Tag Archives: Ryan Solomon

Rebels Alumni Update – December 2017

When Andrew Bellant committed to Michigan Tech back on November 30, he became the twenty third member in Rebels history to announce his NCAA commitment while actively playing for the team. With college hockey in full swing we wanted to provide a brief “where are they now” alumni update.

Dean Balsamo
After committing to Bentley University and beginning last season there, “Dino” transferred to Adrian College where he finished out the season having scored eleven points (6 goals and 5 assists) in sixteen games. This season he currently has six points (2 goals and 4 assists) in nine games.

Victor Bergstrom
“Vic” is currently attending Plymouth State University. Last season the defenseman had eight points (2 goals and 6 assists) in seventeen games. This season he currently has thirteen points (5 goals and 8 assists) in twelve games.

Kristofers Bindulis
After playing last season at Lake Superior State University where he had twelve points (1 goal and 11 assists) in twenty-eight games, “Bindy” signed a two-way contract with the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League back in March. This season he has played in six games for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League and he has eight points (2 goals and 6 assists) in thirteen games for the South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League.

Drew Blackmun
“Blacky” is second in all-time games played for the Rebels with 116. He committed to Northeastern University where he currently has played in two games for the Huskies with no points.

Ryan Cusin
After playing at the University of Massachusetts Boston last season where he 40 points (16 goals and 24 assists) in 25 games, “Cuso” transferred to Adrian College this season where he currently has five points (2 goals and 3 assists) in nine games.

Chris DePrez
“Daddy” committed to Marian University where he had one point in four games last year. This season he has two points (1 goal and 1 assist) in ten games.

Gianluca Esteves
After finishing he junior career with the Rebels last year, “Esty” or “Gino” committed to Michigan State where he has a point (assist) in seventeen games this year for the Spartans.

Dom Garcia
Dom is second in three all-time franchise categories: Points (74), Goals (28) and Assists (46). He committed to Arizona State where he currently has one point (assist) in seventeen games for the Sun Devils.

Andrew Hart
After joining the team back in February from a trade with Topeka, the forward finished his Rebels career with ten points (6 goals and 4 assists) in fourteen games. He committed to SUNY Geneseo where he has played in one game.

Darion Hanson
After backstopping the Rebels to their first East Division championship, “Hanny” committed to Union College. During this past summer he was invited to participate in the Philadelphia Flyers prospect camp where he was the winning goalie in the 3 on 3 tournament. In eight games so far for Union this season, he has an impressive 1.76 goals against average and .926 save percentage.

Gvido Jansons
The highly skilled defenseman with a bomb of shot committed to Arizona State where he has two points (both goals) in eighteen games for the Sun Devils.

Brennan Kapcheck
The Rebels’ 2016-17 Defenseman of the Year committed to American International College where he has had an impressive freshman season. “Kappy” has fifteen points (4 goals and 11 assists) in nineteen games. He was named Atlantic Hockey’s Rookie of the Month for October, and he has helped AIC have its winningest first half since the 1998-99 season.

Colton McMenamin
“Mac” had four points (2 goals and 2 assists) in 23 games for Stevenson University last season. This year he has four points (all goals) in twelve games for the Mustangs.

Michael Merulla
The franchise’s all-time point leader per game (1.146) committed to Boston College where he appeared in three games last season with no points and has yet to play in a game so far this season for the Eagles.

Jerry Miettunen
The Finish defenseman committed to the University of Wisconsin Superior where last season he eight points (3 goals and 5 assists) in twenty-eight games. This season he has played in six games with no points.

Mareks Mittens
The North American Hockey League’s 2016-17 Most Valuable Player and Best Goaltender committed to Lake State where “Mits” has appeared in eleven games and has posted a 3.67 goals against average and a .892 save percentage.

Ryan Solomon
Posting the NAHL’s best +/- for the 2016-17 season with a +39, “Solly” committed to Northeastern but has yet to play in a game.

Frank Spellman
“Frankie” committed to Endicott College where he had eight points (1 goal and 7 assists) in twenty-two games last season. This year he transferred to the University of St. Thomas where he has four points (all assists) in seven games.

