When the Rebels touch the ice this Friday it will not only be their first home game of 2019 but also their first in 20 days. They host the Knights to cap off four-straight against them. The Rebels received their first lost to the Knights this past Saturday by a final of 4-2, which snapped their five-game win streak. The Rebels are looking for revenge and to get back in the win column. Whereas the Knights are hoping they have finally found their groove in the second half of the season. They have been in the bottom three in the East for most of the season. With the second half of the season in full swing, their mindset is to win at all costs, so they can secure the last playoff spot. As for the Rebels their mentality is to increase their distance on the Titans and while doing so close the gap on Johnstown.
The Rebels have the fewest PIMS in the East with 455. The Knights sit right in the middle with 644. Discipline is a big component of winning hockey games. The Rebels do a phenomenal job of drawing penalties and not retaliating. By them not taking penalties it allows all five guys to stay out on the ice to keep the pressure up on the opposition. While the power play has been struggling the Rebels are one of the best when down a man. Their penalty kill puts them at fourth place in the league at 84.6%. Right behind them though are the Knights at 83.7%. This past weekend the Rebels went 0/7 on the man advantage, whereas the Knights went 1/8. With the Knights being in the top ten for power play and penalty kill, the Rebels must stay out of the box and find ways to capitalize on the extra man. If they can do that, they will easily skate away from the weekend with the full four points.
Good to be Back:
The Rebels are 9-6 on home ice where they have put up 50 goals for and have only allowed 34. The Knights are worse on the road then they are at home, with a record of 4-6-1. The past six home games for the Rebels have resulted in a record of 5-1. The only loss coming at the hands of Johnstown by a final of 3-2. The Knights have only been to Jamestown once this season, which was back on Oct. 26-27. The Rebels swept them that weekend, scoring six goals and only allowing one each night. The last time the Knights won a road game was back on Dec. 8th when they shutout the Generals by a final of 4-0. Finally, both shutouts for Rebels goaltender Noah West have come while at the Northwest Arena by a final of 4-0 against the Black Bears.
This Friday will mark his 200th game played at the junior hockey level, between the USHL and NAHL. Through his 199 games played he has found the back of the net 51 times and assisted on 51 as well. In the NAHL alone he has played 144 games, recording 48 goals and 46 helpers. He leads the Rebels this season in goals (18) and assists (14) giving him 32 points, which puts him 17th overall in the league. Alex has already tied his most points in a season (2016-17 Topeka Roadrunners) and it took him 18 less games. During that season with the Roadrunners was also the most goals Frye has scored in a season (19). Frye is just one of five players for the Rebels to have played in every game thus far. With 27 games left to go for the Rebels this season there will surely be a lot of records set for #27 Alex Frye.
This past weekend the Rebels played their first two games of 2019 in Pittson, PA. This also marked the last time the Rebels would travel to Scranton during the regular season. They went into this past weekend leading the season series 6-0. The Rebels ended 2018 on a four-game win streak and the Knights came into the weekend on a four-game losing streak. The Rebels have been sitting comfortably in second place in the East for quite some time. Whereas the Knights were in sixth place and battling for a playoff spot.
Friday marked the first of four-straight games between the Rebels and Knights. Wilkes-Barre scored a short-handed goal early in the first period to give themselves the 1-0 lead. They held onto that lead for the remainder of the first frame. It was in the second period when things started to pickup for Jamestown. With just 8:27 left in the middle period, Nick Stuckless was able to fly right past the defense of the Knights and beat Zach Stejskal to ties things up. The score would remain 1-1 after 60 minutes of play forcing overtime. This was the first time this season the Rebels and Knights required extra hockey to decide a winner. Even though the Rebels put up four shots during the five minute 3-on-3 overtime, it would not be enough as Stejskal stood tall on every shot. Since 65 minutes was not enough time to declare a winner both coaches got ready to send out three players for the shootout. The Rebels SO record was 1-1, as for the Knights their SO record was 1-0. The first four shooters could not convert so it came down to the final round. Auggie Moore was the last to go for the Rebels and he would not make Joe Coombs regret it as Moore was able to wrist one right past Stejskal to put the Rebels up 1-0 in the SO. For the Rebels to win all they needed was Ryan Keane to stop Jacob Badal’s shot, and that he did. The Rebels won their fifth-straight game (longest of the season) and extend their perfect record against the Knights to 7-0, five of those wins coming in Scranton.
