Ryan Patrick’s goal with 6:42 left in the third period gave the visiting Aston Rebels a 3 – 2 come from behind victory over the Kenai River Brown Bears.
Despite having to come from behind to win, the Rebels controlled the game but Brown Bears goalie Robbie Goor stood on his head to make several key saves to keep his team in it. The Rebels outshot the Brown Bears 32 – 17.
Similar to Friday night’s game the Rebels took the lead first. With 7:09 remaining in the opening period, Drew Blackmun won the draw deep inside the Bears zone. After winning the draw he kicked the puck to his left to Evgeny Yakovlev as right winger Auggie Moore was cutting towards the net. Yakovlev passed the puck to Moore who was skating through the goalmouth and he took a backhander that beat Goor long side to put the Rebels up 1 – 0.
The Bears would tie it almost two minutes later. With the puck in the Rebels far side corner, Kenai’s Evan Butcher was able to pick up the puck as both teams were battling for it along the boards. Butcher went around one Rebels defender and he took a shot that beat Jack Leavy short side to even the score with 5:23 remaining in the period. It was Butcher’s eighth goal on the season.
After being outshot 9 to 5 in the first, the Bears would take the lead with 5:21 left in the second period. Kenai’s Preston Weeks went to clear the puck out of his own zone. He sent a bounce pass off of the far side boards up to Jake Friedman. Friedman picked up speed going into the Rebels zone as he skated around a Rebels defender on his back. Friedman cut across the goalmouth and slide the puck through Leavy’s five hole to make it a 2 – 1 game. Head coach Joe Coombs immediately replaced Leavy with Markes Mitens.
Entering the third down by one and with Goor playing well yet again, two former Culver Military Academy players took control of the game for the Rebels. After originally thinking they had tied the game as the puck slid past Goor and it appeared that the puck was crossing the goal line, a Bears’ defenseman cleared the puck into the Rebels zone. Brennan Kapcheck brought the puck out of his own zone and deep inside Kenai’s. He circled back towards the top of the faceoff circle and passed it down low to Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon took a shot that was saved by Goor but a deep rebound came out to Kapcheck who put it past Goor to tie that game at two with 11:27 left in the third. It was Kapcheck’s thirteenth goal on the seson.
With time winding down in the third, Kenai had the put in the Rebels zone. After a Bears shot went wide of the net the puck came out to Maguyon near his own blue line. Maguyon sent a pass up to Patrick in the neutral zone. Patrick skated along the near side boards into the Bears zone. He skated across the top of the faceoff circle and took a wrist shot that beat Goor long side to put the Rebels up 3 – 2 with 6:42 left in the game. It was Patrick’s fourth goal of the season.
The win gave the Rebels a split with the Bears during this weekend’s series. It also allowed the Rebels to win three out of four games against Kenai this season. It was a spirted game with a total of 16 penalties with neither team scoring with the extra attacker.
Leavy stopped 11 of the 13 shots while Mitens turned aside all four he faced. Goor stopped 29 of 32 shots. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels will stay in Kenai until Tuesday where they will then travel to Fairbanks to play the Ice Dogs next weekend. The win gave the Rebels their 30 on the season, just five short of last year’s total.