Jamestown, NY – Behind a 38-save performance by goaltender Noah West, and 4 power play goals, the Rebels (13-23-1-2) defeated the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (18-16-2-1) by a final score of 5-1 Friday night in Jamestown.
With the win, their second in a row on home ice, the Rebels have moved out of last place in the NAHL East Division, leap-frogging the now-last-place Northeast Generals. The Rebels have turned up the firepower as of late, now having scored 11 goals in their last two games, something Head Coach Joe Coombs hasn’t seen too much of this season, but is happy to have on his side.
“We’ll take it,” said Coombs of the Rebels recent offensive prowess. “There’s been nights where we’ve worked really hard and just have had no puck luck, but maybe that puck luck is here for us to stay.”
Following a 5-minute boarding penalty from Wilkes-Barre’s Anthony Mastromonica at 6:20 of the first period, Rebels defenseman Seth Bergeron opened the scoring with his second goal of the season, which was assisted by Jordan Cormier (9) and newcomer Danny Magnuson (2), recently acquired in a trade with Bismarck. The momentum swung in Jamestown’s favor, as captain Eric Olson buried another goal with the man-advantage, his team-leading 13th of the year, just 1:32 later, giving the home team a 2-0 lead. Mastromonica got some revenge before the period concluded, scoring late in the first to shorten the Rebels’ lead to 2-1.
The Knights came out firing in the second frame, but West answered the call, stopping 17 shots in the period, holding the visitors scoreless in the period and for the rest of the game on his way to earning his eighth win of the season.
“Westy played really well,” said coach Coombs. “I think we’ve learned in the last 15-20 years of hockey that your goalie is your most important player. It doesn’t matter how good you are as a team, you’re going to give up chances, and your goalie has to bail you out. I thought he [West] was outstanding.”
Following being acquired this week from Bismarck in the same trade as Magnuson, forward Carter Korpi put home his first career NAHL goal in the second period, another power play goal, to give the Rebels a 3-1 advantage going into the final period.
The third period saw West step up again, blocking all 12 shots Wilkes-Barre threw at him. The Rebels netminder, elected the 1st star of the game, received some offensive support as well in the third period, as Tino Passarelli scored his seventh of the year, and big defenseman Renars Karkls continued his hot play, putting home his fifth of the season, the fourth power play goal of the game for Jamestown, to give the Rebels the 5-1 lead which stood at the end of the game.
Karkls added two assists (4, 5) along with his power play goal, while Janis Vizbelis (4), Tino Passarelli (7), Liam Hansson (13), Tyler German (4), Noah Finstrom (18) and Seth Bergeron (9) all added an assist in the victory.
The Rebels look to extend their winning streak to three games when the host the Knights again tomorrow night (Jan. 18th), 7:05pm at the Northwest Arena.