Less than 24 hours later these two teams laced them up again for a matinee game. Going into Saturday’s game the Knights desperately needed the two points if they wanted to stay in the race for a playoff spot. Both goalies stayed the same, but the outcome did not. It started off very well for the Rebels as Jackson Wille scored his first NAHL goal just 2:33 into the start of the game. Although just over a minute later the Knights would answer to tie the game at 1-1. With :45 seconds left in the first period the Knights found the back of the net for the second time, giving them the 2-1 lead to end the period. The second period is when the Knights started to get things going offensively. They put up 16 shots in the middle frame and one of those shots beat Keane to give Wilkes-Barre a 3-1. This marked the first time this season that the Knights scored more than two goals on the Rebels. The rookie Jake Felker was able to pull his team within one right before the end of the second period. Unfortunately, the Knights would add another to their tally in the third period putting them back up by a pair. The Rebels did everything they could to try and tie it, but the horn sounded ending the game and with it the Rebels five-game win streak. The Knights picked up their first win against the Rebels this season and snapped their five-game losing streak.
The Rebels now have an overall record of 20-10-2-1 (43PTS) and have now lost to every team in the East, but still reside in second place. With the Knights gaining three points over the weekend they improve to 12-19-1-1 (26PTS) but are on the outside looking in as Maryland currently holds the last playoff spot with 27PTS. This weekend, the Rebels and the Knights will square off again but this time it will be in Jamestown, NY. The Rebels sit six points ahead of the Titans but 15 points back of the Tomahawks. Regardless of the outcome from this weekend the Rebels will still be in second place, but they are looking to get back to their winning ways and try to close the gap on Johnstown. 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.
Over the weekend, the Rebels visited the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in Pittston, PA. The team have not lost to the Knights yet this season. Wilkes-Barre had their five-game win streak snapped prior to this past weekend when they lost to the Generals 6–3. The Knights came into the weekend holding a playoff spot as they were in fourth place (11-16-1) in the East Division. The Rebels on the other hand are in second place (15-9-2-1) in the division and top ten in the league.
On Friday, there was a goal scored each period resulting in a 2–1 final. It started off in favor of the good guys with Alex Roy recording his second goal of the season after he scored on the power play. The Rebels went into the locker room after the first with a 1–0 lead. Almost seven minutes into the middle period, the Knights answered back with one of their own power-play goals, as they had a 5-on-3 man-advantage. The Rebels knew they had to come out aggressive once the puck was dropped to start the third and they did exactly that. Alex Frye scored just 3:32 into the period giving the Rebels the lead once again. The score would remain 2–1 Rebels when the horn sounded, giving them their fifth straight win over the Knights and the opportunity to sweep them for a third time the next day. Ryan Keane played phenomenal between the pipes, stopping 28 shots and recording his fifth-straight win. As for his counterpart Samuel Vyletelka, he is still searching for his first win in net (0–9).
The following day these two teams met for a matinee game. The Rebels started Keane again, as for the Knights they decided to go with the UMD commit Zach Stejskal (11-8-1). The Knights came out strong once the puck was dropped by scoring the first goal and giving them their first lead of the weekend. The score would remain 1–0 Knights until there was under a minute to go in the second period. Jake Felker redirected the puck in front and it went right past Stejskal, the score was tied 1–1 after 40 minutes of play. The third period was very back and forth as neither team could gain an edge. With 16:04 gone in the final period of regulation, Jim Glynn finally broke the tie to give the Rebels their first lead of the game. Also, with Glynn scoring he now has the longest point-streak this season at 10 and is one game away from tying the franchise record set by Ben Greiner back in 2013-2014 as a member of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Greiner accumulated 14 points during his 11-game point streak, Glynn is currently sitting at 13.
