The Rebels traveled to Johnstown yesterday for a two game series at the venerable Cambria County War Memorial. While the calendar stated it was November 11 it was the Tomahawks home opener due to construction to the landmark venue. It was a marquee match up between the East Division’s two top teams, with both of them in the top five power play units in the league.
In the end, Jensen Zerban’s goal at the 11:12 mark of the third period gave the Rebels a 3 – 2 win and increased their point lead over Johnstown to seven.
It was an up and down game with Rebels goalie Mareks Mitens and his Tomahawks’ counterpart Drew Hotte making several key saves throughout to keep the game close.
The Rebels got on the board first at 8:24 into the first when Brendan Cherwalk brought the puck into the offensive zone and waited for his teammates to follow. Cherwalk passed the puck back to Martino Picariello at the point. Picariello took a wobbly shot that went off Hotte’s glove into the net for a 1 – 0 Rebels lead.
The Tomahawks would even the game at the start of the second period. Tiernan Seningen brought the puck into the Rebels zone and passed it to Adam Pilewicz. Pilewicz took a shot that was saved by Mitens but Joshua Biasillo picked up the rebound to tie the game at one only sixteen seconds into the middle period.
Four minutes into the second Christopher Trouba was called for holding. Thirty eight seconds later Seningen was called for high sticking putting the Rebels on a 5 on 3 advantage.
Just twenty seconds into the two-man advantage, Ryan Solomon and Aaron Maguyon set up Gianluca Esteves for his seventh goal of the season to give the Rebels a 2 – 1 lead at the 4:58 mark of the second.
After several key saves by Hotte in the third to keep the Tomahawks within one, Adam Peck had the puck down low at the far side faceoff circle. He took a shot that was redirected by Zerban who was screening Hotte and put it behind the Hawks netminder to give the Rebels a 3 – 1 lead. It was the first goal of the season for the Rebels speedy forward.
With less than three minutes left in the third Johnstown pulled within one when Mitchell Hale picked up the rebound off of a Pilewicz shot and put it past Mitens for the forward’s first goal on the year.
Mitens would stop 19 of 21 shots while Hotte turned aside 22 of 25 shots. Click here for the box score.
The two teams face each other tonight at 7pm at the War Memorial.