The Belleville Senators again couldn’t get over the .500 mark after a 3-1 loss to the Laval Rocket Wednesday night in Quebec.
Marcus Hogberg made 21 saves for Belleville while Andreas Englund scored. Nikita Jevpalovs, Hunter Shinkaruk and Alex Grenier scored for the Rocket while Michael McNiven made 18 saves.
After a goalless first period, the lone goal of the second period came from the hosts through Jevpalovs as he spun on his defender, Julius Bergman, and beat Hogberg with a spinning backhander for his fifth goal of the season at 13:09.
Head Coach Troy Mann.
Sports Director Jack Miller.
The Sens had a glorious chance to tie the game a few minutes into the final frame as debutant Tobias Lindberg skated in on a breakaway but couldn’t beat McNiven with his backhander. The Rocket would push its lead to 2-0 a few moments later at 5:36 as Shinkurak used Bergman as a screen to beat Hogberg from the slot for his third of the year.
Belleville got on the board with just 41.7 seconds left in the game through Englund as he threw a shot goal bound from the blue line that ended McNiven’s shutout bid but Grenier iced the game with 18 seconds left with an empty-net goal from his own end.
Shots were 9-7 Laval after 20 minutes with neither team creating a quality scoring chance: Belleville came closest through Chase Balisy on a centering pass from Lindberg while Hogberg stopped Shinkaruk on the power play on a shot from the left dot as both goaltenders looked comfortable in the opening period.
Aaron Luchuk, Justin Auger and Lindberg all made their Senator debuts tonight.