The Rebels knew going into this weekend series against the Kenai River Brown Bears that it was going to be tough despite the Brown Bears record. Kenai proved their point and made the Rebels grind it out for a 5-3 win with an outstanding effort from the penalty kill units.
Collegeville native Colton McMenamin scored his first goal of the season at the 5:19 mark of the first period when he beat Kenai’s goalie Nicholas Nast with nice movement from Ryan Solomon and Austin Swingle.
The Rebels and Brown Bears exchanged four goals during the middle stanza. Kenai tied the game less than a minute into the second period when Joey Sardina beat Rebels goalie Darion Hanson – who was starting his second straight game. Then Dean Balsamo put the Rebels up 2-1 at 11:58 mark with help from Andrew Zerban and Michael Underwood. A little more then a minute later Evan Butcher tied the game at 2. With five second left in the second period, Jerry Miettuten put the Rebels up 3-2 beating Nast.
Although the Rebels started the third period with the lead, Kenai’s Gunnar Goodmanson tied it very quickly by hitting the back of the net with a minute and thirty four seconds into the third. Then the Rebels took the lead for good when Drew Blackmum and Ryan Cusin set up Evgeny Yakovlev scored his fifth goal of the season by beating Nast. Ryan Cusin ensured the win by scoring an empty net goal with forty five second left in the game.
The Rebels penalty kill unit did not allow the Brown Bears to score on any of their four power play chances. Hanson saved 39 shots while Balsamo, Yakovlev, Blackmum and Cusin had two points each.
The Rebels fourth and final game of this Alaskan road trip is tonight at 11:30pm ET when they play the Brown Bears again. Please click here for the box score.