Battling the Best
This weekend the Rebels will be facing off against the league-best Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Before heading to their Holiday break, the Rebels defeated the Kenai Brown Bears in back-to-back games before losing to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights 5-2. The Rebels will be looking to come back strong after their loss to the Knights and give everything they have against the league’s best. The Ice Dogs will look to continue their winning ways against the Rebels, as they won both games in their weekend series before heading on their Holiday break.
A Look at the Ice Dogs
The Ice Dogs are currently tied for first place in the entire NAHL with 49 points and a record of 23-4-3. The Ice Dogs also have three of the league’s top scorers – Todd Burgess (51 points), Ryner Gorowsky (44 points), Logan Coomes (42 points). The Rebels will have to do everything in their power to shut down those three. The Ice Dogs starting goaltender Gavin Nieto also has had an outstanding season thus far, posting a .927 save percentage with a 1.74 goals against average – the Rebels will have to fire away and look for any way that they can beat Nieto.
The Rebels power play sits at third in the league and has been outstanding all year long. However, the Ice Dogs are right on the tail of the Rebels in terms of power play percentage. The Ice Dogs are fourth in the league with a 21.29% (compared to Aston’s 21.88%). Rebels top scorers Dean Balsamo and Kristofers Bindulis will look to ignite the Rebels power play this weekend against the Ice Dogs penalty kill, which also sits at third in the league. Surely special teams are going to play a huge role in this matchup.
First Place on the Line
If the Rebels can get the best of the Ice Dogs in both games this weekend then they could potentially gain first place in the Eastern division. They currently sit at second place with 38 points and a game in hand over the first place New Jersey Titans. The Rebels have been consistently climbing the ranks and chasing the Titans for weeks, and this could be the weekend where they finally claim first place. They will certainly lay it all out on the line against the best in the league.