There are plenty of examples in the professional hockey work where a team goes on a run following the dismissal of their Head Coach but, unfortunately, the Belleville Senators aren’t one of them. In their first game following Head Coach Troy Mann’s departure, the BSens gained one point but couldn’t bring home the win in an overtime loss to the Rochester Americans.
The game started off immediately on the wrong foot, with Jiri Kulich burying his ninth of the year just over a minute into the opening frame. Just a few minutes later, Belleville got their chance to even things up when Jeremy Davies headed to the box for slashing. About halfway through the man advantage, Jake Lucchini become the fifth member of the BSens to hit double digit goals.
Americans’ forward Isak Rosen capped off the opening frame with a powerplay marker of his own, which saw Belleville head into the locker room down one after 20.
Early in the second, the newest member of the Belleville Senators made a name for himself as John Quenneville buried his first AHL goal since he served as an Alternate Captain in Rockford in 2020-21.
Just under a minute later, Angus Crookshank gave Belleville its first lead of the game with his 14th of the year. Unfortunately the next two goals - one in the second, one in the third - belonged to Rochester and Belleville needed to work to tie things up or see yet another regulation loss on their record.
No need to worry though, as noted offensive dynamo Scott Sabourin plays for the Belleville Senators and at some point over this season, he’s figured out how to find the back of the net consistently.
While the home crowd was electric following the game tying goal, it only took 56 seconds of extra playing time for Rochester to grab the second point, sending the BSens to their locker room with one point instead of two.
- The biggest piece of news this week was Belleville signing John Quenneville to an AHL contract. The Edmonton born forward might be a familiar name to you because of his status as a former first round pick or because his cousin happens to be Joel Quenneville. Unfortunately, he’s an example of a late first round pick who scratched and clawed his way but was ultimately unsuccessful in becoming a consistent NHLer. He’s spent the past two years in Europe, playing in the National League in Switzerland and in Sweden’s top tier for Leksands IF. Based on no credible information, I’m guessing this signing comes with the idea that Ridly Greig has played his last games for Belleville this year.
- I don’t know what Scott Sabourin changed, but whatever it is, it’s working. The AHL veteran, mostly known for physicality, had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s loss to the Americans. Not only did he eclipse his personal best in goals which he set in 2013-14 multiple games ago, he has now tied his personal best for points - in 27 fewer games.
- Mads Søgaard had a tough outing against Rochester this weekend. He stopped just 25 of the 30 shots he faced for a 0.833 SV%. The Great Dane™ has had a season with inconsistent play and injuries, a deadly combination for a young goaltender trying to make his way to the NHL.
- David Bell, the new interim Head Coach of the Belleville Senators, comes into this role having served almost entirely as an assistant coach his entire career. He’s spent time on the bench in the OHL with Owen Sound, Barrie, Sudbury and Niagara while also having spent time with Springfield, Ontario and Belleville in the AHL. In his first stint truly running a bench, all eyes will be on Bell to see if he can turn a lacklustre season into one worth watching down the stretch. Belleville currently sits last in the North Division, but are just six points back of a playoff spot. Sound familiar?/