The Rebels long awaited home opener at the venerable Class of 1923 Arena at the University of Pennsylvania is finally here. The two teams will meet on Saturday night at 7:35pm and on Sunday at 6:20pm. Saturday night’s will feature a festive mood before the game with outdoor music and a beer garden. Philadelphia Flyers legend Bernie Parent will drop the ceremonial first puck and sign autographs through the first period.
Tomahawks vs. Rebels: 2016-17
Despite defeating the Tomahawks nine out of twelve games last season, the series was extremely close. The Rebels outscored Johnstown by only five goals (27 to 22). In fact, the fate of nine games was decided by one goal between them. The Rebels were 10% on the powerplay while the Tomahawks were 11%. Returning Rebel Aaron Maguyon along with former captain Dom Garcia each had seven points against Johnstown while former Tomahawk standout Donovan Ott had eleven points against the Rebels.
Last season the Tomahawks finished second in the East Division with a 40-16-4 record for 84 points, the best in team history. This season, however, has not started well for the Rebels rival from Western Pennsylvania. They currently have a 2 – 5 record for four points. The Tomahawks went 1 – 3 at the recently concluded NAHL Showcase. They are currently in last place and eight points behind division leader Northeast Generals.
The Tomahawks have scored 14 goals on the young season (eighth best in the league) and they have allowed 26 (most in the league). Forward Joe Kile leads the Tomahawks in total points with five (all goals) while Karim DelPonte leads the defensemen with three points (1 goal and 2 assists). Chris Trouba has the most penalty minutes with 24, and Samuel Solensky has the best +/- with +1. Johnstown is fifth in the league on the powerplay having scored 25% of the time while they are seventeenth on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 79.3% of the time.
Tomahawks goaltending tandem of Vinnie Purpura and Jack Faulkner have a combined 3.58 goals against average and .897 save percentage with no shutouts.
The 2016-17 season was special one for the Rebels. They had a league best 46-11-3 record for 95 points and made it to the Robertson Cup finals. This season the Rebels have started strong going 4 – 0 in the NAHL Showcase, and the Rebels are currently the only undefeated team in the league.
Despite having a 4 – 0 record, the Rebels are in third place in the East Division with eight points, four behind the Northeast Generals (although the Generals have played three more games).
The Rebels have scored ten goals (15th best in the league) and have allowed five (tied for first with two other teams). Jensen Zerban is the Rebels top goal scorer and point leader with five (3 goals and 2 assists). Zerban’s three goals were all game winners. Diarmad DiMurro leads the defensemen with two points (both assists). Andrew Bellant leads the team with ten penalty minutes while Zerban has the best +/- with +3. The Rebels are sixth in the league on the powerplay having converted 23.1% of their chances, and they are fourteenth in the league on the penalty kill having prevent the opposition from scoring 81.3% of the time.
Rebels goaltenders Eli Billing, Ryan Keane and Jack Leavy have a combined 1.25 goals against average and a .949 save percentage with one shutout.