Tag Archives: Reid Miller

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.

Keane sparkles in Rebels 2 – 1 win over Wings in OT

Ryan Keane stopped 38 shots and Jensen Zerban scored the game winning goal thirty seconds into overtime to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 victory over the Aberdeen Wings in the Rebels second game of the North American Hockey League’s Showcase.

It was another intense game between these two teams who faced each other back in May during the league’s semi-final series. It took just twenty-eight seconds for the festivities to begin when Andrew Bellant was called for roughing. It was the first of the Rebels seven penalties during the game.

With 7:35 into the opening period, Aberdeen’s Riley Murphy was called for holding to put the Rebels on their second straight powerplay. With time winding down with the extra attacker, Ryan Patrick set up the play behind the Wings goal line. He passed the puck up to Aaron Maguyon along the far size faceoff circle. As Maguyon went to the net, he made a drop pass to Zerban who passed the puck back to defenseman Carson Moniz at the point. Moniz took a shot that found its way through a screen that beat Wings goalie Daniel Pavlicko to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead 9:26 into the first.

Although the Wings outshot the Rebels 13-9 in the first their onslaught began in the second. Defenseman Reid Miller was called for cross-checking 8:49 into the second to put Aberdeen on the powerplay. As time was running out with the extra attacker, Wings forward Colton Fletcher chipped the puck into the Rebels zone along the farside boards where it was picked up by John Sladic. Sladic cut across the goalmouth and took a shot that was saved by Keane but Joe Strada picked up the rebound and put it past Keane to tie the game at one with 9:12 remaining in the middle stanza. Prior to the goal, Keane had to make several key saves to keep the Wings scoreless.

Keane kept the Rebels in the game with a very strong middle period turning aside 18 shots, several of them which were point-blank saves. He had too. The Rebels were held to just two shots on goal.

The play evened out in the third with both teams applying pressure but Keane and Pavlicko kept the game tied at one. The siren sounded to end regulation and send it into overtime, the third straight game the Rebels and Wings went into a fourth period.

Overtime rules have changed in the NAHL this season. Each team now will play 3 on 3 hockey. After the Wings turned it over at the Rebels blueline it was picked up by Zerban. Similar to yesterday’s game, he brought the puck down along the far side boards. As he skated to the faceoff circle he took a wrist shot that beat Pavlicko short side to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 win.

It was Zerban’s second point of the game and third in two games. Keane stopped 38 of 39 shots while Pavlicko turned aside 16 of 18 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels will play game three tomorrow against the Corpus Christi IceRays at 2:00pm ET.

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.

Miller’s first goal gives Rebels 2 – 1 win over Titans

Defenseman Reid Miller scored his first goal of the season 5:54 into the third period to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 come from behind win over the visiting New Jersey Titans. It was the first game of a home-and-home series between the two teams this weekend.

New Jersey took the lead first. The Titans entered the Rebels zone on a two on one. After a nice point blank save by Mareks Mitens on New Jersey’s Greg Malafronte, the puck went to the corner where Malafronte picked up his own rebound. Malafronte passed the puck behind the Rebels net to Kyler Head in the far side corner. Head passed the puck back to the near side point to Oskar Stromberg. Stromberg took a low-line shot that was redirected by an all-alone Head in the slot past Mitens to give the Titans a 1 – 0 lead with 3:01 left in the opening period. It was Head’s seventh goal on the season.

After being limited to only four shots on goal in the first period, the Rebels started to apply their relentless forechecking in the second period.  With nine minutes left in the middle stanza, New Jersey’s Dylan Healey was called for tripping putting the Rebels on the power play.

Mitens made another in-close save on New Jersey’s Danny Eruzione and the rebound came out to Gianluca Esteves. Esteves carried the puck into the neutral zone and passed it to Andrew Bellant on his left. Bellant carried the puck into the Titans zone with Esteves on a two-on-one. Bellant made a perfect cross-ice seem pass to Esteves who redirected the puck past New Jersey’s goalie Rylan Ferland to tie the game at one with 7:01 left in the second period. It was the sixteenth goal on the season for the Winnipeg, MB native.

Then, playing in his first game since being recalled from the NA3HL, Miller made his return count. With the puck behind the Titans net a New Jersey defenseman tried to pass the puck up to a teammate along the near side boards where it was intercepted by Miller at the point. Miller threw the puck on net and beat Ferland up high and short side to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 lead with 14:06 remaining in the third period. The Rebels’ youngest player on the team was mobbed along the boards by his line mates.

Mitens stopped 18 of 19 shots while Ferland turned aside 25 of 27. Click here for the box score.

The Titans loss now has New Jersey traveling to Johnstown in two weeks in the other East Division semi-final series.

It was the Rebels 25th win of the season at home. One more win by the Rebels will give them the best overall record of the season in the North American Hockey League.

