Wednesday, November 8 - Belleville 4, Binghamton 3
The Senators started their week off with an important win against a division rival in the Binghamton Senators Devils.
Jim O’Brien opened the scoring by driving down the right side and throwing the puck under Ken Appleby’s arm. Former Maple Leafs prospect Viktor Loov opened the second period with a power play marker to tie the game at one. It wasn’t long before alternate captain Max McCormick scored on a rebound to regain the lead. The rest of the second period was all Belleville as Colin White would score his first goal of the season by pulling the puck from behind the net and sliding it past Appleby. O’Brien would score again for a 4-1 lead.
With the lead, the Senators put on their favourite bath robe and a cozy pair of slippers and more or less just watched the third period happen. They were outshot 14-11 and Nick Lappin scored a pair of goals to make this game uncomfortably close. The final minutes of the game reminded me of many Ottawa leads although Belleville luckily hung on to take a 4-3 victory and the first two points of their week.
Jim O’Brien: While most games O’Brien doesn’t offer much, he delivered two goals and three shots on net while playing primarily with McCormick and Gabriel Gagne. It was a decent outing for the vet.
Colin White: It’s pretty clear that White is a grade above his teammates in Belleville but I’m glad he’s spending time playing big minutes and getting up to speed after missing time with a broken hand. On Wednesday, White scored his first goal of the season and looked particularly dangerous spending most of the game on a line with Filip Chlapik. He also led both teams with seven shots on net.
Andrew Hammond: It was surprising to see his save percentage as low as it was (0.893 SV%) because Hammond made some pretty fantastic saves throughout this game, keeping Belleville in the game in the third period when Coach K’s club seemed got really comfortable.
Here are the highlights from Wednesday night’s win.
Friday, November 10 - Rochester 4, Belleville 2
While Rochester came away with the win, Belleville outshot the Americans 40-30. Belleville’s power play unit played very well, scoring both goals for the home team, and their penalty kill was perfect. Alas, Rochester took this one.
Roughly halfway into the first frame, Rochester’s Hudson Fasching opened the scoring by beating Danny Taylor short side on a partial break. Less than a minute later, Max Reinhart potted his second of the season on a juicy rebound from a McCormick shot on net. The Senators weren’t letting this one get away that easily. In the second period, Rochester scored two weak goals. One shot on the ice Taylor clearly didn’t see through aa screen and the other a short side bouncer that probably shouldn’t have made it’s way through. The second period could have gone a different way if not for a fantastic two-pad stack by Linus Ullmark and two posts by Chabot and White. Unfortunately, the Americans would score another before Gagne would find the back of the net for the fifth time this season.
Colin White: Even though he didn’t find the scoresheet, he was a main contributor to a number of offensive plays and put six pucks on net. He played most of the game with Chlapik again and I’m hoping Coach K starts to realize that it’s not just White that’s carrying that line. The two of them are fantastic together. Speaking of...
Filip Chlapik: There haven’t been many moments this season where Chlapik hasn’t stood out as a creative, dynamic forward for Belleville and Friday night was no exception.
Thomas Chabot: Chabot wanted to be sure White understood he wasn’t going to lead the team in shots per game without a fight so he added six shots of his own on Friday. White currently leads with 3.67 but Chabot isn’t far behind with 3.4 shots on net per game.
You can find the highlights to this one here.
Saturday, November 11 - Belleville 5 - Rochester 4 (OT)
If I had 15 guesses as to who the first player would be to score a hat trick for the Belleville Senators, Murray might have been guess #15. Maybe. Probably not. Belleville opened the scoring a little over six minutes into the first period when White carried the puck behind the net and found a streaking Chabot for a one-timer that beat Adam Wilcox. Chabot read the play perfectly, pinching down and making himself wide open for White at the bottom of the circle. Rochester would score three unanswered goals and all of the sudden Belleville had some work to do.
Halfway through the second period the Jordan Murray show began. His first goal of the game came on a slap shot from the point that found it’s way through a screen and between the legs of Wilcox. Rochester would extend the lead to 4-2 which prompted Murray to score a goal reminiscent of a play Erik Karlsson has made more than once in his career - a seemingly impossible angle that somehow beat the goaltender short side. Murray couldn’t have been more than a foot above the goal line. Francis Perron did the dirty work to tie the game with eight minutes left in the third period by crashing the net and banging home a loose puck. Perron and Murray weren’t done yet as Murray would deflect a Perron flip-shot past Wilcox to take the game in overtime.
This was a fun one.
Jordan Murray: I mean, come on. How could he not be a standout? This game was the exception, not the rule, for him as Saturday’s three goals bring him to a total of four goals... in his AHL career. Ok, that was a little dramatic. Murray has only played 13 games so four goals is actually quite respectable. If he can start producing at a fraction of the rate but on a consistent basis, that’s a big win for Belleville’s depth.
Thomas Chabot: If it wasn’t clear on Friday, Saturday made it perfectly clear that Chabot is healthy again. He was dominant at both ends of the ice and easily played the most of any Senator. It’s good to see you back, Tommy (can I call you Tommy?).
Filip Chlapik: I don’t know what else to say. When he’s out there, things happen. He was kept off the score sheet but he was still impressive. He needs more ice time and it would be in the best interest of the coach to give it to him.
Here are the highlights to this OT thriller.
“Pierre from Orleans” made his way back onto the radio today and had a few updates regarding Belleville.
He mentioned he was very pleased with the play of Perron this week and added that he feel Gagne still needs to build strength. I would agree on both counts. Perron was better overall this week than he has been all season and I’m hoping it’s the start of something fantastic for the former QMJHL MVP. For a guy with Gagne’s frame, he sure doesn’t seem to be as strong on the puck as he should be. If he wants to take his game to the NHL level, he’s going to need to add some muscle without losing his speed. The next two years of conditioning will be important for him.
Dorion also mentioned he felt White still needs time to adjust to the professional game. This is a case where I’m not entirely sure what Pierre from Orleans has been watching. It seems like he’s looking at White point totals (0.5 PPG) and that’s about it. White has looked pretty great in Belleville.
Finally, it was noted that Christian Jaros has been out with a concussion but is expected back soon. Max Lajoie has an injury to his shoulder and will need more time to recover.
That’s it for me, thanks for reading!
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