Today’s game for the Rebels was like a rollercoaster ride. It got off to a quick start. Then it went downhill. It then went up again and then came down to a slow ride at the end. At the conclusion of the game the visiting Bismarck Bobcats defeating the Rebels 5 – 3 in the second of four NAHL Showcase games here in Blaine, MN. It was the Rebels first loss on the young season.
The Rebels got off to an extremely quick start. Forty nine seconds into the game Shane McMahan picked up a rebound and put it past Bobcats goalie Camden Haugenoe to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead.
After controlling the game early, the Bobcats started to apply pressure in the Rebels zone. The puck went back to the near side boards point. Unprotected, a Bismarck defenseman passed the puck down low to Joey Sardina who put the backdoor pass past Rebels goalie Mareks Mitens to tie the game at 1 at the 10:49 mark of the first period.
McMahan was called for slashing with 7:43 left in the opening period to put Bismarck on the power play. Then a Bobcats defenseman made another perfect back door pass to Matthew Berry who put it past Mitens for a 2 – 1 lead.
It was Berry again with a very strange goal that beat Mitens long side with 24 seconds left in the period to give the Bobcats a 3 – 1 lead going into the first period intermission.
At the conclusion of the first, a Bobcat was called for a two minute penalty which put the Rebels on a power play to start the middle stanza. As the period started, a Rebels’ forward passed the puck back to the point towards Brennan Kapcheck. However, the pass went wide and passed him. Bismarck’s Nick Alexander picked up the loose puck and walked in on Mitens and put it passed him glove side to put the Bobcats 4 – 1. Head coach Joe Coombs pulled Mitens for Jorden Greenfield-Flemon.
While still on the power play, the Rebels Ryan Solomon had the puck at the point and took a slap shot the beat Haugenoe glove side to cut the Rebels deficit in half.
After controlling the second and third periods, the Rebels were able to cut the Bobcats lead to one with six minutes left in the third when Andrew Bellant made a nice end-to-end rush. As he skated in stride at the top of the circle in Bismarck’s zone, Bellant took a wrist shot that beat Haugenoe long side.
With time winding town, the Rebels continued to pressure the Bobcats zone. Forward Ryan Patrick picked up a rebound and did a 180 degree turn and immediately took a shot down low but Haugenoe made a 10 bell right pad save to keep the Rebels from tying the game.
Coombs pulled Greenfield-Flemon with a minute left for the extra attacker. Applying pressure in the Bobcats zone, the puck went between Kapcheck and Gvido Jansons (who hit the post again today) and Parker Mismash picked up the puck and put it into the empty Rebels net to seal the 5 – 3 victory.
The Rebels now will play the Minnesota Magicians tomorrow at 6:15pm (ET). The Magicians lost today 4 -3 in overtime today against the Corpus Christi IceRays. Minnesota has a 2-1-1 record.