A complete team effort, particularly in the second and third periods, enabled the Rebels to defeat the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 3 – 0. Goaltender Ryan Keane stopped all twenty-four shots he faced to earn his second shutout on the season.
After a sluggish first period, the Rebels started the second strong and got the game’s ultimately game winning goal from an unlikely source: Peter Zhong.
Zhong, who is a great team player, scored his first goal on the season just 4:06 into the middle stanza. Alex Frye would battle along the boards and pass the puck out to Konur Peterson in slot. The Mount Horeb, WI native took a shot that was saved by Knights goaltender Christian Stoever but Zhong was out front to pick up the rebound and put it past Stoever to make it a 1 – 0 game.
The Rebels entered the game possessing the league’s best powerplay at almost 30% conversion ratio. It increased to 30.4% afterwards because their next two goals came with the man advantage.
Knights defenseman Luke Robinson was called for holding with 9:11 left in the second. Forty-one seconds later Aaron Maguyon would score his twentieth goal on the season. Kolby Vegara would set up the play from the point and passed it down low to Jensen Zerban. The Air Force Academy sent a pass to Maguyon in the slot who took a wrister that beat Stoever to double the Rebels lead.
After outshooting the Knights 31 – 19 going into the third, captain Ryan Patrick put the icing on the cake with his eighteenth goal on the season with 9:11 left in the game.
As time was winding down in Knights’ forward Mike Gelatt’s holding penalty, Nicolas Appendino would keep the puck in the zone and look to his right and found Patrick in slot and the Captain who beat Stoever to close out the scoring.
It was the Rebels sixth shutout on the season and fifth between Keane and Eli Billing. Stoever, who kept the Knights in the game, turned aside 39 of 42 shots. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will close out this weekend tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.