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Rodewald, BSens win 3 of 4

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Jack Rodewald put up seven points this week to lead the BSens to three important victories.

Jason Scourse

It was a busy week for the BSens as they had four games scheduled instead of the usual three. Jack Rodewald led the charge while Logan Brown returned from injury and scored his first AHL goal. Let’s dive in!

Wednesday, November 14 - Belleville 5, Utica 4 (SO)

On Wednesday night, the Utica Comets were in town and Filip Gustavsson got the start. The game began in Belleville’s favour as Jonathan Racine tipped a shot past Ivan Kulkabov three minutes into the first. Early in the second period Utica tied the game but back to back Belleville goals gave the BSens a two goal lead shortly thereafter. The first goal was a Filip Chlapik shot that beat Kulkabov low on the glove side. The second saw two AHL veterans connect as Nick Paul sent a pass out front that Rodewald promptly put upstairs.

Belleville got themselves into some disciplinary trouble and allowed Utica to score on back-to-back powerplays halfway through the second. Not to worry, the BSens did regain the lead before the period was over as Paul Carey casually carried the puck down low, popped out front and roofed it for his first goal of the season. This one did need extra time and a shootout to resolve it as Utica added yet another powerplay marker.

Gustavsson was rock solid in the shootout, stopping both attempts, and Rudolfs Balcers and Adam Tambellini scored to seal the win for the hometown team.

Standouts

Filip Gustavsson - While he allowed four goals, three of them were on the powerplay and when you look at the lost coverage by the blueliners, you can see Gustavsson didn’t have much of a chance on them.

Nick Paul - Paul was returned to the AHL and has picked up where he left off, getting on the board with two assists in this one.

Paul Carey - While Carey has 11 assists on the season, this was his first goal. He also added four shots and was strong at both ends of the ice.

Here are the highlights.

Friday, November 16 - Belleville 5, Toronto 4 (OT)

Friday’s game was barely shorter than Wednesday’s as the BSens needed extra minutes to pick up another two points. Just like Wednesday, Belleville got on the board first as Rodewald finished a slick passing play from Carey and Ben Sexton. To start the second period, Brown tallied his first as a Belleville Senator as he roofed a feed from Tambellini.

The Marlies tied the game up by the end of the second.

To start the third it was all Belleville, all the time. Just over a minute into the frame, the puck ended up on Jordan Murray’s stick with a wide open net and he made no mistake. Fifteen seconds later, Paul and Christian Wolanin found themselves on a two-on-one and Wolanin buried a one-timer to extend Belleville’s lead. Unfortunately, the BSens couldn’t hang on and the Marlies evened things up late in the third to force overtime.

It wasn’t long until, you guessed it, Wolanin found himself on another two-on-one and the puck found itself in the back of the net.

Standouts

Christian Wolanin - Wolanin had two goals and was all over the ice in this one - in all the right ways.

Logan Brown - The best way to return from an injury is to score a goal. I felt Brown was a half step behind his teammates, but he’s always seemed slower by the eye. I can never tell if it’s because he is slower or he appears to be slower because his stride is so long.

Jack Rodewald - Rodewald had a goal and two assists in this one, tough to complain about his game.

Here are the highlights.

Saturday, November 17 - Bridgeport 2, Belleville 1

It was a bit of a quiet game on Saturday as, unlike the last two game, only three goals were scored between the two sides. Bridgeport’s Mitchell Vande Sompel opened the scoring off a pretty passing play that found the BSens scrambling. Belleville tied the game near the end of the first off their own pretty passing play. Rodewald fed Carey who found Tambellini who sniped his seventh of the season.

The second period was a quiet one on the scoresheet. There were no goals scored and no powerplays awarded. Belleville’s Jake Paterson did make a nice stop on a breakaway in the second. It wasn’t until halfway through the third that Bridgeport broke the silence and scored the game winning goal.

Standouts

Jake Paterson - After being recalled from the ECHL’s Brampton Beast, Paterson turned away 25 of the 27 shots he faced.

Adam Tambellini - Tambellini scored Belleville’s lone goal and added two shots on goal.

Filip Chlapik - While he didn’t get on the scoreboard, it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Chlapik was flying and created chances, including four shots of his own.

Here are the highlights.

Tuesday, November 20 - Belleville 5, Charlotte 1

The BSens had an unusual Tuesday night tilt with the Charlotte Checkers last night and came to play. For the first time in a few games, the opponent opened the scoring in this one. The Checkers’ lead didn’t last long as Balcers banged home a rebound on the powerplay with a few minutes left in the first. The second period was the Rodewald Show as both goals were scored by the veteran. The first was a great display of patience as Rodewald walked out from the corner and buried it on the far side. The second came right at the end of the period with Rodewald scoring on a tic tac toe play with Paul and Carey drawing the assists.

The third period was more of the same, with another two goals by the BSens. Balcers scored early in the period on a partial breakaway, beating Alex Nedeljkovic short side. Francois Beauchamin capitalized on a Charlotte turnover a few minutes later to extend Belleville’s lead to 5-1.

Standouts

Filip Gustavsson - After a few (more than a few) rocky performances, Gustavsson finished a solid week on a high note. He stopped 95% of the pucks that came his way and the one he didn’t stop was a powerplay marker he didn’t have much of a chance on.

Jack Rodewald - Rodewald is on en fuego. I don’t expect this kind of production to last but he was definitely the first star of the week for me. He scored two goals last night to give him four goals and three assists in four games. Not bad.

Rudolfs Balcers - Balcers had a pair in this game to bring his season total to seven goals and six assists. It’ll be interesting to see him progress without Drake Batherson on his line for the time being - I think he’s up for the challenge.

Here are the highlights.

Final Thoughts

Brown made his return to the lineup this week, scoring a goal in his first game back, but not producing much more afterwards. I wouldn’t say it was a bad week by any means, but we’ll be looking to see more from the 2016 first rounder as the season progresses. Brown has mostly lined up with Tambellini and Chase Balisy on Belleville’s third line. With the top two lines playing so well, it’ll be tough for him to work his way up at this point. The line of Balcers, Chlapik and whomever is the other winger (currently Sexton) is too good to break up and this past week you’ll have noticed the second line of Carey, Paul and Rodewald got on the score sheet a lot.

Belleville plays their second game of the back-to-back with Charlotte tonight. They’ll look to continue the hot streak from this past week as they went 3-1-0 and scored five goals in each of their wins.