The Rebels are making their way right now to Odenton, Maryland to face-off against the fourth place Black Bears. The Rebels were just in Odenton two weeks ago when both games went to a shootout giving both teams three points out of a possible four on the weekend. The Rebels are coming off their first weekend sweep and their first wins at home, so they have a huge confidence boost going into this weekend. Whereas the Black Bears just got swept by the Titans scoring six goals but giving up ten and falling from third place to fourth in the division. Now both teams are trying their hardest to catch the Titans and Tomahawks who seem to be the early favorites in the East.
For the Rebels it will be a huge test to see if they have what it takes to start putting together a long win streak. When they went to Maryland two weeks ago they won the first of two games by a final of 3-2 after a shootout. By the end of the first period during the second game it was a lot different as the Rebels had a commanding 4-1 lead. The Black Bears mounted a comeback in the third period and forced not only another overtime but also a shootout. This time the Black Bears scored on all three of their shootout attempts, completing their comeback and avoiding the sweep. The Rebels have since won two straight games and have added new players that are already having a huge impact on the team. They have been practicing hard and watching a lot of film leading up to this weekend, hoping that they can skate away with back-to-back weekend sweeps.
As for the Maryland Black Bears it was surely not the outcome they were hoping for in New Jersey losing both games and allowing the Rebels to pass them in the standings by one point. If the Black Bears are looking to stay close to the top three spots in the division, then winning the first game is crucial. With them having home ice advantage and trailing the Rebels by a point they must show a sense of urgency on Friday and set the tone early. If they cannot get out to the early lead and maintain it, then the Rebels will make them pay for it. Neither team can jump into second place after the weekend but depending on how the Generals and Knights play could send the Rebels or Black Bears down a few spots in the division. You will not want to miss these two important East Division games this weekend as there is a lot on the line!