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Belleville Senators weekend recap

By Daniel Taylor [1]

BELLEVILLE – The B-Sens played two games this weekend, one at home and one on the road, coming away with just a single point.

It was a sold-out crowd at the Yardmen on Friday when the B-Sens hosted the Toronto Marlies for the first time in franchise history. The atmosphere in the arena was electric as the seats were filled equally with blue and red jerseys, something we can expect to see going forward with Belleville located in between both parent club cities, Toronto and Ottawa.

Both teams came out with lots of jump but the Marlies controlled most of the play early. Toronto opened the scoring with Dmytro Timashov’s seventh of the season at 7:54 of the first. The game then became increasingly physical, highlighted by a vicious centre-ice hit by Patrick Sieloff on Toronto’s Jeremy Bracco at 16:42. Richard Clune fought Sieloff in Bracco’s defence and was issued an extra 10 minutes for instigating the fight. The scrap had all of the spectators on their feet and set the tone for the rest of the night. Belleville led 9-7 in shots after 20 minutes.

The physical theme of the night continued in the second when Toronto’s Andrew Neilsen and Belleville’s Jack Rodewald dropped the gloves for a lengthy fight in the first minute of the period. The momentum then turned in Belleville’s favour. Toronto goaltender Calvin Pickard denied some Grade A chances but was eventually beaten on a rebound goal by Francis Perron at 8:34. The goal was Perron’s third of the season.

Timashov then beat B-Sens goaltender Danny Taylor with a slapshot top shelf for his second of the night. Timashov’s goal at 15:06 of the second would end up being the game winner. Toronto potted another for insurance late in the second on Kerby Rychel’s fifth of the year.

The third period was scoreless due to some great goaltending by Taylor and Pickard. While Belleville outshot the opposing team for only the third time all season, the B-Sens still came up short due to some spectacular goaltending and defensive play. Pickard allowed one goal on 25 shots and made a difference in Toronto’s victory.

Senators head coach Kurt Kleinendorst attributed much of the loss to missed opportunities on the power play.

“You’re getting to the point where (the power play success) is going to have to come from somebody else,” said Kleinendorst. “The guys that are on the power play are on the power play for a reason, but at some point when they’re not getting it done you are just going to have to move on and try something else. And I think we’re getting to that point.”

The B-Sens were unsuccessful on each of their seven power play opportunities in the game and currently have the second-worst power play in the league, scoring on only 12.6 per cent of their opportunities.

Goaltender Danny Taylor made 18 saves in the loss, some of which were very difficult on Toronto’s power plays.  The two goals by Timashov didn’t give Taylor much of a chance either, and Kleinendorst said he thought Taylor played pretty well.

Taylor’s perspective was that the team’s effort was there but a few mental mistakes hurt them in the end.

“It just seems the way it’s been going sometimes,” he said. “You know, I thought we played a really strong game for the most part, but a few breakdowns and again, it just ended up costing us.”

On Saturday the B-Sens visited the Syracuse Crunch and came within 28 seconds of notching a victory. Syracuse forward Adam Erne scored the tying goal on a Syracuse power play at 19:12 of the third period to send the game into overtime. The extra frame decided nothing and the game subsequently went to a shootout.

Syracuse won the seven-round shootout, going two for seven on goals by Ty Loney and Mathieu Joseph. Colin White scored the lone shootout goal for Belleville.

Nick Paul, Chris DiDomenico, Filip Chlapik and Colin White scored for Belleville in regulation time. Syracuse got goals in regulation time from Erne, Mitchell Stevens, Mat Bodie, and Dominic Mason.

Belleville’s next game is a rematch at home against the Crunch at 7 p.m. on Saturday.