The Rebels shut out the New Jersey Titans 4-0 in a matinee game at Middletown’s Ice World. It was the second straight road win against the Titans that Darion Hanson and the boys blanked New Jersey by the same score. The win gives the Rebels 45 points on the season and moves them into sole possession of first place. The win also gives the Rebels the sixth best record in the North American Hockey League.
The Rebels dominated the first period. With almost five minutes into it, the Rebels carried the puck into New Jersey’s zone. Andrew Bellant took a shot that Titan’s goalie Harrison Feeney couldn’t control and Drew Blackmun picked up the rebound putting the away team up 1-0 (Bellant was given credit for the goal but Blackmun actually scored it). It was the Rebels very first shot on goal of the game.
Four minutes later, Colton McMenamin passed it down low to captain Austin Swingle. Swingle took a shot that went wide but he went behind the net to pick up the rebound and passed to an open Chris Deprez who put it behind Feeney for a 2-0 lead.
With 6:37 left in the opening stanza, the Titans’ Tony DeVito was called for boarding. Ryan Cusin passed it down low to Gvido Jansons who found Michael Merulla open at the top of the circle. Merulla took a nice shot that Feeney never saw giving the Rebels a 3-0 lead.
After a back and forth second with and with time winding down, defenseman Brennan Kapcheck was called for a four minute unsportsmanlike penalty. As the Rebels began the third period shorthand, New Jersey looked to go on the attack. Defenseman Mason Van Tuyl broke out of the near side zone and found Connor Wood. Wood head man the puck to Dean Balsamo. Balsamo took a nice shot that beat Feeney short side giving Aston a 4-0 lead.
Outside of Balsamo’s goal, the third period was back and fourth. The Rebels played very tight defense giving Hanson the opportunity to have clear vision on all of the shots. Darion made all the saves he had to with a couple of nice saves to preserve the shut out. Hanson stopped all 21 shots he faced. It was his second shut out of the season. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels and Titans will play a home and home series beginning on Friday at IceWorks.