Belleville Wins Two of Three
The Belleville Senators lost to Rochester before sweeping a weekend series with Cleveland to capture two wins this week.
After a tough week, the BSens were able to bounce back and grab four of a possible six points against Rochester and Cleveland.
The first game of the week was a special teams affair, with Belleville and Rochester combining for nine attempts with the man advantage in a 4-3 nail biter. Each team was successful twice, which made for quite the exciting game itself.
Jake Lucchini continued his incredible start to the season by opening the scoring in the first period with his fifth of the year. Egor Sokolov added his fourth assist of the season on the play. The BSens and Americans traded powerplay markers in the second period before Rochester scored three goals in the third to take this one 4-3.
Heading into Cleveland, the BSens desperately needed to string together some wins and they did just that. On Friday night, Belleville crushed the Monsters in a 6-2 win. As you’ve been following along this season, I’m sure it will surprise you to find out that the first Belleville goal of the game was scored by, yes, Lucchini. This time? Shorthanded.
Jake Lucchini's 6th goal of the season is a shorthanded one. #BELvsCLE | @BellevilleSens pic.twitter.com/y0Xs0oY7mc— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) November 6, 2021
Shortly thereafter, Erik Brännström scored his long awaited first of the season on a feed from Roby Järventie.
🚨Erik Brannstrom rips home his first AHL goal of the season off a nice feed from Roby Järventie #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/HostP3CEEG— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) November 5, 2021
Still in the first period, Kole Sherwood got in on “firsts” as he scored his first in a Belleville uniform. While the second period was incredibly quiet, the third was full of goals. Belleville opened the period with two more goals, extending their lead to five, before Cleveland finally checked into the game. The two goals the Monsters could muster wasn’t enough as Belleville would take this one 6-2.
On the second game of the back-to-back, it was more of the same for Belleville. While Cleveland opened the scoring in this one, the BSens were strong on the puck, outshooting the Monsters in the first frame. Järventie was the first BSen to find the back of the net, scoring his second goal of the week. The young Finn would add more to the Belleville effort with an assist on Mark Kastelic’s third of the season - with fellow Finn Lassi Thomson adding the secondary helper.
Roby Järventie - After a slow start to the season, Järventie came out firing on all cylinders this week. He contributed two goals, two assists and ten shots through three games.
Kevin Mandolese - Mando was between the pipes for Belleville’s 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night, turning aside 27 of 29 shots (0.931 SV%) while stopping all three of Cleveland’s attempts in the shootout.
Erik Brännström - As I’ve mentioned before, I’m harder on the young Swede because I (we) expect so much from him. He continued his strong play away from the puck while adding some offense this week, which brings him into the “Good” category for me.
Jake Lucchini - What more can you say about this offseason acquisition for Belleville? Lucchini now has 11 points in 10 games to kick off his BSens career.
Mark Kastelic - I love what Kastelic brings to this team. He’s added some offense in the past few games but most importantly, he’s trustworthy in the faceoff dot and plays a very sound game in his own end.
The Powerplay - With the man advantage, Belleville was successful four times on 14 attempts for a 28.5% success rate.
Mads Søgaard - After a stunning start to his AHL career towards the end of last season, Søgaard has certainly struggled. While he had a win and a loss in his starts, he allowed six goals on 49 shots for an 0.877 SV% through two games this week.
The Penalty Kill - Belleville allowed four goals on 17 attempts for a 76.4% success rate.
There wasn’t anything particularly ugly about Belleville’s effort this week. There were certainly things they could have done better but, overall, it was a solid effort. Their one loss was a close one and they came away with four points in the other two games.
Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.