The Belleville Senators welcomed the rival Toronto Marlies to the Yardmen arena for the sixth and final time on Friday night, Toronto’s third visit to the Friendly City in less than three week, and it ended with Toronto picking another 4-2 victory.
There was no score through the first 7:00, with Marcus Hogberg settling in nicely, stopping some shots through traffic.
Belleville couldn’t be Garret Sparks on a couple of net-crashing plays early, but did break through just shy of the 9:00 mark.
Ethan Werek picked off a breakout pass at the Toronto blue line, cut to his left and picked the top corner over Sparks’ blocker side shoulder.
It was Werek’s 10th goal of the season and his first since January 10, made it 1-0, which stood up to the end of the period.
Toronto struck three times quickly to open the second period.
Inside of 2:00 Vincent LoVerde pinched to the bottom of the near circle and hammered a rebound by Hogberg, just as a penalty to Christian Jaros expired, tying the game 1-1.
Then, on the Marlies’ second power play, Adam Brooks finished off a nice passing play to make it 2-1 and a couple minutes after that, Miro Aaltonen deposited a drop pass by Hogberg on an odd man rush, to put Toronto ahead by two after two.
Belleville had a pair of early chances in the third and another mid-period on the power play, but Sparks continued to be stingy.
The Marlies picked up one more goal around the 13:00 mark, with Ben Smith poking a puck in from the edge of the crease, off an extended cycle, which wore down the Belleville defence.
The B-Sens would get one more consolation goal with 14 seconds left, as Colin White shovelled in a backhand off a rebound from a Ville Pokka shot, for his first goal in 16 games.
Head Coach Kurt Kleinendorst told media post game he was pleased with his team’s start, but wasn’t sure where the second period lull came from.
Boston Leier made his professional debut after signing an amateur tryout earlier in the week and says there it was quite an adjustment from Canadian university hockey, where he played four seasons with the Acadia Axemen.
The Senators continue a busy weekend Saturday afternoon with a rematch against Toronto and then finish the three-in-three weekend on Sunday afternoon at home to Laval.
Saturday’s game can be heard on 800 CJBQ starting at 3:50 p.m., with Sunday’s coverage at 2:50 p.m., on “First Responders Night” at Yardmen Arena.