Austin Swingle
“Swings” had eleven points (4 goals and 7 assists) in twenty-two games last season for Stevenson University. This year he three points (2 goals and 1 assist) in eleven games for the Mustangs.

Mason Van Tuyl
“Mas” had one point (assist) in twenty-two games for the University of Wisconsin River Falls last season.

Evgeny Yakovlev
“Gino” or “Yak” scored the winning goal in game three of last season’s semi-finals to send the Rebels to the Robertson Cup finals committed to the University of Wisconsin Superior has four points (1 goal and 3 assists) in thirteen games this season.

Rebels 2017 NAHL Draft Recap: Team selects 5 Blueliners

Yesterday the North American Hockey League held its annual draft. Since the Aston Rebels finished in first during the regular season the team selected last beginning with the twenty third pick.

With the loss of Gvido Jansons, Brennan Kapcheck, Andrew Noel and Ryan Solomon, the focus for the Rebels was defense. It was so much so that five of the team’s nine picks were defensemen (three forwards and one goalie also were chosen).

To sum up the draft, Head Coach and General Manager Joe Coombs was very pleased with the way the it went. “We knew we needed defensemen” stated Coombs. “We went after the best players available. We feel that with the players we selected along with our tenders that we will have another formable core of blueliners. While we are very pleased with the draft we will certainly attempt to fill our holes. We also will continue to look for free agents” concluded Coombs.

The following is a recap of the players selected by the Rebels.

Round 1 – 23rd Pick
Jeremy Smith, Toronto Jr. Canadiens. Position: Left Defenseman. Shoots: Right. Born: July 19, 1998. Hometown: Toronto, ON. Height: 5’9”. Weight: 158 lbs.
Season                 Team                                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season   Jr. Canadiens                     42           7              10           17           47
17 Playoffs          Jr. Canadiens                     11           3              8              11           10

Round 2 – 36th Pick
Brandon Stanley, Waywayseecappo Wolverines. Position: Forward. Born: May 3, 1997. Hometown: Sioux Lookout, ON. Height: 6’2”. Weight: 205 lbs.
Season                 Team                                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season   Portage                                5              1              3              4              12
’16-’17 Season   Waywayseecappo           53           23           44           67           48

Round 3 – 69th Pick
Seth Bergeron, Las Vegas Storm. Position: Left Defenseman. Shoots: Left. Born: August 3, 2000. Hometown: Las Vegas, NV. Height: 5’11”. Weight: 170 lbs.
Season                 Team                                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season   Las Vegas Storm               38           4              13           17           18

Round 4 – 93rd Pick
Ryan Keane, Omaha Lancers. Position: Goaltender. Catches: Left. Born: March 15, 1998. Hometown: Lewisville, TX. Height: 5’9”. Weight: 157 lbs.
Season                 Team                     GPI         Mins      GA          SO          W            L              SV%       AVG
’16-’17 Season   Omaha                 9              507         36           0              2              5              0.876     4.26

Round 5 – 117Th Pick
Darren Rizzolo, Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Position: Left Defenseman. Shoots: Left. Born: January 12, 1998. Hometown: Mission, BC. Height: 5’10”. Weight: 173 lbs.
Season                 Team                                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season   Vernon                                 5              0              0              0              4
’16-’17 Season   Alberni                                 44           1              7              8              67


Round 6 – 140th Pick

No pick. Traded to Johnstown


Round 7 – 163rd Pick

Corey Clifton, North Jersey Avalanche 18U. Position: Forward. Shoots: Left. Born: February 3, 1999. Hometown: Matawan, NJ. Height: 5’8”. Weight: 160 lbs.
Season                                 Team                                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season                   North Jersey Avs 18         31           5              16           21           12
’16-17 Playoffs                  North Jersey Avs 18         5              1              1              2              2

Round 8 – 186th Pick
Jacob Nordqvist, Vastra Frolunda HC Jr. Position: Left Defenseman. Shoots: Right. Born: February 12, 1998. Hometown: Sweden. Height: 5’7”. Weight: 158 lbs.
Season                                 Team                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season                   V. Frolunda         1              0              0              0              0
‘16-17 Euro One               Frolunda              27           2              12           14           12
‘16-17 Euro Two               Frolunda              17           0              4              4              14
’16-1717 Playoffs             Frolunda              5              1              0              1              4

