Rookie goaltender Filip Gustavsson proved he belongs in the American Hockey League on Saturday night, facing 45 shots and stopping all five shootout attempts against him, in a 3-1 Belleville win over Laval.
It was an exciting 12th meeting of 12 between the teams, in their inaugural seasons and coach Kurt Kleinendorst says a big win in Rochester Friday night may have caught up with them a bit.
Gustavsson made 13 saves in the first period, with Belleville going up 1-0 just past the 12:00 mark of the frame.
Boston Leier scored his fourth goal in the eighth game of his amateur tryout with the B-Sens, beating Charlie Lindgren with a wrist shot from the far circle off the rush.
Belleville gave their young netminder a two goal lead in the second period, with Max Lajoie finally netting his first pro goal, a low wrister from the point that pinballed off two sets of Laval skates and got by Lindgren.
Lajoie spoke to 800 CJBQ at the intermission about reaching the milestone and about the importance of working some offence into his game.
Gustavsson would make another 12 saves in the second period.
But traffic in front created some problems for the young Swede in the third.
After stopping Jordan Boucher on a breakaway 30 seconds into the frame and making another handful of saves up to the midway point of the period, a Matt Taormina point shot got tipped in front by Chris Terry to make it 2-1.
Then off a Laval offensive zone face off win by Adam Cracknell, Terry used a low wrist shot from along the far boards to tie the game 2-2.
Gustavsson still made another 14 saves in the period and five more in overtime.
On the other side, Lindgren made some pretty good saves of his own, stopping a driving Gabriel Gagne, then newcomer Parker Kelly on a break away and then a few Belleville chances right in front from Paul and Rodewald.
Gustavsson was perfect in the shootout stopping Antoine Waked, Terry, Cracknell, Boucher and Tye Felhaber.
Lindgren halted Leier, Gagne, Paul and Dziurzynski, before Jack Rodewald beat him with a backhander low along the ice to give Belleville the 3-2 win.
Kleinendorst added post game that Gustavsson was really the difference in the victory.
Also after the game, Saskatoon native Boston Leier addressed the tragic fatal bus crash involving the Jr. A Humboldt Broncos, which happened not far from his hometown, telling those affected to stay strong and that the entire hockey family is behind them.
The B-Sens held a moment of silence to mark the tragedy prior to puck drop.
Belleville is off until next weekend when they’ll play three games in three nights to finish the season.
Friday at Rochester, Saturday at home to Utica and then Sunday in Toronto.
You can click here to see the boxscore from Saturday night and see the highlights below.