Story and photo by Matt Tidcombe/Belleville Senators.
The Belleville Senators were beaten in Allentown Friday night 4-1 by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Chase Balisy scored for Belleville while Filip Gustavsson made 22 saves. Lehigh Valley had goals from Carsen Twarynski (2), Greg Carey and Connor Bunnaman and while Carter Hart stopped 25 shots.
The Sens faced a Phantom onslaught in the first period that saw the hosts strike at 11:36 through Grey Carey as, on the power play, his initial shot was blocked before he laced the loose puck past Gustavsson for his 13th of the season.
The Phantoms nearly doubled its lead before the end of the frame as on the same power play they rung the iron twice as the Senators were outshot 9-6 in the first.
Belleville came out looking for a tying goal early in the second and Adam Tambellini nearly tied things up as he saw his wrister gloved by Hart on an odd-man rush. Sens rookie Aaron Luchuk, seeking his first career AHL goal, was also denied by the glove of Hart on a spinning shot from the slot as the Senators brought some pressure early into the second.
But the Sens found themselves in penalty trouble and with debutant Chris Carlisle, and then Pat Sieloff, both in the box, Bunnaman made it 2-0 Lehigh Valley on a 5-on-3 at 7:22.
Balisy would get the Sens on the board at 11:31 as he finished off a lovely passing play that had been set-up by Tambellini and Stuart Percy but the Phantoms would restore its two-goal lead with 3:08 left in the period as Twarynski took advantage of a Senators turnover to beat Gustavsson on a breakaway stick side.
The Sens took a little while to get going in the third and a shift from the team’s fourth line generated some chances with d-man Jonathan Racine coming ever so close to his second of the year as he wired a slap shot just past the post.
But Belleville would be undone moments later as Twarynski nabbed his second goal of the night with 9:37 to play to push the Phantoms lead to 4-1.
The Sens lost both contests to Lehigh Valley this season after falling 4-2 on Dec. 1 at CAA Arena.
Belleville is back in action Saturday when they play the Binghamton Devils. Broadcast time on CJBQ is 6:50.