The NAHL’s East Division’s top two teams will play a pair of games this weekend when the second place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights visit the Class of 1923 Arena to play the Rebels. Friday’s night game is slated to begin at 7:10pm while Saturday’s game will start at 7:35pm.
The Rebels are currently four points ahead of the Knights. However, these two teams have been evenly matched against each other this season. The last time they met was on Sunday, November 26 when the Knights defeated the Rebels 2 – 1. They have played each other a total of six times with both winning three games and each team scoring eighteen goals. Four of the six games have been played at the Revolution Ice Center. This will be the first meeting between these two teams at the old barn since October 7 when Auggie Moore scored with 2:51 in overtime to give the Rebels a 5 – 4 victory.
Rebels vs. Knights Overview
This will be meetings seven and eight out of a twelve game series between the two teams. During the six games, the Knights have three players who have recorded seven points: Mike Gelatt (4 goals and 3 assists), Justin Engelkes (2 goals and 5 assists) and Matt Kidney (all assists). Gelatt has scored the most goals against the Rebels with four. The Knights are 3 for 22 (14%) on the powerplay. Goaltenders Christian Stoever and David Tomeo have a combined 3.00 goals against average and .914 save percentage with no shutouts.
The Rebels have been led by Jensen Zerban in the six games against the Knights. He has total of six points (3 goals and 3 assists). Andrew Bellant (1 goal and 4 assists) and Diarmad DiMurro (1 goal and 4 assists) each have five points against the Knights. Captain Ryan Patrick and Zerban each have scored three goals against WBS. The Rebels are 5 for 22 (23%) on the powerplay. Goaltenders Eli Billing and Ryan Keane are a combined 2.83 goals against average (one goal the Knights scored was an empty net) and a .893 save percentage with no shutouts.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Overview
The Knights enter this weekend series in second place in the East Division with a 20-9-3 record for 43 points. They are four points behind the Rebels. WBS has won three of its last five games, and they are coming off of a 4 – 1 home loss against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Jack Olmstead (14 goals and 15 assists) and Kidney (11 goals and 18 assists) lead the Knights with twenty-nine points each. Olmstead has the most goals on the team with fourteen. He also has the most game winning goals with three. Anthony Firriolo leads the team in penalty minutes with 58, although 25 of them were with the Amarillo Bulls. Olmstead also have the team’s best +/- with a +15.
The Knights have scored 103 games in thirty-two games (seventh most in the NAHL). They also have allowed 92 goals (ninth best in the league). The Knights are ranked twentieth in the league on the powerplay having scored on 19.9% of their chances while they are ranked fourth in the league on the penalty kill having prevented the opposition from scoring 85.7% of the time.
Stoever and Tomeo have a combined 2.73 goals against average and a .916 save percentage with no shutouts.
The Rebels enter this weekend’s series atop the East Division. They have a 23-8-1 record for 47 points. They are 3 – 2 during their past five games, and they are coming off of a 4 – 3 overtime home win against the Northeast Generals.
The Rebels are led by Zerben (12 goals and 11 assists) and Aaron Maguyon’s (9 goals and 14 assists) twenty-three points respectively. Zerban has scored the most goals on the team with twelve. Both Zerban and Bellant have three game winning goals. Bellant has the most penalty minutes on the team with 82 while Zerban and Carson Moniz have a team best +/- with a +10.
The Rebels have scored 106 goals on the season (sixth best in the league) while they have allowed 70 (fourth least allowed in the league). The Rebels have the league’s best powerplay converting on 30.6% of their chances with the extra attacker while they are ranked third in the league on the penalty kill having prevented the opposition from scoring 86% of the time.
Goalies Billing and Keane have a combined 2.16 goals against average and a .908 save percentage with two shutouts (one each).