The theme of strong starts and lacklustre finishes continued for the Belleville Senators on Wednesday night.
Despite playing a tight defensive game and generating some chances through a scoreless first 40 minutes, the Rochester Americans scored three goals in the last 20, to pick up a 3-1 victory at the Blue Cross Arena.
It was Belleville’s third loss in a row and third straight where the game slipped away in the last period.
Head Coach Kurt Kleinendorst tells Quinte News small moments in the game are making a big difference.
Belleville outshot Rochester 32-24 overall and had 20 of those shots after two periods, but Linus Ullmark continued to show why he’s one of the AHL’s best goaltenders, keeping them at bay most of the game.
Belleville killed off a two-man advantage to start the third, then iced the puck and the Amerks capitalized off a faceoff with Sahir Gill scoring his 8th of goal of the season.
Gill would net his 9th of the season and 2nd of the game, about a minute later in similar fashion, putting in a loose puck right in front of Danny Taylor.
Rochester’s third goal came courtesy of Zack Redmond, just past the 14 minute mark, throwing a poor Belleville clearing attempt towards the net and it found a way through.
The B-Sens were able to stop Ullmark from earning his third shutout of the season though.
Some good play along the boards behind the net led to Colin White throwing a pass out front, where Daniel Ciampini knocked in his 3rd of the season with one minute left.
Ciampini had been driven to Rochester from Brampton Wednesday morning to replace Filip Chlapik, who was recalled to the NHL, by Ottawa.
Coach Kleinendorst says his team is lacking some confidence and is no doubt in a slump, but he also has no doubt they’ll break out of it.
Belleville will start preparing for another visit from the rival Syracuse Crunch, who picked up a 6-0 in their last meeting and make the trip to the Yardmen Arena on Friday night.
800 AM CJBQ’s coverage Friday begins with the pregame show at 6:50 p.m.
You can click here to read the full box score from Wednesday night.
In another roster move, Chris Kelly was released by the team from his professional try out, but will join Team Canada at the upcoming Spengler Cup in Switzerland.