A third period comeback came up short for the Belleville Senators on Thursday night, as they fell 4-3 to the Laval Rocket, in front of more than 4,300 fans at Yardmen Arena.
Belleville had to kill eight power plays in the game and gave up almost 40 shots, as they suffered their third home loss in a row.
Former Belleville Bull Niki Petti opened the scoring for the Rocket at 13:39 of the first period, when he stepped out of the penalty box and broke in on Andrew Hammond, wiring a wrist shot into the back of the net.
Laval would go up 2-0 before the end of the period, after Eric Gelinas smashed in a one-timer from the right point on the power play just under three minutes later.
The top affiliate of the Montreal Canadians would make it 3-0 five minutes into the second, with Kyle Baun barreling to the front of the Belleville net to pot a rebound, before the B-Sens would finally get one back.
Belleville made it 3-1 with less than two minutes to play in the second, as Max McCormick put a pass out front to Jim O’Brien, whose shot beat Michael McNiven.
The McCormick assist was his 100th career AHL point.
Another Gelinas power play one-timer put Laval head 4-1, five minutes into the third, a carbon copy of his first of the game and Belleville would make its brief come back after that.
McCormick added a goal and Jack Rodewald scored on a power play to break a nine game pointless streak and make it 4-3, but the B-Sens couldn’t get even before the final buzzer.
Head Coach Kurt Kleinendorst tells Quinte News his team needs to find a way to play with more desperation from the start of the game.
When asked about the number of penalties his team took, Kleinendorst admitted he wasn’t completely happy with the officiating, but his team didn’t make it easy on themselves either.
Next up for Belleville is a first ever visit from the Providence Bruins on Saturday night, which includes the return of former Belleville Bulls captain Matt Beleskey and another former Bull in Adam Payerl.
Tickets are going fast with less than 400 available as of Thursday night.
CJBQ will have complete coverage Saturday starting at 6:50 p.m.
You can click here to read the full box score from Thursday’s game and see the highlights below.