After an electrifying 2-0-0 start to the season, the Belleville Senators completely flopped this past week - losing all three matches against Rochester and Springfield (x2). There’s a lot to unpack this week, so let’s get into it.
Belleville kicked things off with a nailbiting overtime loss to the Rochester Americans. In my season preview, I predicted that Rochester could be a team that dropped out of the playoff race, losing high flying forwards like JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn to the NHL. It would appear that thought was premature.
A familiar feeling was in the Belleville dressing room Wednesday evening, though, as they once again were unable to maintain a lead. The first period of this contest saw the two teams exchange five goals, with Belleville heading into the first intermission with a 3-2 lead courtesy of Angus Crookshank, Viktor Lodin and Rourke Chartier. Unfortunately the Americans had two goals left in them - one in the third period, one in overtime - to take this one 4-3.
is Angus Crookshank gonna be the first forward called up from Belleville this season? pic.twitter.com/szUZbaVChO— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 20, 2022
Over the weekend, Belleville had a back-to-back with the Springfield Thunderbirds. On Friday, the score looks far worse than the actual game. While the T-Birds ran away with a 5-2 victory, every other metric was relatively close. Belleville came up against strong special teams and a steady goaltender that stopped them from being able to bury more than two. Two names who come up frequently in this weekly piece were your goal scorers, with Lassi Thomson and Cole Reinhardt contributing Belleville’s only markers.
Lassi strolls his way into the slot with this nifty goal #ForTheB https://t.co/qr1AVrnEoX pic.twitter.com/iv6SuGeVmC— Belleville Senators (@BellevilleSens) October 22, 2022
In yet another close match on Saturday, Belleville’s defensive game looked stronger than Friday but they still weren’t able to crack the Thunderbirds for more than another pair. In the 3-2 loss, Belleville saw goals from Jake Lucchini and captain Dillon Heatherington.
Lucchini gets this one to go from a tough angle #ForTheB https://t.co/mmFhrIKM9D pic.twitter.com/ZoZtXZnGqk— Belleville Senators (@BellevilleSens) October 22, 2022
- On top of his dominant goal against the Americans, Angus Crookshank continues to impress after a great training camp with Ottawa. He had a goal and six shots through three games while being a menace on the puck.
- Egor Sokolov has yet to find the goal column. He has four assists through five games, so he’s playing good hockey. Once he gets one, he’ll get them in bunches.
- Ridly Grieg and Mads Søgaard remain out of the lineup, although it doesn’t appear either injury will be long term. The BSens will receive a massive boost when both can return.
- With Søgaard out, the team has had to rely on Antoine Bibeau and Kevin Mandolese who, this past week, didn’t quite live up to the task this week. Bibeau posted an 0.857 SV% in his start while Mandolese had a 0.868 SV% through two starts. In a week where two of three games were decided by a single goal, these two could have been the difference in a good way but, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.