Weekend Preview 10/19/18

This weekend the Rebels make their way to Odenton, Maryland for the first time. They will go up against the new East Division team, the Maryland Black Bears. The Black Bears are brand new to the North American Hockey League and are currently tied with the WBS/Knights for third place in the division. Whereas the Rebels (4-6-0-0) are tied with the Northeast Generals for fifth place in the division. This is a crucial set of games for the Rebels as they are looking to snap their three-game losing streak. While the Black Bears are looking to have a positive record after this weekend concludes, currently (4-5-3-0).
On paper the Black Bears are starting their inaugural season in the NAHL on a good note. Multiple players are putting up numbers for them, especially #17 Connor Pooley who is now in his second year in the NAHL. He currently leads his team in points with 13. Last season when he was with the Lone Star Brahmas, he played 42 games and only recorded 12 points. While their offense has been clicking, it is their goaltenders that are not holding their own. Just like the Rebels, the Black Bears have not swept an opponent yet this season. While they do have three goalies on their roster, they tend to lean more towards NAHL veteran David Tomeo. He has now been in the NAHL for three seasons, starting out with the Generals and then the year after that with WBS/Knights. Now he has played 9 out of 12 games for the Black Bears and will surely get the nod for one of the games this weekend, if not both. His record is (4-4-0-1) and his GAA is 3.03, with a SV% of .910%. Having a consistent netminder is key to any team winning a weekend series of games.
For the Rebels what they must focus on is getting what happened this past weekend out of their head. This is a young team with only five returning players. They will find their groove as the season picks up. What sticks out the most for the Rebels is that they get back Seth Bergeron and Antonio Venuto. Seth Bergeron has not played a regular season game yet and was finally cleared by his doctor on Monday. This is what he had to say about getting the chance to finally play “I am really excited, getting hit in the face in preseason and being out for a month was pretty disappointing. I stayed in shape and I am ready to go help the team win some games”. Venuto is coming off his two-game suspension that he picked up in the second game against Johnstown, for spearing one of their players. He missed opening weekend here in Jamestown and is looking to keep himself out of trouble to help his team secure a much-needed sweep. The Rebels also have added a new player to their roster; Sam Hanson, from Eau Claire, Wisconsin is 6’1” 194lbs., a left-handed forward who has played for the NAHL Minot Minotauros and the NA3HL Wisconsin Whalers. In his 36 games played in his career he has recorded 50 points, 34 of those points coming from assists. To say the least, this Rebels team this weekend will look a lot different and hopefully with these three players they are able to piece together a win streak.
While these two teams have not faced each other during the regular season, they did play a pre-season game against one another in Jamestown on September 8th. The Rebels ended up winning the game 4-1 and even though it was only a month ago, both of their rosters have changed significantly. It will without a doubt be a must-win set of games for the Rebels this weekend as they have a chance to climb into third place, depending on how WBS/Knights and Northeast Generals play this weekend.