Rebels take 2 from Brown Bears

The host Aston (Pennsylvania) Rebels swept the Kenai River Brown Bears on Friday and Saturday in North American Hockey League action, winning by scores of 3-0 each night.

Aston moves to 29-5-1-0 and has the second-most points in the league. The Bears fall to 8-25-2-0 and remain in last in the Midwest Division.Aston follows Kenai River home for Friday and Saturday games at 7:30 p.m. at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Kenai River finishes a road trip that started all the way back on Dec. 2 with a 4-9 record.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Kenai River head coach Jeff Worlton said of coming home. “It’s been a long trip, but we’re ready to get home and play in front of the best fans in the North American Hockey League.”

The Bears are having trouble finding the back of the net, scoring more than one goal in just one of the past six games.

Friday, Gvido Jansons had a hat trick for the Rebels, while Mareks Mitens had a 20-save shutout.

Special teams were pivotal in the game as two of Jansons’ goals came on the power play, while the Bears finished 0 for 4 with the man advantage. Jansons scored twice in the second period and once in the third.

Worlton wasn’t happy with the penalty kill in Friday’s game, but said the Bears made the necessary adjustments Saturday. Not so with the power play.

“Our power play is not good,” Worlton said. “The guys that we need to put the puck in the net aren’t doing it.

“You’ve also got to give credit to Aston. They’re a good team and they play good team defense, but we have to find a way to be better.”

Worlton said getting back to the basics on the power play will be emphasized before this weekend’s series. Robbie Goor had 30 saves for the Bears.

Saturday, it was Jack Leavy stepping up with the 17-save shutout. Aston, behind Kolby Vegara, struck first in the second, then Drew Blackmun made it 2-0 in the third. An empty-netter by Andrew Bellant clinched it. Goor had 33 saves for the Bears.

Worlton said the bright side has been defensive zone coverage in five-on-five. Giving up the one goal Friday and two goals Saturday is usually enough for a good result.

“With our defensive zone coverage backed up by the goaltending, you couldn’t ask for anything better,” Worlton said. “We just have to find a way to generate offense.”

Friday

Rebels 3, Brown Bears 0

Kenai River 0 0 0 — 0

Aston 0 2 1 — 3

First period — none. Penalties — Kenai River 4 for 40:00; Aston 5 for 21:00.

Second period — 1. Aston, Jansons (Blackmun, Garcia), 11:47; 2. Aston, Jansons (Kapcheck, Garcia), pp, 17:27. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00.

Third period — 3. Aston, Jansons(Patrick, Kapcheck), pp, 6:30. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 12:00; Aston 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 7-4-9—20; Aston 8-12-13—33.

Goalies — Kenai River, Goor (33 shots, 30 saves); Aston, Mitens (20 shots, 20 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 4; Aston 2 for 3.

Saturday

Rebels 3, Brown Bears 0

Kenai River 0 0 0 — 0

Aston 0 1 2 — 3

First period — none. Penalties — Aston 1 for 2:00.

Second period — 1. Aston, Vegara (Patrick, Zerban), 18:56. Penalties — Kenai River 1 for 2:00; Aston 2 for 12:00.

Third period — 2. Aston, Blackmun (Kapcheck, Bellant), 8:30; 3. Aston, Bellant (Blackmun, Garcia), en, 19:48. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00; Aston 1 for 2:00.

Shots on goal — Kenai River 7-8-2—17; Aston 9-11-16—36.

Goalies — Kenai River, Goor (35 shots, 33 saves); Aston, Leavy (17 shots, 17 saves).

Power plays — Kenai River 0 for 3, Aston 0 for 3.

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