For the second time in as many meetings, the Belleville Senators had a strong comeback against the Utica Comets, but couldn’t get the desired result in a tight loss.
The B-Sens fell 5-4 to the Comets in front of 4,003 fans on Family Day at Yardmen Arena.
The Belleville power play struck three times and the penalty killers scored a short handed goal as well, but couldn’t even the game on a late man advantage.
After a strong first half period for Belleville Utica scored three unanswered goals to open the first-period scoring.
The Senators lost a defensive zone face off, with the puck falling to Tony Cameranssi, who beat Danny Taylor through traffic.
About 5:00 later Zack MacEwen sped into the Bellville zone and ripped a top shelf wrist shot past Taylor and close to 4:00 after that, Reid Boucher popped a puck over the line during a goalmouth scramble.
Taylor had been run into by a Utica forward, but the officials waived off goaltender interference, because a Belleville defender had pushed the Comets’ player into the net.
Danny Taylor was shaken up on the play and ended up leaving the game, with Marcus Hogberg starting the third period.
Utica took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission, but Belleville had a two man advantage to start the second period, following a pair of late Comet’s penalties.
Belleville made those power plays count, scoring twice within the first 1:13 of the period.
Ben Sexton took a pass in front of the net and spun around to tuck the puck past Richard Bachman to make it 3-1.
Then less than a minute later Nick Paul cleaned up a rebound off after a fast rush into the zone to make it 3-2.
But Utica stopped the B-Sens’ momentum in its tracks, making it 4-2 on a net scramble of their own less than a minute after that, with Wacey Hamilton getting credit.
Utica reinstated the three goal lead before the end of the period off another offensive zone face off win.
A shot from the point missed the net and banged off the end boards, with Dave Dziurzynski winning a race to the puck and potting the rebound to make it 5-3 at the end of the second.
Sexton got his second goal of the game, a shorthanded marker, under 4:00 into the third. on a two-on-one rush with Mike Blunden.
Blunden forced a turnover at the Bellville blue line, pushed the play the other way and fed Sexton, who snapped a wrister low past Bachman to make it 5-3.
The B-Sens looked t get within one midway through the frame when a puck went in off the skate of Andreas Englund, but the goal was disallowed.
Sexton completed the hat-trick, rifling home a wrist shot on the power play to make it 5-4, but despite another late man advantage, couldn’t get even.
The loss leaves the Senators 19 points out of a playoff spot, with a little more than 20 games to play, while Utica’s win extends their run of games with a point to 16.
Next up for Belleville is another visit to Binghamton on Friday night, with 800 AM CJBQ’s coverage for Eastern Overhead Doors and Deerhaven Farm and Garden beginning at 6:50 p.m.,
You can click here to read the full box score from Monday and watch the highlights below.