Round 9 – 209th Pick
Noah Finstrom, Detroit Little Caesars 18U. Position: Forward. Shoots: Left. Born: September 17, 1999. Hometown: Detroit, MI. Height: 5’6”. Weight: 130 lbs.
Season                                 Team                                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season                   Det. Little Caesers 18      21           6              9              15           36

Round 10 – 232nd Pick
Carson Moniz, St. Thomas Stars. Position: Right Defenseman. Shoots: Right. Born: October 25, 1998. Hometown: Lambeth, ON. Height: 5’11”. Weight: 198 lbs.
Season                                 Team                                     GP          G             A             Pts          PIM
’16-’17 Season                   St. Thomas                          19           3              8              11           56
’16-’17 Season                   Amarillo                               14           0              4              4              14
17 Playoffs                          St. Thomas                          4              1              0              1              22

Yakovlev’s goal in OT sends Rebels to Robertson Cup Finals

Evgeny Yakovlev scored with 2:43 left in overtime to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 win over the Aberdeen Wings and send the Rebels to the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup finals tomorrow against the Lone Star Brahmas. It will be the first time in the team’s young history that it has reached the National Championship game.

After a scoreless first period that produced a total of ten shots, the Wings got on the board first at the 2:52 mark of the second period. After a faceoff outside the Wings zone, an Aberdeen defenseman dumped the puck into the Rebels zone. The puck went around the net and up the far side boards where a battle ensued. Carson Dimoff would get the puck and pass it down to Kevin Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald would come behind the Rebels net on a wrap around and beat Mareks Mitens up high to give the Wings a 1 – 0 lead. It was Fitzgerald’s fifth goal of the playoffs.

Despite starting the third period down by one and their season on the line, the Rebels came out hungry. The Rebels would tie it just fifty-three seconds in the final period on Gianluca Esteves’ fifth goal of the playoffs. Brennan Kapcheck would dump the puck into the Wings zone where Esteves would retrieve it behind Aberdeen’s net. He passed it up to the near side faceoff circle to Aaron Maguyon who passed it back to Ryan Solomon.  Maguyon would make a cross-ice pass back to Michael Underwood. Underwood would take a shot that was redirected by Esteves past Wings goalie Forbes Ploszaj to make it a 1 to 1 game.

The Rebels would then start to control the flow of the game. They came close to adding a second goal but Ploszaj had to make several key saves to keep the game tied and send it into overtime for the second straight day.

While the Wings had some changes in the third that were thwarted by Mitens, the Rebels dominated the overtime. Then Kapcheck would start the play at his own goal line. He passed the puck up along the near side boards to Esteves who brought the puck into the Wings zone. Esteves made a drop pass back to Maguyon. The Galloway, NJ native passed it back to a trailing Yakovlev. Yakovlev would make a cross-ice pass back to Gvido Jansons at the point. Jansons would pass it over to Solomon. Solomon would take a shot that was saved by Ploszaj but the deep rebound came out to Yakovlev who put it into an open net to give the Rebels a two-games to one series win over the Wings.

Mitens turned aside 23 of 24 shots while Ploszaj stopped 33 of 35 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels will now face the Lone Star Brahmas tomorrow at 2:00pm ET in a winner take all for the NAHL’s Robertson Cup.

Photo Credit: The Rebels would like to thank John Elftmann for providing photos of today’s game.

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.

Rebels take game one of divisional semi-finals as Zerban scores two goals

The Aston Rebels took game one of the best-of-five divisional semi-final series by a score of 3 – 1 over the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights behind two goals from Air Force Academy commit Jensen Zerban.

The first period was going very fast with each team playing tight checking and forcing the other to take perimeter shots. Then with 2:55 remaining Elijah Latimer was called for interference putting the Rebels on the power play. With time running down with the extra attacker, Ryan Solomon brought the puck out from deep inside his own zone. He passed it up to his right to Drew Blackmun. As Blackmun skated through the neutral zone he passed to it Gianluca Esteves along the far side boards. As Esteves entered the zone, he made a cut-back move at the top of the faceoff circle and passed the puck down low to Blackmun in the corner. Blackmun brought the puck slightly up the boards and cut across the faceoff circle and took a wrist shot that beat Knights’ goalie Grant Valentine high, short side to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead with 1:22 remaining in the opening period.

