Ryan Keane stopped 38 shots and Jensen Zerban scored the game winning goal thirty seconds into overtime to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 victory over the Aberdeen Wings in the Rebels second game of the North American Hockey League’s Showcase.
It was another intense game between these two teams who faced each other back in May during the league’s semi-final series. It took just twenty-eight seconds for the festivities to begin when Andrew Bellant was called for roughing. It was the first of the Rebels seven penalties during the game.
With 7:35 into the opening period, Aberdeen’s Riley Murphy was called for holding to put the Rebels on their second straight powerplay. With time winding down with the extra attacker, Ryan Patrick set up the play behind the Wings goal line. He passed the puck up to Aaron Maguyon along the far size faceoff circle. As Maguyon went to the net, he made a drop pass to Zerban who passed the puck back to defenseman Carson Moniz at the point. Moniz took a shot that found its way through a screen that beat Wings goalie Daniel Pavlicko to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead 9:26 into the first.
Although the Wings outshot the Rebels 13-9 in the first their onslaught began in the second. Defenseman Reid Miller was called for cross-checking 8:49 into the second to put Aberdeen on the powerplay. As time was running out with the extra attacker, Wings forward Colton Fletcher chipped the puck into the Rebels zone along the farside boards where it was picked up by John Sladic. Sladic cut across the goalmouth and took a shot that was saved by Keane but Joe Strada picked up the rebound and put it past Keane to tie the game at one with 9:12 remaining in the middle stanza. Prior to the goal, Keane had to make several key saves to keep the Wings scoreless.
Keane kept the Rebels in the game with a very strong middle period turning aside 18 shots, several of them which were point-blank saves. He had too. The Rebels were held to just two shots on goal.
The play evened out in the third with both teams applying pressure but Keane and Pavlicko kept the game tied at one. The siren sounded to end regulation and send it into overtime, the third straight game the Rebels and Wings went into a fourth period.
Overtime rules have changed in the NAHL this season. Each team now will play 3 on 3 hockey. After the Wings turned it over at the Rebels blueline it was picked up by Zerban. Similar to yesterday’s game, he brought the puck down along the far side boards. As he skated to the faceoff circle he took a wrist shot that beat Pavlicko short side to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 win.
It was Zerban’s second point of the game and third in two games. Keane stopped 38 of 39 shots while Pavlicko turned aside 16 of 18 shots. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels will play game three tomorrow against the Corpus Christi IceRays at 2:00pm ET.