The outcome was different this time. In a rematch of last year’s Robertson Cup finals, the Philadelphia Rebels held on to defeat the Lone Star Brahmas 4 – 3 and go 4 – 0 in the NAHL’s 15th Annual Showcase.
In a game that had a total of 29 shots on goal, there were seven goals scored. Rebels forward Auggie Moore started it off just thirteen seconds into the game. Immediately after the opening faceoff won by Andrew Bellant, the puck came to Moore by the right side of the faceoff circle. Moore dumped the puck deep inside the Brahmas far side corner. Bellent picked up the puck and sent a pass back to Moore who was at the faceoff circle. Moore took a wrist shot that beat Lone Star’s goalie Ajay Fernandez high, short side to put the Rebels up 1 – 0.
Ryan Patrick was called for holding with 8:23 left in the first period to put the Brahmas on the power play. Lone Star’s forward Andy Willis would bring the puck up the ice along the far side boards into the Rebels zone by the faceoff circle. Willis took a shot on net that was saved by Jack Leavy but the puck came back out to the top of the crease. Jarid Domin tried to put the puck in the net but couldn’t control it and Willis picked it up and put it past a fallen Leavy to tie the game at one with 7:55 remaining in the period.
Seven seconds later Lone Star’s Julian Biondo was called for hooking to give the Rebels the extra attacker. With time winding down in the power play Aaron Maguyon would give the Rebels a 2 – 1 lead. Reid Miller would dump the puck down low along the near side boards and it was retrieved by Julian Makary behind the net. Makary would pass it back to Miller who found a breaking Maguyon at the top of the circle. Maguyon took a wrist shot that beat Fernandez shot side for his first goal on the season.
Fernandez would be replaced by Phoenixville, PA native Mitchell Gibson.
Twenty-four seconds after Maguyon’s goal, Mack Byers made it a 3 – 1 game. After the puck was dumped into the Brahmas zone, Lone Star tried to bring the puck up along the far side board where it was intercepted by Noah Finstrom. Finstrom would pass it to Makary who skated towards Lone Star’s net. Makary would pass the puck down low to Byers who skated across the goalmouth and he tucked the puck past Gibson short side with 5:24 remaining in the period.
The scoring in the opening period wasn’t done. Finstrom was called for slashing with 1:40 left in the first. With thirteen seconds remaining the Brahmas looked to set up in the Rebels zone. Biondo had the puck at the top of the far side faceoff circle. He passed it back to the point to Drew Lennon. Lennon passed it over to his right to Kyle Hallbaurer. Hallbaurer passed it back to Lennon who took a shot that found its way through a screen and beat Leavy to make it 3 – 2. It was Lone Star’s second power play goal of the game.
The first period had a total of five goals scored on thirteen shots.
Fernandez replaced Gibson to start the second period.
Hugh Quinn would double the Rebels lead at the 10:19 mark of the middle period. After Lone Star won the draw at the far side faceoff circle the puck went behind the net to the nearside corner. Maguyon would win the battle along the boards and center a pass to Quinn at the top of the goal crease. Quinn would tap the puck past Fernandez to make it a 4 – 2 game.
As time was winding down in the third Lone Star would make it interesting with 4:12 left in the game. As the Rebels tried to break out of their zone along the far side boards the puck was intercepted by Emack Bentley. Bentley skated to the near side boards and into the Rebels zone. He would skate to the top of the circle and drop pass the puck to a trailing Biondo who took a wrist shot that beat Leavy long side to make it a 4 – 3 game.
The Rebels held on to win go 4 – 0 in the Showcase, their first time in team history. The Rebels are now 4 – 0 on the season. Leavy stopped eight of 11 shots by Lone Star’s goaltenders turned aside 14 out of 18 shots. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels next game will be next Saturday night when they play their home opener against the Johnstown Tomahawks. Flyers legend Bernie Parent will drop the ceremonial first puck.