Story courtesy Matt Tidcombe
The Belleville Senators were beaten 4-2 by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their first ever visit to Allentown.
Marcus Hogberg made 11 saves in the Belleville goal through two periods before being replaced by Filip Gustavsson who stopped nine shots while Jordan Murray and Jack Rodewald scored. Greg Carey, Colin McDonald, Mike Vecchione and Cole Bardreau scored for Lehigh Valley while Dustin Tokarski turned away 27 shots.
In a period the Senators dominated, outshooting the Phantoms 14-4, they were outdone by an odd man rush that saw Carey notch his 30th goal of the year on a wrister that Hogberg got a good chunk of but not enough to keep the puck from getting over the goal line at 12:10. The Sens’ best opportunity came through Nick Moutrey who was denied on the edge of the crease by a sliding Tokarski after a great feed by Nick Paul.
McDonald pushed the Phantoms lead to 2-0 at 9:56 of the second period on the power play as he slid a shot through Hogberg from the left faceoff circle for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Hogberg would come up with a big left pad save late in the period to keep the deficit at 2-0 as he stuffed Radel Fazleev on a breakaway after he had served a penalty but he would be beaten with 7.8 seconds left in the period on an odd man rush as after Ville Pokka slipped at the offensive blue line, Vecchione beat Hogberg low with a wrist shot.
The Sens mounted a comeback in the third as Murray scored his eighth goal of the year 7:22 into the third as on an odd man rush as he wristed a shot past Tokarski but on the same play, Sens forward Ben Sexton was injured behind the play and had to be helped off the ice.
The Sens got within a goal with 10:37 left as Rodewald buried his 12th of the year as he finally wacked in a centering pass after a few attempts to cut the Phantoms lead to 3-2.
Bardreau would score an empty-net goal with 28.1 seconds left to make it 4-2 Lehigh Valley.
Sens defenceman Max Lajoie played in his 50th career AHL game.
Belleville is back in action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as they welcome the Springfield Thunderbirds to the Yardmen for the very first time. CJBQ has coverage for Eastern Overhead Doors and Deerhaven Farm & Garden beginning at 6:50 p.m.