After lopsided back-to-back losses on the road last weekend, the Belleville Senators are on a three-game home winning streak, knocking off the Rochester Americans in overtime on Wednesday.
Unlike the previous two games, the Senators carried the play for the majority of the night, storming ahead with 16 shots in the first period but falling victim to a couple of “moments” that coach Kurt Kleinendorst has spoken about throughout the season.
Kleinendorst says he was pleased with how his team played overall, with his group showing the type of effort and system they need to continue to be successful.
Ethan Werek opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season, just under seven minutes into the first period, taking a pass out of the corner from Jack Rodewald and out-waiting Adam Wilcox, beating him high.
Kyle Flanagan earned his first point of the season on the second assist.
Belleville had a couple more goal mouth scrambles before the end of the first period, but couldn’t convert, it was 1-0 Senators after the first.
Rochester, who had just one regulation loss on the road coming into the game, evened the score late in the second, with Taylor Fedun finishing off a two-on-one, following a turnover by Flanagan in the offensive zone.
The score was even 1-1 after the second.
The Amerks looked to improve on that regulation road record when they jumped ahead mid-way through the third period.
Hudson Fasching tipped a point shot past Andrew Hammond to make it 2-1 and send Belleville scrambling into the final minute of the game, when they would tie it again.
The B-Sens pulled Hammond for the extra attacker and pushed into the offensive zone.
Christian Jaros took a long wrist shot that went wide, but rebounded off the end wall to a wide open Max Reinhart, who put it past Wilcox to force overtime, with 15 seconds left.
Midway through the overtime, Rochester’s Zach Redmond took a slashing penalty, leading to a Belleville power play and the eventual game winning goal.
Chris DiDomenico carried the puck into the Amerks’ zone up the left wing side, stopped in the near face off circle and spotted Jordan Murray coming off the bench, with Murray snapping a perfectly placed wrist shot by Wilcox from the high slot area to win the game.
The former CIS Defenceman of the Year has five goals this season, now four of them against Rochester and two of them overtime winners against the Americans as well.
He says the veterans in the dressing room sent a message through the week and during the game, that the effort needed to be better and the team seems to thrive in overtime.
Coach Kleinendorst agreed that his team definitely seems more comfortable in sudden death situations.
The B-Sens will look to continue their success at Yardmen Aren, during this current four-game home stand and hope some time on home ice will get them back on track in the push for the playoffs.
Belleville is home to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday and the Hartford Wolf Pack for “Star Wars Night” on Saturday, before welcoming the Syracuse Crunch next Wednesday.
800 AM CJBQ has coverage of every game, with pre game coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m., for Eastern Overhead Doors and Deerhaven Farm and Garden.
You can click here to see the full box score from Wedensday’s game and view highlights below.