vinnie Purpura to cut the deficit in half with 7:09 remaining in the first. It was Hart’s eleventh goal on the season.

Johnstown would regain the two-goal lead at 2:18 into the second period. Auggie Moore was called for boarding at 1:55 into the middle stanza to put the Tomahawks on the power play. Thomas Horn would bring the puck into the Rebels and skated towards Aston’s far side faceoff circle. He passed the puck back to the point to Filips Buncis, who passed it over to his right to Adam Pilewicz. Pilewicz passed up to Hayden Rowan who passed to his to Bokun on his left. Bokun sent a pass back to Buncis at the far side blueline and he took a slapshot that beat Mitens long side for his eleventh goal on the season.

The Rebels would cut the lead in half again midway through the second period. Johnstown dumped the puck into the Aston zone where it was picked up by Justin Smith. Smith skated to the top of the far side faceoff circle and sent a bounce pass off the boards to Carson Briere at the Johnstown blueline. Briere sent a soft touch pass to Gianluca Esteves who was entering the Tomahawks’ zone. Esteves walked in all alone and beat Purpura short side for his seventeenth goal on the season.

Johnstown would make it a 4 -2 game at 2:03 into the final period on Ott’s thirty second goal on the season with assists from Dalton Hunter and Rowan.

Mitens would finish the evening stopping fourteen of eighteen shots while Purpura turned aside nineteen of twenty-one shots. Click here for the box score.

These two teams will conclude the regular season tonight when they meet at 7pm.

Photo credit: The Aston Rebels again would like to thank photographer extraordinaire Phil Andraychak for providing photos from last night’s game.

Rebels defeat Tomahawks 3 – 2 on Bellant’s 25th goal of the season

Andrew Bellant’s 25th goal on the season gave the Rebels a 3 – 2 road victory over the Johnstown Tomahawks. The win gave the first place Rebels a weekend split against the second place Tomahawks, and the win also gave the Rebels 85 points on the season (eleven up on Johnstown) and reduced their magic number to clinch their second straight regular season East Division championship to two.

It was another fast paced game. It was another 3 – 2 score (the fifth time out of ten games this season a contest ended 3 – 2), and it was the ninth game out of ten that the margin of victory was decided by one goal. Welcome to the Aston Rebels and Johnstown Tomahawks 2016-17 season.

The Rebels got on the board first from an unlikely source.  After receiving a touch pass from Dustin Manz at center ice, Ryan Patrick brought the puck into the Tomahawks’ zone. He made a cut-back move and passed the puck down low into the near side corner to Jensen Zerban. Zerban battled a Johnstown defender for the puck as it squirted out to Auggie Moore.  Moore looked up and sent a centering pass to Andrew Noel who ripped a shot top shelf pass Tomahawks’ goalie Drew Hotte to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead at 7:31 into the first period. It was Noel’s second goal of the season.

After Manz and Johnstown’s Andy Iehle were called for coincidental penalties, the puck went into the Rebels zone after the ensuing faceoff. Gvido Jansons brought the puck up the near side boards and passed it to Drew Blackmun who was skating at center ice into the Tomahawks’ zone. As Blackmun entered the offensive zone, he passed the puck to his left to Dom Garcia.  Garcia skated to the top of the near side faceoff circle and took a wrist shot that handcuffed Hotte as the puck went behind him and into the net to give the Rebels a 2 – 0 lead almost eight minutes into the second period. It was Garcia’s thirteenth goal on the season.

Ah … the dreaded two goal lead.

The Tomahawks would cut the Rebels deficit in half with 5:50 remaining in the second. Johnstown’s Edward Hirka had the puck at his own far side faceoff circle and found a streaking Nick Bruce at center ice. Bruce got pass the Rebels defense and walked in all alone on Rebels goalie Jack Leavy. Bruce made a deke and put the puck passed a sprawling Leavy for his twentieth goal on the season.

The Tomahawks would tie it at two just eight seconds into the final period.  After Bruce won the opening draw the puck went to Donovan Ott who skated into the Rebels zone. Ott passed the puck behind the Rebels net to Dalton Hunter. Hunter passed the puck back to Ott who passed to Bruce in the slot and Bruce put the puck passed Leavy to make it a 2 – 2 game.  It was Bruce’s second goal of the game and third on the weekend.

The Rebels would reclaim the lead a minute and seventeen seconds later.

Justin Smith sent the puck into the Tomahawks zone where it was picked up by a Johnstown defender at the top of the far side faceoff circle. As the Tomahawks’ defender tried to pass the puck up to a forward, it was intercepted by Patrick at the boards. Patrick passed it to Bellant in the high slot and Bellant took a wrist shot that beat Hotte glove side to give the Rebels a 3 – 2 lead. It would be the eventual game winner and Bellant’s sixth game winning goal on the season.

Leavy had to make some key saves in the third to keep Johnstown from tying the game. He finished with fifteen saves while Hotte made thirty one saves. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels can clinch the East Division next weekend if they sweep the Northeast Generals or if they win one game and Johnstown loses a game against the New Jersey Titans.

Photo Credit: The Rebels again would like to sincerely thank Phil Andraychak for providing photos from last night’s game. During the week all of Phil’s outstanding photos taken during this weekend will be posted on the Rebels’ Facebook page. Thank you again Phil!