Rebels at the midway point: sitting atop the NAHL

The Rebels return to the ice on New Year’s Day to begin preparing for the second half of the season. The team will play a four game home stand against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and Kenai River Brown Bears. And then the schedule works against them as they will play eighteen of their next 26 games on the road, including a two week trip to Alaska in mid-January. While the task will be daunting, the Rebels, at the moment, are sitting pretty after the first 30 games of the year: possessing the best record in the North American Hockey League.

This time last year at the break the Rebels had a 19-11 record for 38 eight points and were in second place. This year the Rebels have a 24-5-1 record for 49 points, which is tops in the NAHL. The team has scored 112 goals which are third most in the league while they have allowed the least: 51. They are currently in first place in the East Division five points ahead of the New Jersey Titans (although the Titans have played three more games).

Before the season began head coach Joe Coombs and new assistant coach Nick Peruzzi (Josh Brown left to become the head coach of Arizona State University’s ACHA team), felt confident in its returning players. After all, the team did have ten players (including Affiliate Player Jensen Zerban) returning from last year’s division championship team. They felt the leadership would be there with Dom Garcia and Drew Blackmun, and they felt returning blueliners Brennan Kapcheck, Gvido Jansons, Ryan Solomon and Michael Underwood would be the team’s anchor.

Coombs, Peruzzi and the scouting department took a calculated change in the makeup from last year’s team: it became younger and drastically faster. The team added Gianluca Esteves, Dustin Manz, Aaron Maguyon, Adam Peck, Brendan Cherwalk, Joey Abel, Peter Zhong, Shane McMahan, Andreas Maier, Ryan Patrick and others to the front line while it added Justin Smith, Kolby Vegara, Martino Picariello and Reid Miller (who is the youngest on the team) to the backend.

The question for the team, however, was between the pipes. Trevor Micucci was traded to the Minnesota Wilderness while Darion Hanson went to the United States Hockey League. As the team began the season sweeping the Northeast Generals, the picture in the nets became very clear at the league showcase in Blaine, MN: welcome Mareks Mitens.

Mitens, 18, from Ventspils, Latvia, probably has had one of the best starts as a goalie in the history of the NAHL. Currently playing for Lativa’s World Junior team (along with Jansons), Mitens leads almost every positive goalie statistic in the league: most wins (18), best goals against average (1.32), save percentage (.945) and most shutouts (8). He is tied for first with most games played (22) and second in minutes played (1,270). He has been the backbone of the team’s success. He was the league’s goaltender of the month for October and November and runner up in September.

The team had a very successful showcase going 3 – 1 with their lone loss against the Bismarck Bobcats (in which the team started poorly and were down 3 to 1 before ultimately losing 5 – 3). They beat current Midwest division leader Janesville Jets 4 – 0 (Mitens first shutout of the season) in the first game. Shane McMahan (the team’s first round draft pick) scored in overtime to beat the Minnesota Magicians, and then Miten’s earned his second shutout as the Rebels defeated the Wichita Falls Wildcast 3 – 0.

Since the Showcase, the Rebels, so far, have never looked back despite losing two key players: Shane McMahan (he went back to play in the USHL) and Andreas Maier (health reasons – two concussions). However, the team has added veteran defenseman Andrew Noel and forward Auggie Moore to the mix.

Andrew Bellant leads the team in points with 29 (16 goals and 13 assists). He is the team’s leading goal scorer as well. Garcia is second on the team with 28 points (9 goals and 19 assists) while Esteves has 27 points (9 goals and 18 assists). Kapcheck and Jansons each have 26 points and are tied for first in the league for most points by defensemen. Blackmun and Maguyon have 22 points while Evgeny Yakovlev has 20 points.

Bellant leads the team in penalty minutes with 97 while Solomon has the best +/- percentage of 25.  The Rebels are eighth in the league on the power play converting 22% of their chances into goals while they are second in the league on the penalty kill preventing their opponent from scoring 85.4% of the time.

Jack Leavy, Mitens goalie partner, has played well when called upon. He has appeared in seven games and has a 5-1-1 record with a 2.41 goals against average and .909 save percentage with one shutout.

After their four home games in the beginning of January, the team will travel to Alaska for four games, then return home but play away games divisional opponents. In fact, after their four games in the beginning of the month, the Rebels only play eight home games for the rest of the regular season. The Rebels have a 6 – 0 record against the Generals; they are 3 – 1 against the Johnstown Tomahawks, 8-2 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and 4 – 2 against the New Jersey Titans.

With very strong divisional opponents, the Rebels have their work cut out for them in order to repeat as East Division champions. However, Coombs is constantly stressing to the team one game at a time and don’t look back. Hopefully, the team will repeat last year’s team by advancing to the league’s final four but having a different outcome: winning the Robertson Cup.