Mareks Mitens recorded his league leading eighth shutout of the season as Jensen Zerban and and Evgeny Yakovlev each had two points as the Rebels defeated the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 4 – 0 in the first game of this weekend’s home and home series.
Zerban would score the ultimate game winning goal only 2:58 into the opening period. With time winding down on a Knights penalty, Zerban was on the far side boards battling for the puck. It squirted out to Rebels defenseman Kolby Vegara at the top of the far side point. Vegara took a shot that was kicked out by WBS’ goalie Grant Valentine to the near side boards. Zerban was able to fend off three Knights for the puck and he skated through the goal mouth and tucked the puck in behind Valentine for Zerban’s third goal on the season.
The Rebels would take control of the game six minutes into the second period. First, it was Gvido Jansons scoring his tenth goal on the season at the 6:07 mark. Newcomer Auggie Moore was fighting for the puck behind the Knights net. He was able to pass the puck out to the near side boards to Zerban. Zerban passed the puck back to Andrew Noel at the point. Noel passed it back down low to Moore. Moore was able to get the puck to Zerban at the top of the circle. Zerban then took a shot that saved by Valentine but the rebound came out to a wide open Jansons who put it behind the Knights goalie to give the Rebels a 2 – 0 lead.
Twenty two seconds later the Rebels would go up 3 – 0. With the Knights trying to bring the puck out of their zone, Gianluca Esteves stripped the Knights forward of it. Esteves circled to the top of the near side face off circle and made a nice seam pass to Aaron Maguyon. Maguyon took a one-timer that beat Valentine down low far side for his sixth goal on the season.
With the second period about to expire, Andrew Bellant would put the game out of reach. After Bellant picked up a deep rebound from Mitens, he bank passed the puck of the near side boards to get around a Knights defenseman. Bellant brought the puck out of the Rebels zone and head manned it to Yakovlev. Yakovlev carried the puck into the Knights zone on a three on one. He passed the puck to Bellant as he was skating to the top of the slot. Bellant took a wrist shot that beat Valentine up high to give the Rebels a 4 – 0 lead with thirty four seconds left in the middle period. It was Bellant’s team high 16th goal on the season.
It was the eighth time this season (out of nine games) that the Rebels have beating the Knights. Valentine would stop 24 of 28 shots while Mitens turned aside all 28 he faced. It was his third shutout of the season against WBS. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will complete the home and home series tonight (weather permitting) at the Revolution Ice Centre.