Game 1 Delight
Rebels Open Playoff Series With Win Over Titans
With several members of their lineup fighting off illness, the Jamestown Rebels were able to bear down and grind out a 5-3 win over New Jersey in Game 1 of the North American Hockey League East Division semifinals at Northwest Arena on Friday night.
Jamestown scored a pair of goals in the opening period, before the Titans came roaring back in the second with three tallies to tie things up at 3-3.
Jim Glynn’s second of the night and a point shot from Alex Roy gave the Rebels back their two-goal margin in the third period, and Jamestown will now carry a crucial one-game lead into tonight’s 7:05 rematch.
“Not to make any excuses by any stretch, but we’ve got some guys that are pretty under the weather,” said head coach Joe Coombs after the win. “We had about eight guys today not skate in pregame. They’re just tired and coughing stuff up.”
Over the past three weeks the Rebels have had a difficult time getting their roster healthy, including starting goaltender Ryan Keane. After recovering from a pair of recent injuries, Keane spent much of his prep week fighting off illness with his teammates.
“He has fought two injuries in the last month and then all of a sudden shows up Tuesday morning and was sick,” said Coombs.
Despite the adversity, the Lewisville, Texas native turned away 22 shots and picked up some much-needed momentum after spending a significant amount of time off the ice.
“It’s just been one thing after another for him, probably the last three weeks,” Coombs said. “He is a hugely competitive kid who is going to respond. He’s going to compete no matter the situation and I have a ton of respect for Ryan Keane.”
With Keane stepping up to lead the Rebels on the back end, Jamestown needed an equal effort on offense to pick up a win in Game 1.
Glynn took that opportunity and ran with it, finishing the evening with two goals and an assist. His first tally gave Jamestown a 3-1 lead in the second period on the power play. That series started with Noah Finstrom feeding Alex Roy on the point for a shot that was wristed on New Jersey netminder Brandon Perrone. After the initial save, Glynn was able to get free to the right side of the crease and wack away at the loose puck that found the back of the net.
On his second goal, Glynn was the beneficiary of a great individual effort by Augustine Moore. With the Titans hemmed in at their own goal line, Moore was able to pick the pocket of a New Jersey defenseman, curl around the back of the net and feed the puck out in front to Glynn for an open-net finish as Perrone scrambled to get back in position.
“Jimmy has had a great year, he is a good 200-foot player. We’ve waited a little bit for the offensive side of his game to come, so it is nice to see him rewarded tonight,” said Coombs.
In addition to picking up an assist on the power play, Roy also give the Rebels their lead back at 4-3 with a wrister from the point in the third period. Taking passes from Connor Linton and Antonio Ventuo, the Rebels’ biggest body on the blue line let a shot go that was deflected on its way past Perrone.
After both teams fought their way through some 4-on-4 action early on in the first period, the Rebels earned their first lead off an oddman rush. With Roy starting a fast-break over the New Jersey blue line, Connor Linton fed Jake Felker on the left side of the ice for a shot that was ripped home between the legs of Perrone.
Jamestown found more success with odd-man breaks on its second goal, with Felker starting the rush this time. Taking his pass in over the blue line, Glynn found himself in a 2-on-1 situation with Niki Jasko to his right. Waiting for his defender to make a move, Glynn slid a pass over to Jasko that was buried glove side on a one-timer.
“Niki is a really good player,” said Coombs. “He is probably one of our most intelligent players. He can make plays, he can protect pucks. I think he sees the game well.”
Chris Garbe got New Jersey on the board in the first minute of the second period, taking a pass from Josef Glamos that was fed behind Keane for an easy finish.
Spencer Stanley finished off another goal for the Titans at 15:06 of that period just as the Jamestown net was dislodged from its moorings, while Kyler Head scored the third goal for the visitors on a clean wrist shot from 25 feet out three minutes later.
Perrone stopped 30 shots in the loss, with New Jersey missing out on all four power-play opportunities while the Rebels went 1 for 3 with the man advantage.