With time winding down and their hopes of beating Jamestown for the first time this season fading, the Knights pulled Stejskal to give them an extra attacker. It would not pay off for them though as Alex Frye scored on the empty net giving the Rebels a 3–1 victory. The Knights are the only team in the East to have not beaten Jamestown. With the sweep, Keane is now on a six-game win streak and currently sits fifth in the league for GAA with a 1.89. Also, the Rebels are currently on a 10-game road point streak which started back on October 19th, making it the second longest in the league.
The Rebels are back on a winning streak and only have the Black Bears in their path before everyone can go home for the Holidays. This Friday marks the half-way point of the season for the Rebels and with a record of 17-9-2-1 (37PTS) they are sitting comfortable in second place. The Black Bears are coming to Jamestown with an overall record of 10-16-3-2 (25PTS) putting them in fourth place. The last time the Black Bears came to Jamestown it did not end well for them as they got swept and set two records for the Rebels this season. The first one was the most goals the Rebels have scored in a game after they won 7–1. The very next day they hit another milestone as Noah West recorded the team’s first shutout of the season by a final of 4–0. With Christmas right around the corner, the Rebels hope to deliver two gifts to the Black Bears this weekend in the form of losses.
A few days ago, the Rebels hosted the Johnstown Tomahawks. It was a battle between first and second place in the East Division. Going into the weekend the Tomahawks were on a 17-game win streak trying to get to the record at 24 set last year by Fairbanks. Whereas the Rebels were looking to extend their point streak to seven. Also, the Rebels were just one point ahead of the Titans, so they needed to play their best hockey of the season if they wanted to stay in the top two.
On Friday, the Tomahawks started Carter McPhail. While he is Johnstown’s best net-minder posting the fourth best goals-against-average in the league with a 1.98. His only blemish on his record came from the Rebels back on Oct. 5th when they won 4–1. Since then he has won 12 straight starts and was looking to get revenge on the Rebels once the puck was dropped. Opposite of him was Ryan Keane who has been stellar for the Rebels lately riding three-straight wins. He is also two spots behind McPhail for goals-against-average with a 2.06. Not only do the Tomahawks have some great goaltending but they also are the best power-play team in the league, so staying out of the box over the weekend was key for the Rebels if they wanted to win. Friday marked the first ever Teddy Bear Toss for the Rebels and they did not expect it to come so early. As just 1:36 into the hockey game Alex Frye scored unleashing hundreds of stuffed animals in front of a record-setting attendance of 1,153. The Tomahawks would answer though a little later right after they got done killing a penalty. Towards the end of the first period Jake Felker scored to give his team the lead again and the score would remain 2-1 after the first 20 minutes of play. Jake Felker wasted no time picking up where he left off in the first as he scored his second goal of the game just :32 seconds into the middle period. The Rebels held that lead until there was almost 13 minutes left in the third, then Sam Anzai scored to put the Rebels up by three. The Tomahawks were not able to put up any more goals as the final horn sounded, ending their remarkable win streak at 17. The Rebels extended their point-streak to seven games and evened the season series at 2–2. Ryan Keane also got his fourth straight win as a starter and what is even more impressive is that even though the Tomahawks had the best power play in the league, they went 0/5 on the man-advantage. That has not happened to them since they played New Jersey back on Nov. 16th when they went 0/6. With Alex Frye scoring on Friday he extended his point streak to nine games (9G, 6A).
