The Aston Rebels threw their own welcoming party to the North American Hockey League Friday night at IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, PA. Thought it was only a preseason game things couldn’t have gone any better for the Rebels. The Rebels got off to a hot start out shooting the Tomahawks 6-0 in the first six minutes of the game but couldn’t find the back of the net. The visiting Johnstown Tomahawks looked to spoil the party early in the 1st period when they opened the scoring on their first shot of the game at the 6:42 mark on a goal from Anthony Parrucci. Mitch Ossowski tied the game up at 1-1 for the Rebels a little under two minutes after falling behind. Fisticuffs ensued moments after Ossowski’s tying goal which seemed to ignite the Rebels. Goals by Dean Balsamo (power play) & Dom Garcia less than a minute apart in the first period put the Rebels up 3-1 and they never looked back.
The Tomahawks came out of the first intermission and cut the lead to one, off of a goal by Alex Alger 7:57 into the 2nd period. Connor Wood, who was all over the scoresheet put the Rebels back up by two with an unassisted goal with 8:47 left in the 2nd period. Goals by Gvido Jansons (Short Handed), Dean Balsamo (2nd of the game) and Matt Aciaioli (power play) gave the Rebels a 7-2 lead after two periods of play.
The third period began similar to the first two periods with the visiting Tomahawks getting on the board with a quick goal from Dalton Hunter. Tempers boiled over half way through the 3rd period after a goal by the Rebels Ryan Solomon. Solomon’s goal was followed by four fights in a four minute span including one involving the Rebels Dave Chavis, which brought the hometown crowd of 502 to its feet to salute Chavis’ efforts. In the end the Aston Rebels picked up the 8-4 victory in the team’s only preseason home game. Instant fan favorite Connor Wood put on a show for new Rebels fans putting up five points (1Goal, 4 Assists) before an early exit from the game after dropping the gloves mid-way through the 3rd period. Asked about Wood’s performance after the game Rebels Head Coach Joe Coombs said “He (Woods) plays the game with a lot of energy all the time, Connor is a good kid, I hope he continues to grow in his confidence, tonight was a good night for him one that he should feel good about”. When asked about the NAHL’s new East division Coach Coombs said “There is going to be some tough hockey played in the east this year, a physical brand of hockey is what we play, one that our fans will be proud of”.
The Aston Rebels will play their first regular season home Friday October 2nd. For ticket information visit www.astonrebels.com