The Knights would tie the game at 7:17 into the second period. With the Rebels applying pressure in the Knights Zone, Andrew Bellant had the puck in the far side corner and passed it back to the point to Gvido Jansons. Jansons went to take a shot but essentially whiffed on it and the puck went to Matt Kidney who passed it up to Curtis Carleson. Carleson skated with a burst of speed through center ice and into the Rebels zone. He skated to his right to the top of the far side faceoff circle and took a shot that beat Mareks Mitens high, short side to make it a 1 – 1 game.

Zerban then would score his first of two goals.

Andrew Hart and Carter Woolley were battling for the puck with two Knights in the far side corner. Woolley would come out with it and then he passed it back to Hart. As Woolley skated towards the slot, Hart passed the puck up the boards to Zerban. Zerban then passed it to Woolley who made a nice touch-pass back to Zerban at the top of the crease and Zerban beat Valentine to make it a 2 – 1 game 5:51 remaining in the middle stanza.

The third period was extremely tight with limited shots but Mitens and Valentine had to make key saves to keep the other team from scoring. With a minute left in the game the Knights set up behind their own goal. As the Knights’ defender brought the puck into the neutral zone he was stripped of the puck by Zerban. Zerban raced into the Knights zone with a defender on him. As he got to the top of the crease Valentine attempted to poke check the puck. Before he could, Zerban put the puck behind him to make it a 3 – 1 game.

Both goaltenders played well. Mitens turned aside 22 of 23 shots by Valentine stopped 23 of 26. Click here for the box score.

The second game of the divisional semi-final series between these two teams will be at tonight at 7pm at IceWorks.

Weekend Preview: 4/14 – 4/15; Divisional Semi-Finals begin against WBS Knights

Aston Rebels vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Overview
The first round of the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup playoffs begins this weekend with the divisional semi-final series pitting the number one seed Aston Rebels against the number four seed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. It will be a best of five series with the first two games being played at IceWorks on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15. The series then will move to the Revolution Ice Centre for games three (Friday, April 21) and four (Saturday, April 22 – if necessary). A game five would be played at IceWorks on Monday, April 24 if needed.

This is the second straight year these two teams have met in the divisional semi-final series. Last year the Rebels swept the Knights 3 – 0. The Rebels won the first game 3 – 2 and won game two by the same score. However, how the Rebels won it was a different story. The Rebels were down 2 – 0 going into the third period and then promptly scored three goals in two minutes and nineteen seconds to take the lead and control of the game. The Rebels would win game three by the score of 6 – 1.

This year during the regular season the Rebels defeated the Knights nine out of twelve times, although the Knights have beating the Rebels two out of the last three games. The last time these two teams played each other was on March 10 when the Knights defeated the Rebels 3 – 2 in a shootout. The Rebels have outscored the Knights 48 to 24.

Curtis Carlson has scored the most points against the Rebels this season with seven (4 goals and 3 assists). Four players (Khristian Acosta, Sam Antonitsch, Dorian Dawson and Matt Kidney) have six points respectively against the Rebels. Acosta and Carlson each have scored four goals against Aston. WBS is 6 for 38 (16%) on the power play. The Knights’ goaltenders have a combined 3.75 goals against average and .876 save percentage. Grant Valentine has played in eight of the twelve games against the Rebels. He has a 3.25 goals against average and .878 save percentage with no shutouts.

Gvido Jansons has the most points against the Knights this year with thirteen (8 goals and 5 assists). Three other Rebels (Drew Blackmun, Brennan Kapcheck and Evgeny Yakovlev) each have eleven points respectively against them. Jansons has scored the most goals with eight. The Rebels are 8 for 41 (20%) on the power play. Rebels goalies’ Mareks Mitens and Jack Leavy have a combined 1.66 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. Mitens has played in nine of the games. He has a 1.22 goals against and .949 save percentage with three shutouts.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Regular Season Overview
The Knights finished the season in fourth place in the East Division with a 30-25-1-4 record for 65 points, thirty behind the Rebels.  WBS is coming off of an 8 – 3 win over the New Jersey Titans.  The Knights are going into the playoffs having won seven out of their last ten games. The Knights scored 193 goals (sixth most in the league) and allowed 190 (thirteenth in the league) through 60 games.

