The Rebels fell 7-3 in the season opener to Avenue Road on a cold Wednesday at Habitant Arena, but the game was closer than the score indicated and there is certainly reason to be optimistic.
For starters, Avenue Road is, or was, a tier one squad and the Rebels went toe-to-toe with them until the final five minutes when the boys simply ran out of gas. This wasn't a big shock given that it was the first game of the season and given the speed and tempo of the game. Not sure what happened over the summer, but Bantam hockey is a big step up, with bigger, faster and stronger players. Alex Gamm is a behemoth, taller than half the Rebels’ dads, and Alex Maclean isn't far behind.
Avenue Road came out hitting in this contest, but the Rebels didn't give an inch. After several big Avenue Road hits early on, Harry the Fridge Georgopolous laid out two Avenue Road players on one shift, and as Vince Vaughan famously said in the move Swingers, "It was on."
After falling behind 1-0, Cole Goodkin tallied his first as a Rebel, wristing a seeing-eye shot off a clean face-off win by Daniel the Cat Morris. Goodkin added another later in the second period, finishing off a lovely setup by the Cat after Benny the Jet Weinberg started the play at the Rebels' blue line.
The Rebels fell behind 3-2, but Aaron Captain Cadesky evened things up early in the third, converting a nifty pass from Jacob the Sock Sokoloff, who appears to have brought his game to a new level this year.
But, after that, the clock struck midnight, the Rebels turned into pumpkins and before you could say, market crash, the Rebels gave up four quick goals and took some undisciplined, albeit, borderline penalties.
Still, all in all, it was an encouraging opener and Kid Connor was sharp, giving his team a chance until the tank read empty with five minutes left to go.
In addition to Goodkin, the Rebels have several new faces this year, including Eddie Somers, Jacob Catalano and net minder Cameron Birkbeck. On a down note, Robert Marvelous Magee was seen hobbling around on crutches Wednesday after suffering torn ligaments playing high-school football. Don't think that was a permitted activity in Magee's contract was it? Seriously, wishing Marvelous a speedy recovery.