The Belleville Senators needed overtime for the second game in a row as they picked up a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Toronto Marlies at CAA Arena on Friday night.
It was the third time they’d played the Marlies within a week and their second win against their divisional rivals over that stretch.
After coming off what Troy Mann described as a character win on Wednesday the coach said his team showed a lot of heart again on Friday.
The Senators got things started early again with Jack Rodewald scoring his fifth of the season and second in as many games 2:03 into the game.
The Winnipeg native finished off a nice passing play from Ben Sexton and Paul Carey, popping the puck into a half-empty net, on the power play.
Filip Gustavsson made his third straight start and was steady from the get go, making a save on a streaking Sam Gagner, who got in alone with a burst of speed.
Belleville had back-to-back chances near the end of the period as well, as Rudolfs Balcers got stopped in tight and then Carey’s slapper was turned away off the ensuing face off.
The B-Sens also killed off a pair of penalties in the period.
Toronto would come back to tie the game in the second period, but not before Belleville would add to the lead within the first 2:00 again.
Carey forced a turnover in the far corner of the Toronto zone, Adam Tambellini picked the puck out of the mini-scrum and fed it into the middle for Logan Brown, who beat Eamon McAdam upstairs.
It was the big rookie’s first pro goal in just his second game of the season, after missing more than a month with an injury.
Brown says he was able to get back into the rhythm of the game relatively quickly and was pleased to get his first goal.
The Marlies made it 2-1 a couple minutes later as Chris Mueller tapped in his seventh of the season, following some good pressure and extended his point streak to six games.
Then at 15:17, Gagner flipped a puck high into the neutral zone and it fell onto the stick of Pierre Engvall, who managed to control it and knock it past Gustavsson to tie the game 2-2.
Belleville would get an extended power play at the end of the period as well, with Jordan Subban taking a double-minor but couldn’t score.
The Sens came out flying in the third period, scoring two goals 17 seconds apart, within the first two minutes.
Jordan Murray netted his second of the season at the end of a set play, following a face off, with Jack Rodewald and Stuart Percy earning assists.
Rodewald would get in on the next goal as well, breaking away on a two-on-one with Christian Wolanin and teeing up a pass for the defender, who slammed it past McAdam, to make it 4-2.
Toronto ended up getting even before the end of the game, as Rasmus Sandin scored during a Percy double-minor and then Mueller redirected his second of the game by Gustavsson with just 14 seconds left, to force overtime.
It only took 2:30 for the B-Sens to end the game, with Wolanin picking the top corner, to give Belleville the two points and their first back to back wins since mid-October.
Wolanin credited his teammates with setting him up on his goals and says as a group, they worked harder than they did in an 8-2 loss to the Marlies last weekend
Belleville finishes the five game home stand on Saturday night when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) make their only visit to CAA Arena.
Game time is 7:05 p.m. with a 6:50 p.m. pregame show on 800 CJBQ, for Eastern Overhead Doors and Deerhaven Farm and Garden.
The B-Sens head out on a four game road trip after that, with a double-header in Charlotte against the Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) and single games in Utica (Vancouver Canucks) and Laval (Montreal Canadiens).
You can click here to read the game sheet from Friday night and see highlights below.