Jamestown, NY – Behind an incredible 40-save shutout from goaltender Noah West, a pair of goals from Nick Siffringer, and three assists from Eric Olson, the Jamestown Rebels (17-25-1-2) defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (20-19-4-1) by a final score of 3-0 on February 7th at the Northwest Arena.
The Rebels didn’t exactly get off to the start they wanted, being thrust into two quick penalty killing situations. West and the rest of the team were up to the task, however, fending off the Wilkes-Barre power play to keep the game locked at 0-0. That was until Nick Siffringer broke the scoreless tie at 13:41 of the opening period, scoring his 11th goal of the season and giving the home team a 1-0 lead. Eric Olson (13), his first of three in the game, and Valentino Passarelli (10) added the assists on the goal.
Second period action saw the Rebels strike again, and again it was Siffringer, scoring his second of the game and 12th of the season, again assisted by Olson (14) and Seth Bergeron (11). Siffringer has been hot finding the back of the net as of late, now having scored 7 goals in his past 8 contests, and his third multi-goal game in that stretch. Olson, who would later add a third assist, has also been on a tear recently, now with 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in his last 8 games. Rebels Head Coach Joe Coombs recognizes their recent play.
“Siff’s added some details to his game that early in the year were still lacking,” said Coombs. “He’s [Siffringer] growing as a player, maturing.” “They’re consistent,” continued Coombs about Siffringer and Olson. “You can rely on them most nights to come and give the effort it takes to win in this league.”
Wilkes-Barre poured it on in the final period of play, peppering 18 shots on goalie Noah West, but the D1-committed goaltender stood his ground, turning away all 18 shots in the period, totaling to 40 saves for the game, and earning his 11th victory of the season in the process. Coombs recognizes the terrific play of his sophomore goaltender, but also understands his team’s reliance on the goaltending may be too heavy, something that needs to continue to be corrected if sustained success is to prevail.
“We’re accustom to giving up 3, 4, 5 grade-A opportunities a game, and you have to have an effort like we had from Westy tonight to win games,” said Coombs. As good as he [West] is – I’m not taking anything away from him – he has to go out and do that again tomorrow, and that’s an awful lot to ask of a 19-year-old kid. We need more from the other 19 on our team. For us to come out here tomorrow night with a win, it’s going to take more than Noah West.”
Noah Finstrom tallied an empty net goal, a shorthanded goal and his 13th of the season, just before the buzzer sounded to pad the Rebels’ lead to 3-0. Olson added his third assist of the night on the goal, and Seth Bergeron his second of the game and 12th helper of the year.
The Rebels are back in action tomorrow night against the Knights, looking for a weekend sweep of their division rivals on home ice. Puck drop is set for 7:05pm at the Northwest Arena in Jamestown.