The next night, the Rebels were riding a huge high as they looked to get their first sweep over the best team in the league. Both teams made changes to their goalies as it was Cooper Lukenda for the Tomahawks and Noah West for the Rebels. Lukenda came in with a record of 6–1 and on a five-game winning streak. Whereas Noah West had not lost in regulation since Oct. 13th, putting him in 13th overall for GAA with 2.47. Antonio Venuto got things going early for the Rebels as not even five minutes into the game he scored to put them up 1–0. It was not until past the half-way point in the first when Johnstown would find the back of the net to tie things up. The score would remain 1–1 until there was about 12 minutes left in the second when Alex Roy scored on a slap shot from the right point on the power play to give the Rebels the lead once again. That was also his first NAHL goal! In the late stages of the middle period the Tomahawks were able to tie the game again as they recorded their first power-play goal of the weekend. The score would remain tied 2–2 after 40 minutes of play. Although it did not stay tied for long as only a minute had passed in the third period when Johnstown scored to give them their first lead of the weekend. The Rebels tried everything they could to answer, even pulling West towards the end of the game to give them the extra attacker. Unfortunately, it would not be successful as the score read 3-2 Tomahawks after 60 minutes.
The Tomahawks were back in the win column and the Rebels received their first regulation loss since Nov. 10th. Johnstown improves to 25-5 (50PTS), whereas the Rebels are now 15-9-2-1 (33PTS). With the Rebels not gaining three or four points over the weekend they were in jeopardy of falling back down to third place had New Jersey swept Maryland. Luckily for the Rebels, the Black Bears won on Sunday by a final of 4–2. With New Jersey losing their record is now 16-12 (32PTS) and they still sit one point behind Jamestown. The Rebels are heading to Scranton, PA this weekend to face the Knights. The Rebels play Wilkes-Barre six out of their next eight games and they currently lead the season series 4–0, so there is a lot of confidence heading into this weekend to try and get a third sweep over the Knights. For ticket information call 716-484-2624.
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.
A few days ago, the Rebels went to Pittson, PA to face the last place team in the East Division, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. These two teams have met twice already when WBS came to Jamestown, NY back on October 26th and 27th. That meeting went very well for the Rebels as they finally got their first weekend sweep of the season. While the Knights have been struggling early on this season, they swept the Rebels last season in the playoffs when they came to the Revolution Ice Centre. The Rebels last win at RIC came on March 15th by a final of 7-3. The tides have turned though as the Rebels are in hot pursuit of second place and the Knights are just trying to keep afloat.
The first of two games between these two teams was very lopsided. The Rebels peppered University of Minnesota-Duluth commit Zach Stejskal in the first period, putting up twenty shots and only allowing four. Two of those twenty shots the Rebels put up found the back of the net thanks to Alex Frye and Jake Felker. The pressure was relentless from the Rebels as they were winning a lot of board battles and not allowing the Knights to enter the slot for easy shots. Almost halfway through the 2nd period the Knights were finally able to beat Noah West as they scored on a 4-on-3 power play. The Knights came into this match-up with the second-best power play in the league but only managed to go 1/6 on Thursday. Frye recorded his second goal of the game after he got on a breakaway and wristed one right past Stejskal. With a 3-1 lead and the edge in shots 36-12 after 40 minutes of hockey, the Rebels were in the drivers’ seat to start the third. In the final period of regulation, the Knights tried to piece together a comeback as Sacha Guillemain scored his second goal of the game cutting the Rebels lead in half. The Knights seemed to gain some wind in their sail late in the game as they knew time was about to expire but it was soon deflated as they got called for having too many men on the ice. With the Knights down by one and on the penalty kill they pulled their goalie to make it 5-on-5 hockey. The Rebels were able to enter the Knights zone and Auggie Moore scored on the empty-net giving his team the 4-2 win. The Rebels were back to their winning ways and their sticks could not be hotter as they put up 53 shots, almost a shot per-minute. As for the Knights, they only managed to put up 21 shots and that loss put them on a two-game losing streak. Noah West also recorded his first win since September 30th when the Rebels beat Northeast 3-2.
