Facing a team with the worst record can be bad or good. There is added pressure to win because nobody wants to lose to a team who only has one win. Last night’s game started slow for the Rebels. Both them and the Kenai River Brown Bears had almost the same amount of shots as the first period was winding down. Then defenseman Jerry Miettuten made a costly turnover with a half a second left in the period and Cameron Cook intercepted the puck and shot it short side beating Rebels goalie Darion Hanson to put the visitors up 1 – 0.
It was a stunning ending to the first period but the boys didn’t get down.
The Rebels came out in the second period on fire but Brown Bears goalie Nicholas Nast made some nice saves to keep Keani in the game. With a little under seven minutes left in the middle stanza, Miettuten started the break out and found Andrew Bellant on the far side. Bellant then passed it up to Dean Balsamo who made a nice move going from right to left and beat Nast up high on his waffle side tying the game. It was Balsamo’s 14 goal of the season.
Nast couldn’t let up as the Rebels continued to press. Frank Spellman was down low and passed it to Balsamo who found a trailing Brennan Kapcheck who shot high and beat Nast to put the Rebels up for good with 4:03 left in the second. A minute later Kapcheck and Bellant found Spellman who beat Nast giving the Rebels a 3 – 1 lead. It was Spellman’s tenth goal on the season.
At 14:53 of the third period Brown Bears defenseman Oleg Khalemin took a slashing penalty putting the Rebels on the power play. Miettuten took a shot from the point that Nast redirected to the corner. Balsamo picked up the rebound and passed it back to Ryan Solomon who passed it to Kristofers Bindulis. Bindulis took a nice shot from the point and beat Nast giving the Rebels the win at 4 – 1.
Rebels’ goalie Darion Hason was sharp. He made some key saves and stopped 24 on the night. Click here for the box score.
The two teams meet again tonight at 7:00pm at IceWorks.