The Aston Rebels traveled to Middletown’s Ice World last night and defeated the New Jersey Titans 2 – 0 incorporating shut down defense to give goaltender Mareks Mitens his league leading ninth shutout on the season.
The Rebels played aggressive defense to minimize any possible New Jersey attack while incorporating it to spur their two goals. They played “old time hockey” by limiting the turnovers, shutting down the neutral zone and backchecked and forechecked. The Rebels cleared the porch by limiting the Titans to only 16 shots on goal, many of them perimeter which allowed Mitens to set up and properly track the puck.
With New Jersey attempting to clear the puck for a line change, defenseman Brennan Kapcheck intercepted a neutral zone passed and moved towards his left as forward Andrew Bellant skated hard to the front of the net. Kapcheck took a shot from the point that Bellant redirected past Titans goalie Brandon Perrone to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 with nine minutes into the game. It was Bellant’s team high eighteenth goal on the season. It would be the eventual game winner.
The Rebels would go up 2 – 0 at the 7:15 mark of the second period. Evgeny Yakovlev intercepted a Titans pass at the far side boards in the neutral zone. He rushed into the Titans zone on a two-on-one with defenseman Michael Underwood as the trailer. Yakovlev made a beautiful saucer pass at the top of the faceoff circle to the Underwood in the slot who redirected the puck behind Perrone for his second goal of the season.
The Rebels only allowed the Titans to have three shots on goal in the second period and seven in the third. New Jersey played well but Perrone was outstanding in the pipes for the Titans. He made several key saves throughout and one in particular in the third with five minutes remaining with the Rebels pressuring to keep the Titans within two.
Mitens stopped all 16 shots while Perrone made 22 saves on 24 shots. Click here for the box score.
It was the Rebels fourth straight win. They have allowed only two goals in the past four games. The Kenai River Brown Bears visit IceWorks this weekend for two games before the Rebels embark on a two road trip to Alaska to play the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and Brown Bears.