Rebernik makes an impression
Photo by Sean Allen, Brant News
Chris Rebernik finds a way to get points for the Brantford Blast despite the fact he plays with different linemates on a game-by-game basis.
"You can't say anything negative about it because it works so well," the first-year player with the Blast said. "On this team, everyone seems to be scoring goals. We all seem to have chemistry."
Mostly because of occasional player absences, the Blast have employed different line combinations for most games this season.
Rebernik played with veteran Greg Bullock and Walter Easter for most of Friday night and the trio picked up five goals and four assists – including a hat trick from Rebernik – in a 10-7 win over the Welland Whalers.
"I give a lot of credit to the guys with more experience," Rebernik said. "We just kind of clicked and I was in the right place at the right time on a lot of those goals."
On Sunday, the Blast avenged their only loss of the season with a 8-5 road victory over the Orillia Tundras.
"When they came to Brantford they played a trap we hadn't experienced all year and we took the game too lightly," Rebernik said. "We knew what they were going to do on Sunday and we prepared for it by creating some new breakouts to get in the zone. It paid off and we scored early and never looked back."
The Blast got a hat trick in Orillia from Joel Prpic, who now has four goals and nine points in three games in the Allan Cup Hockey league.
Rebernik said he doesn't think the Blast have a weakness in their game right now.
The 27-year-old's hockey career started playing junior for his hometown Mississauga Chargers. From there, Rebernik broke into the OHL and played parts of three seasons with the Toronto St. Michael's Majors and Owen Sound Attack.
He was a teammate of Blast player Kyle Spurr when the two played for St. Mike's.
Rebernik then moved south and enjoyed a professional hockey career in the Southern Professional Hockey League with stops in Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina.
"Two years ago, I tore my ACL and missed an entire season," Rebernik said. "But I didn't want my pro hockey career to end that way, so I worked my way back and played last season with the Fayetteville FireAntz."
It was while playing with the FireAntz last year that Rebernik learned he was going to be a father and decided to settle down. He and his girlfriend bought a home in Paris and he began looking for a way to continue playing high-level hockey while staying close to home.
"I shot (Blast owner) Peter Ham an e-mail and talked to Kyle (Spurr) about the team," Rebernik said. "From there, we made things work and here I am. I like still being able to play, being a 10-minute drive from the rink and being able to watch my kid grow up."
Rebernik leads all Blast rookies with eight goals and 21 points in 15 games this season.
The Blast sport a 14-1 record and play next at home this Friday against the Whitby Dunlops at 7:30 p.m.