The next day started out differently as the Knights outshot the Rebels 8-7 after the first period. Though the Rebels led where it mattered and that was on the scoreboard as Noah Finstrom scored five minutes into the period. The Knights went with Stejskal again as he is their go-to-man. Whereas the Rebels decided to switch out goalies and put in Ryan Keane. Keane played all three games last week, allowing eight goals and making 63 saves. With the much-needed rest he looked sharp between the pipes. While the second period was a scoreless one, the Rebels sure did have their fair share of chances. The Knights took five penalties in the middle period and the Rebels could not convert, even with one of those chances being a 5-on-3 power play. Not even five minutes into the 3rd period and the Knights scored to tie the game at 1-1. As time went on the Knights got called for holding just 8:01 into the 3rd. Just 45 seconds later Jim Glynn scored to make it 2-1 Rebels. Being down by a goal for the second straight night was not sitting well with the Knights as they pulled Stejskal giving them a 6-on-5 with less than a minute left. As the Knights were deep in the Rebels zone trying to tie it to force overtime, Caleb Price picked up the puck and turned to face the empty net 180 feet away. He put everything on it he could, and it slid right into the back of the cage. Giving him not only his first goal as a Rebel but also in the NAHL. The Rebels outshot the Knights for the second-straight night 45-22 and won by a pair again with both final goals coming in the form of an empty net. After the loss on Friday the Knights are now on a three-game losing streak and they have only had one win in the past 11 games. The Rebels on the other hand pickup a much-needed four points and got help from the Tomahawks over the weekend as they swept the Titans. With New Jersey not picking up a single point against Johnstown the Rebels find themselves just one win away from tying the Titans for second place.
This weekend though the Rebels will host the Maryland Black Bears, both games scheduled for 7:05pm puck drop. This will be the first trip to western New York that the Black Bears are making this season. The previous four meetings between these two teams have resulted in a split series and each time the Rebels have won the Friday game and have lost the next night in extra hockey. Three out of the four games have been decided by overtime or shootout. The Black Bears split the weekend with the Generals giving the Rebels a five-point edge over them going into this weekend. Make sure to come out to the Northwest Arena this weekend to cheer on your Rebels to victory. For 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.
Tonight, your Rebels will go head-to-head against the Johnstown Tomahawks. The Tomahawks are riding a seven-game winning streak and do not seem to be slowing down. During their extensive win streak, they have put up 33GF and have only allowed 16GA. These two teams have only met twice this season back on October 5th and 6th, when they split the weekend and the Rebels took the first game which was Johnstown’s home opener. Since then the Tomahawks have only lost one game and that was to Maryland on October 12th by a score of 3-2. The net-minder that played in that game is no longer with the Tomahawks and after that game is when their streak began. Now the Rebels sitting in third place must play the best team in the league.
While these two teams won’t face each other again until December 7th there is still a lot on the line for both teams. For the Rebels it is mainly about getting back on a winning streak themselves, as their three-game winning streak was snapped after losing in overtime to the Black Bears this past Saturday. Since this is the only game being played tonight in the league, the Rebels will not fall any spots in the division if they lose but if they win, they will be within four points of second place New Jersey. A win tonight will also give the Rebels confidence going into their homes games this weekend against the Northeast Generals who currently sit in fifth place in the East.
As for the Tomahawks they currently have the longest winning streak in the league and are not looking to let that end tonight. A big reason to their success is that their top five players have a combined 106 points (39G, 67A). To put that in perspective the Rebels top five players have a combined 44 points (21G, 23A). Not only have their sticks been on fire but so has their net-minding. Their top goalie Carter McPhail is the third best goalie in the league and his only loss is to the Rebels back on October 5th, since then he won four games and lost zero. He has only given up seven goals and has made a total of 133 saves in just those four games. The other goalie for Tomahawks is Cooper Lukenda who has not lost a start since September 20th. In his past three starts he is 3-0 allowing only nine goals and totaling for 103 saves.
Regardless of who the Tomahawks put in-between the pipes the Rebels will have to put up a lot of shots if they want to get the full two points. The Rebels have beat this team before but when they did the Tomahawks were not on a seven-game winning streak. While this is a crucial game tonight for the Rebels in hopes of climbing up the East Division ladder they do not want to get too banged up as the Northeast Generals are coming to Jamestown, NY this weekend. With a possible six points on the line for the Rebels it is important they come out strong tonight and get the early lead and do not look back. As the Tomahawks are undefeated when leading after the first and second period which only makes it that more important for the Rebels to score first tonight.
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.