Defensemen Gvido Jansons and Brennan Kapcheck combined for seven points to lead the Rebels to a 5 -3 victory over the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. Andrew Bellant, Drew Blackmun and Aaron Maguyon helped the cause with two points each.
The Rebels played well throughout the game but penalties would hurt them, as it did for the Knights. With only a minute and fifty four seconds into the game, WBS’ Khristian Acosta was called for slashing putting the Rebels on the power play. Kapcheck brought the puck out of the Rebels zone and passed it up to Jensen Zerban. Zerban brought the puck into the Knights zone and passed it to his left to Maguyon. Maguyon turned around and banked a pass off the boards back to the point to Kapcheck. Kapcheck passed it over to his right to Jansons who took a one-timer and beat Knights goalie Grant Valentine to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead with 16:55 left in the opening period.
Despite outshooting the Knights 12 – 4 in the first period, the Rebels entered the middle stanza only leading by a goal. Blackmun would change that rather quickly. After Ryan Solomon dumped the puck behind the Knights net, Dom Garcia retrieved it and brought the puck out to the top of the near side faceoff circle. Garcia was tripped up but the puck was picked up by Bellant who brought it back down deep inside the Knights’ zone. He found Garcia at the top of the slot and he took a slapshot that was slightly redirected by Blackmun passed Valentine to give the Rebels a 2 – 0 only thirty seconds into the second period.
The Knights would cut the lead in half when Tim Gelatt would bring the puck up and dumped it into the Rebels zone. Defenseman Michael Underwood tried to glove the puck on the ice but quickly turned it over to Acosta. Acosta turned and found Mike Gelatt wide open in the slot and he buried a wrist shot passed Mareks Mitens with 9:48 left in the second.
A minute later Mike Gelatt would be called for interference. After Zerban won the faceoff at the nearside boards, the puck would wrap all the way around to the farside point to Kapcheck. Kapcheck passed it back down low to Zerban. Zerban would bring the puck back up to the top of the circle trying to open up space. Zerban passed it down low back to Maguyon who sent a pass across the slot and Jansons put it passed Valentine for his second goal of the game to give the Rebels a two goal lead with 8:22 left in the second.
The Rebels two goal lead would evaporate during the first half of the third period. Bellant was called for high sticking with two minutes and six seconds into the final period. Twelve seconds later Underwood was called for slashing. The Knights would cut the deficit in half again with 16:48 left in the game. Dorian Dawson would bring the puck up the far side boards and dumped the puck behind the net where it would wind around the boards where it was picked up by Mike Gelatt at the top of the near side boards. Gelatt looked to his left and passed it to Dawson who was open at the top of the slot and he beat Mitens on his blocker side to make it 3 – 2.
The Knights would tie the game at three with 10:08 left in the third. Bellant was called for his second penalty in the period for slashing putting the Knights back on the power play. Six seconds later Acosta would win the draw deep inside the Rebels nearside faceoff circle. The puck went to Paul Maust who passed the puck back to the point to Dawson. Dawson would pass it to his left to Curtis Carleson who took a one-timer and beat Mitens high, glove side to even the score.
Bellant would then score his fifteenth goal of the season with 7:52 left in the game. After working a great cycle between Garcia, Bellant and Blackmun, Blackmun passed the puck down low to Jansons. Jansons found Bellant at the top of the circle and he ripped a shot that beat Valentine long side to give the Rebels a 4 – 3 lead.
The Rebels would make it 5 -3 when Jansons would feed Kapcheck with a passed at the top of the point. Kapcheck took a slapshot the beat Valentine with a minute and three seconds left in the game. It was the Rebels seventh win out of eight games this year against the Knights.
Mitens would stop 24 of the 27 shots he faced while Valentine turned aside 26 of 31. Click here for the box score.