It was a wild Wednesday night at Yardmen Arena as the Belleville Senators scored three unanswered goals in the third period and beat the Binghamton Devils 4-3 in a shootout.
The game was physical from the opening puck drop, with both teams frustrated by six-goal losses in their last outings and led to 148 minutes in penalties, which included a handful of fights, a slew of unsportsmanlike misconducts and a trio of game misconducts.
Belleville coach Kurt Kleinendorst told media post game he was proud of how his team stuck with the Devils, despite being down three goals and feels they were rewarded for that hard work late in the game.
Kleinendorst added that he didn’t mind the grittiness of the game, but would like to see his team be more disciplined after the whistle and not take extra penalties.
Binghamton opened the scoring late in the first when Ryan Kujawinski knocked the puck off the stick of a Belleville defender and past Chris Driedger, for his first goal of the season.
The only goal of the second came with 15 seconds left in the frame on a goal mouth scramble, after a post-whistle Belleville penalty, with Blake Speers pouncing on the loose puck.
Binghamton would add one more, just 37 seconds into period three, when Kevin Rooney shook off Macoy Erkamps behind the Belleville net and wrapped around to beat Driedger on the backhand.
About five minutes into the third, Belleville broke a home scoring drought, which had lasted more than 136 minutes, when Filip Chlapik tipped a Jordan Murray point shot past Ken Appleby, cueing the B-Sens’ comeback.
Gabriel Gagne broke out of a crowd on the left wing side close to five minutes later and snapped a wrist shot between Appleby’s legs and then Ben Harpur found the goal with a seeing-eye wrist shot, with just over two minutes to play.
The B-Sens are 5-0 with Harper in the line up and he gave credit to his teammates for battling through a physical affair to pick up a much-needed two points at home.
Colin White had the only goal in the shootout.
Both Chris Driedger for Belleville and Ken Appleby for Binghamton made 32 saves on 35 shots against.
The game also marked the return of B-Sens captain Michael Blunden, who had been off with a serious hand injury since October and says this was the perfect game to get his legs back underneath him.
Next up for Belleville is a home match-up with the Manitoba Moose on Friday night.
It’s the team’s first ever Teddy Bear Toss and Toy Drive night, with fans encouraged to bring a stuffed toy to be thrown on the ice and collected at the first intermission.
Puck drop Friday is set for 7:05 p.m. but you can tune in to 800 AM CJBQ for all of the coverage, with the pre-game show starting at 6:50 p.m.
You can click here to read the full box score from Wednesday night and the highlights below.