Eric Carreras scored 3:41 into overtime to give the Rebels a thrilling 4 – 3 win over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks. The victory game the Rebels a 2 – 0 lead in the division finals.
It was an extremely tight checking and hard fought game.
The Rebels got on the board first. Andrew Bellant scored 12:39 into the opening period beating Tomahawks goalie Andrew Lindgren with assists from Frank Spellman and Dean Balsamo. It was Bellant’s third goal of the series.
Johnstown would tie the game two and a half minutes later when Drew Doyon passed the puck to Zak Galambos whose shot hit the post and went in past Rebels goalie Darion Hanson.
With the game tied at one going into the second period, the Tomahawks would take their first lead of the series. Filips Buncis had the puck in the Rebels corner and passed it behind the net to Anthony Parrucci. Parrucci went for a wrap around that squeaked by Hanson to give Johnstown a 2 – 1 lead.
Drew Blackmun would knot the game at two just two minutes in the third period when he beat Lindgren high glove side. Johnstown took the lead again at the six minute mark when Parrucci scored his second goal of the game beating Hanson. The Rebels tied the game with eight minutes remaining when Michael Merulla set up Ryan Cusin who beat Lindgren glove side. During the last two periods the Rebels outshot the Tomahawks 21 – 10.
You could feel the tension in the air as the game went into overtime. The tight checking game continued into the extra period. Then Evgeny Yakovlev entered the Tomahawks near-side zone with the puck. He passed it over to Blackmun. Blackmun passed it down low to Carreras. Carreras took a quick shot that went between Lindgren’s pants and the goal post and into the net to set up a euphoric celebration.
Lindgren stopped 24 of 28 shots while Hanson turned aside 18 of 21 shots. Click here for the box score.
The series now moves to the War Memorial for games three and four (if necessary) next weekend. Friday night’s game will be played at 7:30pm. Should a fourth game be needed, it would be held Saturday night at 7:30. A game five (if needed) would be played at IceWorks on Sunday, May 8 at 6:00pm.
One more Rebels victory will sent the team onto Edina, MN where the NAHL will be hosting the Robertson Cup’s semi-final and final series.