Kidney was the Knights leading scorer with forty-four points (20 goals and 24 assists). Paul Maust had 43 points (15 goals and 28 assists) while Antonitsch had 41 points (18 goals and 23 assists). Kidney had the most goals on the team with twenty. Dawson led the Knights defensemen with 34 points (9 goals and 25 assists) while Kidney had four game winning goals.

WBS was fourteenth in the league on the power play with a 18.3% conversion ratio while they were ranked seventh in the league on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 83.64% of the time. Maust led the team in penalty minutes 118 and he had the team’s best +/- ratio of +18.

The Knights goaltending had a combine 2.97 goals against average and a .906 save percentage with five shutouts. Valentine had a 2.80 goals against and a .910 save percentage with three shutouts.

Aston Rebels Regular Season Overview
The Rebels had a 46-11-2-1 record for 95 points which was best in the league. They won the league’s regular season and East Division championships. They are coming of a 2 – 0 win over the Johnstown Tomahawks. The Rebels go into the playoffs having won six out of their last ten games. They scored 214 goals (fourth best in the league) and allowed only 106 goals (least amount in the NAHL) through 60 games.

The Rebels were led by Andrew Bellant’s 55 points (27 goals and 28 assists). He was followed by Dom Garcia’s 47 points (14 goals and 33 assists) and Jansons’ 46 points (19 goals and 27 assists). Bellant also led the team in goals with 27 and game winning goals with seven. Jansons also led the team’s defensemen with 46 points.

The Rebels were ranked fourth in the league on the power play with a 21.4% conversion ratio while they were ranked first in the league on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 86.3% of the time. Bellant led the team with 156 penalty minutes. Ryan Solomon had the team’s best +/- ratio of +39.

The goaltending tandem of Mitens (1.63 GAA and .925 SV%) and Jack Leavy (1.82 GAA and .921 SV%) had a combined 1.75 goals against average and a .923 save percentage with seventeen shutouts.

Weekend Preview: 4/7 – 4/8. Rebels travel to Johnstown to close out regular season

Aston Rebels vs. Johnstown Tomahawks Overview
The Rebels will travel to Johnstown this weekend to play two games against the Tomahawks and close out the regular season for both teams. Although the Rebels have won eight of the ten games between these two clubs, nine of the games have been decided by a one goal margin with the Rebels scoring a total of 23 goals while the Tomahawks have scored 18. Three of the games have gone into overtime, and each team has recorded a shutout.

The last time these two teams played each other was on March 17 and 18 in the Cambria County War Memorial with each team winning a game. The Rebels won the second game 3 – 2 on Andrew Bellant’s 25th goal of the season.

Donovan Ott leads the Tomahawks in points against the Rebels with ten (5 goals and 5 assists) while Nick Bruce has seven points (4 goals and 3 assists) and Filips Buncis has five points (4 goals and 1 assist). Ott has scored the most goals against the Rebels with five.  The Tomahawks are 4 for 36 (11%) on the power play. Johnstown’s goalies have a combined 2.30 goals against average with a .900 save percentage. Drew Hotte has played in eight of the ten games. He has a 2.25 goals against with a .90 save percentage and one shutout.

Aaron Maguyon (2 goals and 4 assists) and Ryan Solomon (1 goal and 5 assists) each have six points against Johnstown this season. Dom Garcia has scored the most goals against the Hawks with four. Maguyon and Brennan Kapcheck each have scored game winning goals in overtime. The Rebels are 4 for 33 (12%) on the power play. The Rebels goaltending has a combined 1.80 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Markes Mitens has played in seven of the ten games. He has a 1.71 goals against and a .928 save percentage with one shutout.

Johnstown Tomahawks Overview
The Tomahawks will finish second in the East Division. They currently have a 39-15-3-1 record for 82 points, eleven points behind the Rebels. Johnstown is coming off of an 8 – 3 win over the Northeast Generals. The Tomahawks have won seven of their last ten games. They have scored 205 goals (fifth most in the league) and have allowed 144 (fifth least in the league) through 58 games.

