Another lack of power play conversions and an overall poor effort cost the Belleville Senators on Saturday night, against one of the hottest teams in the American Hockey League.
Belleville went 0-for-8 with the man advantage and mustered a season low 17 shots on net, in a 6-0 home loss to the Syracuse Crunch, who stretch their win streak to nine games.
Belleville hung with their division rivals for the first three minutes of the game, before the Crunch took a double-minor penalty for high sticking, which Belleville couldn’t convert on.
B-Sens Coach Kurt Kleinendorst says it all went south from there.
Syracuse’s Alexander Volkov snapped his fifth of the season past Danny Taylor, from the slot, a few minutes after the double-minor penalty expired and just moments after Taylor had made his best save of the night, going post-to-post to make a pad save.
Syracuse’s second goal came on a goal mouth scramble, following what looked to be a missed offside call, just under 15 minutes into the first.
The Crunch were able to force the puck back towards the goal and catch the B-Sens on their heels, with Peterborough native Mitchell Stephens eventually jamming one by Taylor.
When asked if the season-long week off in between games made a difference, Kleinendorst told reporters the situation “could have gone either way”.
While Belleville’s power play struggled, Syracuse’s (which was also among the league worst), found the net on its first opportunity.
Jamie McBain clapped a low slap shot through a crowd to beat Taylor stick side at 7:35 of the second.
Stephens would add his second of the game on a short-handed breakaway six minutes later.
Taylor allowed four goals on 18 shots and was pulled at the end of the second period, in favour of Chris Driedger, who started the third.
But Driedger would allow two goals on eight shots himself.
Former Oshawa General Anthony Cirelli scored midway through the third, again from the slot and on the power play, with Volkov marking his second of the night on a shot from the near circle, with under four minutes left.
Despite making the goaltending switch at the end of the second period, Kleinendorst wouldn’t lay the blame on his goaltenders, but again pointed to overall effort and the need to get more done on the power play.
You can click here to read the full box score from Saturday’s game.
Belleville is off until Wednesday December 13th, when they welcome the Binghamton Devils again, then on Friday December 15th, the team will host its first ever Teddy Bear Toss night against the Manitoba Moose.
Fans are asked to bring a stuffed toy to toss on the ice, at the conclusion of the first period, not when the B-Sens score their first goal, with the toys being donated to local charity.
All of Belleville’s upcoming games can be heard on 800 AM CJBQ.