Weekend Preview: 3/17 – 3/18; Rebels travel to Johnstown for critical series

Weekend Preview: 3/17 – 3/18; Rebels travel to Johnstown for critical series

Aston Rebels vs. Johnstown Tomahawks Overview
Ten points separate the first place Aston Rebels and the second place Johnstown Tomahawks. This could be a make it or break it weekend for each team as the Rebels travel to Johnstown for two games against the Tomahawks. If the Rebels sweep the series, the Rebels will essentially clinch their second straight East Division championship. If the Tomahawks sweep the series, hold onto you seats because Johnstown would trail the Rebels by six points with seven games remaining, which includes a pair of games between these two teams in Johnstown during the regular season’s final weekend.

The Rebels have won seven of the eight games against Johnstown this year yet these games have been extremely close. The Rebels have outscored the Tomahawks 19 – 14. Each team has recorded a shutout and two of the Rebels wins have come in overtime.  Each game has been played like playoff hockey.

Donovan Ott leads the Tomahawks in points against the Rebels with eight (4 goals and 4 assists) while Filips Buncis has five points (4 goals and 1 assist). Ott and Buncis each have scored the most goals against the Rebels with four apiece.  The Tomahawks are 4 for 25 (16%) on the power play. Johnstown’s goalies have a combined 2.38 goals against average with a .900 save percentage. Drew Hotte has played in six of the eight games. He has a 2.33 goals against with a .90 save percentage and one shutout.

Rebels’ defenseman Ryan Solomon has the most points against Johnstown this season with six (1 goal and 5 assists).  Dom Garcia (3 goals and 2 assists) and Aaron Maguyon (1 goal and 4 assists) each have five points against the Tomahawks. Garcia has scored the most goals against the Hawks with three. Maguyon and Brennan Kapcheck each have scored game winning goals in overtime. The Rebels are 4 for 23 (17%) on the power play. The Rebels goaltending has a combined 1.71 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. Markes Mitens has played in seven of the eight games. He has a 1.71 goals against and a .928 save percentage with one shutout.

Johnstown Tomahawks Overview
The Tomahawks are currently in second place in the East Division with a 34-13-3-1 record for 72 points, ten points behind the Rebels. Johnstown is coming off of a 2 – 1 win over the New Jersey Titans. The Tomahawks have won five of their last ten games. They have scored 176 goals (fourth most in the league) and have allowed 123 (third least in the league) through 51 games.

The Tomahawks are led by Dalton Hunter’s 49 points (25 goals and 24 assists). He is accompanied by Nicholas Bruce’s 46 points (18 goals and 28 assists) and Donovan Ott’s 44 points (26 goals and 17 assists). Ott has the most goals on the team with 26.  Adam Pilewicz leads the Tomahawks’ defensemen with 25 points (4goals and 21 assists). Hunter leads the team with seven game winning goals.

Johnstown is ranked thirteenth in the league on the power play with an 18.1% conversion ratio while they are ranked eighth in the league on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 83.7% of the time. Thomas Horn leads the team with 184 penalty minutes. Hunter has the team’s best +/- ratio of +33.

Goaltenders Drew Hotte and Vinnie Purpura have a combined 2.37 goals against average and a .913 save percentage along with six shut outs (five for Hotte).

Aston Rebels Overview
The Rebels lead the East Division with a record of 40-9-1-1 for 82 points. They are coming off of a 3 – 2 shootout loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The Rebels have won eight out of their last ten games. They have scored 179 goals (third best in the league) and have allowed only 91 goals (least amount in the NAHL) through 51 games.

The Rebels are led by Andrew Bellant’s 46 points (24 goals and 22 assists). He is followed by three players each with 40 points: Gvido Jansons (18 goals and 22 assists), Drew Blackmun (16 goals and 24 assists) and Dom Garcia (12 goals and 28 assists). Bellant also leads the team in goals with 24 and game winning goals with five. Jansons also leads the team’s defensemen with 40 points.

The Rebels are ranked third in the league on the power play with a 22.9% conversion ratio while they are ranked fifth in the league on the penalty kill preventing the opposition from scoring 85% of the time. Bellant leads the team with 148 penalty minutes. Brennan Kapcheck and Ryan Solomon each have a +35 +/- ratio.

The goaltending tandem of Mareks Mitens (1.54 GAA and .931 SV%) and Jack Leavy (1.92 GAA and .918 SV%) has a combined 1.73 goals against average and a .925 save percentage with sixteen shutouts.