The Tomahawks are led by Nick Bruce’s 66 points (26 goals and 40 assists). He is accompanied by Dalton Hunter’s 60 points (30 goals and 30 assists) and Ott’s 56 points (31 goals and 25 assists). Ott has the most goals on the team with 31.  Adam Pilewicz leads the Tomahawks’ defensemen with 27 points (4 goals and 23 assists). Hunter leads the team with eight game winning goals.

Johnstown is ranked thirteenth in the league on the power play with an 19.2% conversion ratio while they are ranked sixth in the league on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 84.3% of the time. Thomas Horn leads the team with 188 penalty minutes. Hunter has the team’s best +/- ratio of +36.

Goaltenders Drew Hotte and Vinnie Purpura have a combined 2.47 goals against average and a .907 save percentage along with six shut outs (five for Hotte).

Aston Rebels Overview
The Rebels clinched their second straight regular season East Division title and will enter the Robertson Cup playoffs with the NAHL’s best record. They go into this weekend’s series against the Tomahawks with a 45-10-2-1 record for 93 points. They are coming off of a 5 – 0 win over the New Jersey Titans. The Rebels have won seven out of their last ten games. They have scored 210 goals (third best in the league) and have allowed only 102 goals (least amount in the NAHL) through 58 games.

The Rebels are led by Andrew Bellant’s 55 points (27 goals and 28 assists). He is followed by Garica’s 47 points (14 goals and 33 assists) and Gvido Jansons’ 46 points (19 goals and 27 assists). Bellant also leads the team in goals with 27 and game winning goals with seven. Jansons also leads the team’s defensemen with 46 points.

The Rebels are ranked third in the league on the power play with a 23.2% conversion ratio while they are ranked first in the league on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 86.3% of the time. Bellant leads the team with 156 penalty minutes. Solomon has the team’s best +/- ratio of +39.

The goaltending tandem of Mitens (1.56 GAA and .928 SV%) and Jack Leavy (1.82 GAA and .921 SV%) has a combined 1.69 goals against average and a .924 save percentage with seventeen shutouts.

Rebels defeat Titans 5 – 0 to clinch NAHL’s regular season championship

Andrew Hart scored two goals and Jack Leavy recorded his sixth shutout as the visiting Aston Rebels defeated the New Jersey Titans last night 5 – 0. The win gave the Rebels their 45th victory on the season and they clinched the North American Hockey League’s regular season championship.

The game, unfortunately, started out as an omen for the Titans. Fifty-three seconds into it a Titans’ defender inadvertently checked Rebels forward Andrew Bellant into his own goalie Brandon Perrone and knocked him down. Perrone was attended to by trainers from both teams and needed to be removed from the game and never returned to the bench. He was replaced by Ryan Ferland.

Bellant would score the ultimate game winning goal at the 5:37 mark of the first period. Titans forward Danny Eruzione was called for cross-checking at 3:48 into the game putting the Rebels on the power play. With time winding down with the extra attacker, New Jersey dumped the puck deep inside the Rebels zone where it was picked up by Michael Underwood. Underwood sent an outlet pass up to Bellant. As Bellant skated into the neutral he passed the puck to his left to Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon brought the puck into the Titans zone along the far side boards and cut across the goal mouth. He took a shot that was saved by Ferland but the deep rebound came out to Bellant who wristed the puck past the Titans netminder for his twenty seventh goal on the season.

The Rebels would take at 2 – 0 with 5:22 remaining in the first period. Kolby Vergara was at the top of his own near side faceoff circle and sent a soft clearing pass into the Titans zone. The puck was retrieved by a Titans defender but he was pressured by Evgeny Yakovlev. Yakovlev stripped the defender of the puck and passed it to Auggie Moore in the slot who took a shot that beat Ferland for his seventh goal on the season.

A minute and eleven seconds later Hart would score his first goal of the game. New Jersey dumped the puck into the Rebels zone for a line change and it was picked up by Underwood. Underwood would then pass the puck to Ryan Solomon who brought it up the far side boards. As Solomon entered the Titans zone he passed the puck to his right to Jensen Zerban. Zerban took a wrist shot in the slot that was saved by Ferland but the rebound came out to Hart who put it into the Titans net to make it a 3 – 0 game with 4:41 remaining in the opening period.

