The Belleville Senators won back-to-back games for the first time since November, improved their overtime record to 6-0 and halted the Syracuse Crunch’s winning streak at nine, with a 2-1 victory at Yardmen Arena on Wednesday.
Max McCormick scored his sixth goal of the season 2:13 into the extra frame, on a two-on-one rush with Eric Burgdoerfer, to end a low-scoring and tight checking affair.
The De Pere, Wisconsin native told media after the game, he benefitted from a nice defensive play by Burgdoerfer, to thwart a Syracuse odd-man rush the other way.
After outscoring Belleville 19-6 over their last three trips to the Yardmen, the Crunch looked to be off to a similar result, when Mitchell Stephens tapped a puck across the goal line, after a shot from the far side trickled through Danny Taylor just 3:24 in.
But the Senators would clamp down on their defence and limit the Crunch to at total of just 19 shots over the course of the game.
It took Belleville more than eight minutes to get a shot on goal and it wasn’t until 18:55 of the second period that Jim O’Brien would take an outlet pass from McCormick in the defensive zone and break in alone to beat Connor Ingram and tie the game.
There was no scoring in the third period.
Danny Taylor made 18 saves in the victory, picking up his second consecutive win and says he’s starting to feel a little more comfortable, after a stretch without seeing much action.
Coach Kurt Kleinendorst says more important than breaking the Syracuse streak, it was crucial for his team to pick up a few wins together (six in the last 10 games) and inch back towards the .500 mark, where he feels they’ll start to excel.
Kleinendorst added, he hopes the rest of his team can follow McCormick’s hard-working example.
When asked about why Belleville sees so much success in overtime, neither McCormick, Taylor, nor the coach, could put it into words.
The Senators will start a crucial home-and-home series with the Laval Rocket on the road Friday night, with the return leg Saturday in Belleville.
Both games can be heard live on 800 AM CJBQ, for Eastern Overhead Doors and Deerhaven Farm and Garden, with pre game coverage starting at 7:20 p.m. Friday and 6:50 p.m. on Saturday.
You can click here to see the box score from Wednesday night and see highlights from the game below.