The Rebels concluded their five game home stand with a 3 – 2 loss in a shootout to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. It was the Rebels first defeat in seven games.
The Rebels would take the lead early in the game. Evgeny Yakovlev had the puck down low in the Knights far corner. He passed it up the boards to Jensen Zerban who went to play the puck. Zerban passed it back to the point to Ryan Solomon. As soon as Solomon took a wrist shot, Yakovlev skated in front of the Knights net and redirected the shot past Knights goalie Grant Valentine to give the Rebels a 1 – 0 lead at 6:19 into the first period. It was Yakovlev’s eleventh goal on the season.
With time winding down in the opening period, the Knights would tie the game. Dorian Dawson brought the puck out of the Knights zone and passed it up to Reed Robinson who was skating along the far side boards. Robinson would pass the puck to Mike Gelatt who was skating towards the high slot. Gelatt would veer towards the Rebels far side corner with Michael Underwood on him. Gelatt took a blind shot that beat Jack Leavy short side to make it 1 – 1 with 1:24 left in the first period.
The Knights would take the lead on Curtis Carlson’s fourteenth goal on the season. Aaron Maguyon was called for interference with 5:14 left in the second period to put WBS on the power play. Elijah Latimer intercepted a Rebels clearing pass at the point. He passed the puck down low to Matt Kidney. Kidney would pass it back to Latimer who took a shot that was initially saved by Leavy but the rebound came back to Carlson who put the puck in the back of the net to make a 2 – 1 game.
The Rebels would tie the game six minutes and six seconds into the final period. Andrew Noel took a slapshot from the near side point that went off of Valentine’s glove and into the far side corner. Brennan Kapcheck entered the zone and picked up the rebound and went behind the Knights net. He sent a passed back to Dom Garcia who was on the goal line adjacent to the net. Garcia took a shot that redirected off Valentine’s stick and slid underneath his pads for the Rebels captains’ twelfth goal on the season.
With regulation ending in a 2 -2 tie, the two teams would play a scoreless five minutes in overtime, resulting in a shootout.
WBS’ Sam Antonitsch was first denied by Leavy. Carter Woolley would score on a blazing wrist shot that beat Valentine glove side. Paul Maust would tie it when he beat Leavy short side. Andrew Hart was stopped by Valentine then Robinson was stopped by Leavy. Jensen Zerban was denied by Valentine to bring it to Adrain Danchenko. As Danchencko touched the puck at center ice, Leavy went to skate out of the crease but fell down. He wasn’t able to recover and Danchencko put the puck into an open net. Kapcheck tried to tie it but he was stopped by Valentine to end the game.
Leavy turned aside 17 of 19 shots while Valentine stopped 25 of 27 shots. Click here for the box score.
The Rebels have nine games remaining with eight of them having to be played on the road. The team’s magic number to clinch the East Division is five. They will travel to play two games at Johnstown and then two at Attleboro before returning for their final regular season home game on March 31st against the New Jersey Titans.