For the second night in a row, the Belleville Senators took a lead, but couldn’t hold it.
The B-Sens dropped a 4-1 decision to the Toronto Marlies in the eight round of the AHL’s Battle of Ontario.
Belleville’s Head Coach Kurt Kleinendorst tells Quinte News it was still a gutsy effort by his team, finishing a three game in three day stretch.
Belleville got on the board first midway through the opening frame when Andreas Englund jumped into the rush, took a feed from Tyler Randell and slid it between the legs of Garret Sparks.
Englund says it was nice to get his first goal, but the bigger picture is that the team continues to struggle, which is frustrating.
But the trend of taking bad penalties at bad times continued, as Ethan Werek went off for tripping moments later and it was costly.
During that power play, Trevor Moore snapped home a shot from the slot, to finish off a passing play from Ben Smith and Chris Mueller and tie the game 1-1.
Belleville almost jumped ahead with less than 3:00 left, but Sparks made a pair of point blank saves off Jack Rodewald and Gabriel Gagne, who had also come close on a partial break away early in the game.
In the second the Marlies came out flying.
Toronto made a quick push into the Belleville zone off the opening face off of the period’s first face off, eventually working the puck around the outside, with Justin Holl finding a hole on Taylor with a low wrist shot from the point to make it 2-1.
The Marlies took a two goal lead on another power play marker at 14:36, with Vincent LoVerde blowing his third of the season by Taylor. A long, hard slap shot from the far circle.
Toronto outshot the B-Sens 22-4 in the period and led 3-1 after 40 minutes.
The Senators had long run out of gas before the third started and Toronto tacked on one more less than five minutes in.
Andreas Borgman forced a turnover at the Belleville blue line, toe dragged around a defender and ripped a wrister high glove side on Taylor, who finished the game with 47 saves on 51 shots.
Garret Sparks made 16 saves on just 15 shots.
While the team is still mathematically in the playoff picture, Kleinendorst admits it doesn’t look good, but says there’s still plenty to play for.
Belleville is off until Friday when they head to Laval for a back-to-back road double-header with the rocket.
800 AM CJBQ has complete coverage of both games starting at 7:20 p.m. on Friday and 6:50 p.m. on Saturday.