After a scoreless second period Rebels’ Rookie of the Year award winner Maguyon would make it a 4 – 0 game at 6:52 into the final period.  Zach Parrott brought the puck out of his own zone but was pressured at center ice by birthday boy Ryan Patrick. Patrick knocked the puck off of Parrott’s stick and it went to Solomon. Solomon sent the puck into the Titans zone where Ferland went to play it but Maguyon reach the puck first and skated around the out-of-position Titans goaltender and he tucked it into an open net for his eleventh goal on the season.

Hart would finish the scoring less than a minute later. Titans defender Ryan Wheeler brought the puck into the neutral zone but he was hit by Hart. Hart brought the puck into the New Jersey zone and passed to his left to a breaking Carter Woolley down the far side boards. As Woolley got to the middle of the faceoff circle he passed the puck to Hart in the slot and redirected it by Ferland to make it 5 – 0 with 12:11 remaining for his tenth goal on the season.

Leavy turned aside all 27 shots he faced. Leavy and goalie partner Mareks Mitens have a combined seventeen shutouts on the season. The Titans goalies stopped 22 of 27 shots. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels have two games remaining in the regular season. They will travel to Johnstown to play the Titans and then return home to open the Robertson Cup’s divisional semi-final series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Friday, April 14.

Second period dooms Rebels in 4 – 1 loss to Titans

The New Jersey Titans scored three goals in the second period to defeat the visiting Aston Rebels 4 – 1 at Middletown’s Ice World last night. The two teams split their home-and-home series over the weekend.

After a draw deep inside the Titans zone New Jersey wrapped the puck around the boards where defenseman Gvido Jansons tried to keep it in the zone. The puck skipped by him where it was picked up by the Titans’ Danny Eruzione at center ice. He entered the Rebels zone along the far side boards on a two-on-one with teammate Nick Boyagian. Eruzione took a planned low line shot that was saved by Rebels goalie Mareks Mitens. The goalie went down to make the save but the rebound came off of his right pad directly to Boyagian who put it passed him to give New Jersey a 1 – 0 lead 7:56 left in the first.

New Jersey would go up 2 – 0 on Boyagian’s second goal of the game. With three minutes into the second, Boyagian brought the puck up through the neutral zone on another two-on-one. As he entered along the near side boards, he dropped passed the puck to trailing Eruzione. Eruzione went around the Rebels defenseman and passed it back to Boyagian who was wide open in the slot and he redirected the puck passed Mitens for his sixteenth goal on the season.

The Rebels would cut the lead in half on Carter Woolley’s seventh goal on the season. New Jersey’s Anthony Cusanelli was called for cross checking at 4:40 into the second to put the Rebels on the power play. After the Titans dumped the puck into the Rebels zone, Ryan Solomon went behind his own net to set up the play. He passed the puck up the near side boards to Michael Underwood. Underwood then sent a bank pass off the boards to Woolley right before the blue line. Woolley entered the Titans zone along the boards and skated to the faceoff circle and he took a wrist shot that beat New Jersey’s goalie Ryan Ferland long side 5:25 into the middle stanza.

Two minutes later New Jersey would regain the two goal lead. Todd Goehring entered the Rebels zone along the far side boards. At the top of the faceoff circle he made a cut back move to let this line mates enter the zone. Goehring sent a pass back to the point to a trailing Jordan Kaplan. Kaplan brought the puck down along the far side boards and passed it back to Goehring. As Goehring started to go behind the net he passed it to Dylan Healey who was to the side of Mitens. Healey received the pass and took a wrist shot that beat the Rebels goalie long side to make it a 3 – 1.

Ryan Wheeler would score the Titans third goal of the second period with four minutes remaining. After the Titans won the draw deep inside their own zone, the puck came out to Wheeler. Wheeler would take it end to end untouched and take a wrist shot in the slot that went by Mitens to make it a 4 – 1 game.

Mitens would end up stopping fourteen of eighteen shots while Ferland turned aside 24 of 25. Click here for the box score.

The Rebels and Titans will play their remaining game of the regular season against each other on Wednesday night at 7:00pm at Middletown’s Ice World.