It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Belleville Senators this week as they kicked things off with a 5-1 loss to the Bridgeport Islanders on Thursday night. This weekend, however, the team pulled off back-to-back wins against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey to pull themselves closer to exiting the basement of the North Division.
On Saturday, the BSens made a trip to the home of Michael Scott to take on the Penguins in a dramatic 2-1 overtime win. The visitors kicked off the scoring with Red Hot Roby Järventie scoring his eighth of the year - and fifth in his last four games.
It took almost exactly forty minutes of play before another goal was scored but, as you would’ve guessed, it was the Pens tying things up with less than three minutes left in the game to force some free hockey for the home crowd.
It didn’t take long for Belleville to finish things off, though. Just over a minute into overtime, Maxence Guenette’s breakout pass gave Cole Reinhardt an opportunity to head up ice. Just after crossing the blueline, he fire home his seventh of the year, grabbing the good guys an imperative extra point.
On Saturday, Belleville headed a few hours south to Pennsylvania’s other AHL city for a clash with the Bears. The first period featured a pair of goals, one from each side, with Egor Sokolov finding the back of the net for the 15th time this year to tie things at one.
The second period saw some back and forth but it took almost 15 minutes for somebody to break open the scoring. This time, it was a special teams effort for the ages from Jake Lucchini as his shorthanded tally gave Belleville the lead.
In the third, Belleville spent the early stages of the frame in the box but managed to kill off both penalties. The score remained 2-1 until the 17th minute, where Reinhardt snagged his second of the weekend, this time on the powerplay. Just over a minute later, Hershey made it a one goal game again but shortly after that, Sokolov buried one into the empty net to seal the deal for Belleville.
- The Senators has experienced an abundance of injuries this season and their goaltending situation has been severely impacted by it. Last week, Belleville acquired Dylan Ferguson from the Toronto Marlies in exchange for future considerations with Mads Søgaard in Ottawa, Kevin Mandolese out with a (minor) injury and Antoine Bibeau missing time as well.
- Ferguson made his first start for Belleville on Saturday, stopping 38 of the 39 shots he faced for an impressive 0.974 SV%. This was just Ferguson’s sixth time between the pipes in the league this season, and his first taste of AHL action since November 19th.
- Roby Järventie has been on a tear of late. While he “only” had one goal this weekend, it was his fifth goal through four games. The Finnish scorer has five goals and two assists in his last seven games.
- Egor Sokolov, Cole Reinhardt and Jake Lucchini worked with Järventie to lead the way in scoring this weekend. Sokolov had a pair of goals on Sunday while Reinhardt scored in each game and Lucchini had a goal and three assists.
- Lassi Thomson is on a very quiet streak of solid offensive performance. He has nine assists in his last 11 games.
- Following a streak of his own, Angus Crookshank didn’t find his way onto the scoresheet at all through three games last week. As of the week before, Crookshank had six goals and three assists in a six game span./