Brandon Stanley and Adam Peck scored twenty-six seconds apart in the first period to give the visiting Philadelphia Rebels a 2 – 1 victory over the New Jersey Titans.
Five of the six games these two teams have faced each other this season has been won by two games or less. Last night’s game was no exception. It was an up and down game with each team having chances only to be foiled by solid goaltending.
Stanley would get the Rebels on the board first with 4:59 left in the opening period. After Titans’ defenseman Eric Manoukian dumped the puck in behind the Rebels net to get a line change, it was picked up by Kolby Vegara who was met by Matthew Cameron. Cameron went to bring the loose puck backup the far side boards but it was picked up by Alex Frye. Frye would bring the puck into the Titans zone on a two-on-two. As soon as Frye entered the offensive zone he looked over to his right and saw Stanley enter the play. Frye immediately sent a pass over towards Stanley in the high slot. Stanley took a wrister that hit the far side post and banked into the net behind New Jersey netminder Brandon Perrone to make it 1 – 0. It was Stanley’s eighth goal on the season.
Twenty-six seconds later Peck made it 2 – 0.
New Jersey’s Ryan Wheeler dumped the puck into the neutral zone where it was picked up by Rebels defenseman Nicolas Appendino along the far side boards. Appendino would send the puck back to Carson Moniz at the top of his own near side faceoff circle. Moniz then sent a cross-ice pass up to Eric Olson who brought the puck into the offensive zone.
As Olson reached the top of the far side faceoff circle, he made a nifty move around a Titans’ defender and skated towards the net where he was knocked off his skates. As he was falling down Olson had the wherewithal to pass the puck over to Peck in the slot and Peck took a wrister that beat Perrone glove side for his tenth goal on the season.
After a scoreless second period and the shots on goal essentially at 18 apiece, the Titans looks to close the gap in the third.
The Titans had their first chance to get on the board with 4:40 into the last period but New Jersey forward Hunter Alden was stopped on a breakaway by Ryan Keane.
Rebels rookie defenseman Seth Bergeron would dump the puck into the Titans zone for a line change where it was picked up by New Jersey’s Holden Biebel. Biebel would bank the puck high off the far side boards and it was retrieved by Kyle Jeffers. Jeffers immediately sent a pass to Spencer Stanley on his left. Stanley split two Rebels’ defenseman and walked in on Keane and beat his with a backhander to make it a 2 – 1 game with 13:20 left in the third period.
With time expiring and their goalie pulled for the extra attacker, the Titans had one more chance at the end of the game to tie it but forward Nick Boyagian took a back-door pass and shot the puck wide of an open net as the seconds ticked off the clock to end the game.
Keane turned aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced while Perrone stopped 19 of 21 shots. Click here for the box score.
The teams will finish this two-game series tonight at 7:45pm at Middletown’s Ice World.