Belleville 5, Hartford 1; Belleville 2, Providence 3 (SO)

Friday night was another win for the BSens, as Thomas Chabot returned to the lineup. It was also an entertaining game to watch, even on AHL Live’s potato vision. Before my observations, here are the basics (you can see the box score here):
Shots: 28-35
PP: 1-6 (one that lasted about thirty seconds)
PK: 6-6 (including a brief 5-on-3)
Goaltender: Danny Taylor (I had him making eight key saves); Andrew Hammond was the backup

The Opposition
A good lineup with a couple of BSens connections in Matt Puempel (who was traded to Detroit after the game) and Cole Schneider.

The Goals
1. Rodewald bangs in a Jaros rebound
2. Hartford: broken play defensively–Englund went behind the net to retrieve the puck and both Chabot and Gagne went to the boards as the outlets–Chlapik collapsed behend the net to help Englund while Ciampini stood and no-man’s land leaving the front of the net wide open
3. Gagne with a nice tip
4. Jaros PP with a bullet (he and Lajoie had attempted the exact same play twice before; this time Perron made the pass)
5. Reinhart mini breakaway/deke off Ciampini steal
6. Randell into the empty net

Scoring chances (12): Paul (x2), Rodewald (x2), Reinhart (x2), Gagne, Perron, Englund, Jaros, Chlapik, Werek

The Roster
Chris Didomenico was called up to Ottawa (he played 5 minutes against Toronto), Mike Blunden returned from suspension (he was injured early in the game and is out long term), both Max McCormick and Vincent Dunn sat out due to suspensions, Francis Perron returned from the flu, Max Reinhart dressed (he missed the last game presumably due to injury or illness), Chabot returned and Jordan Murray was scratched. I also finally had it confirmed that Kyle Flanagan is out due to injury (concussion), as is Ben Sexton (not specified, but he’s with the team on the trip). Burgdoerfer, incidentally, was hurt in the first period and did not return.


With 11 forwards and the early injury to Blunden the forward lines changed–Chlapik joined the first line with Reinhart taking his spot on the third (Burgdoerfer’s injury meant more playing time for Chabot and Jaros, with Erkamps getting a more regular rotation).

Special Teams
Perron-Paul-Rodewald/Jaros-Lajoie (scored)
Werek-Chlapik-Gagne/Chabot-Erkamps (once)
Perron-Paul-Rodewald/Lajoie-Erkamps (once)
Werek-Chlapik-Gagne/Chabot-Jaros (once)
Reinhart-Ciampini/Chabot-Lajoie (scored)
Penalty Kill
Paul-Perron/Sieloff-Jaros (once)
Reinhart-Randell/Englund-Chabot (once)
Rodewald-Randell/Englund-Chabot (probably meant to be Reinhart-Randell, but Rodewald couldn’t get off for the change)
O’Brien/Englund-Sieloff (5-on-3)

Notable Plays
Paul made a steal that gave him a mini breakaway in the first (the play ultimately lead to Rodewald’s goal); Chlapik made a great cross-ice feed on the PP in the first, but the shot didn’t get to the net; he and Chabot had a nice give and go play later in that period; Chabot saved a goal, stopping a shot while Taylor was down and out; Chlapik set up O’Brien in the clear in the third, but he couldn’t get the shot off

Notable Blundens/Errors
Sieloff made a bad pinch in the first resulting in a 2-on-1 against; Burgdoerfer’s injury was entirely self-caused, as he went leg-on-leg with the Hartford player in the neutral zone; Werek couldn’t score on an empty net

Player Notes
Burgdoerfer: before he got hurt the only notable thing was a turnover
Erkamps: didn’t play a ton even when it dropped to six defenseman, but he did make a great defensive block late in the third
Sieloff: only notables were a bad pinch in the first and a failed clear in the third
Englund: mixed bag for the big Swede, with a bit of good and bad
Lajoie: bit of a quiet game for him; made a pass too hot to handle on a 3-on-1 along with a nice defensive play
Jaros: a strong game all around for him and he benefited from additional playing time
Chabot: wasn’t as dominant as his opening two AHL games, but didn’t need to be here and he was just as involved
Ciampini: two notable plays: asleep at the wheel defensively on the goal against, and then made the play that resulted in Reinhart’s goal
Blunden: hurt early without having done anything notable (his absence on the PK and PP didn’t hurt the team at all)
Randell: his empty net goal matches his production from all of last season–Randy Lee knows how to pick ’em!
Werek: league’s best player is passed a gimme by Chlapik but can’t figure out the empty net
O’Brien: typical Jimothy game–took a dumb penalty, failed to capitalized on offensive chances, but was solid defensively
Perron: looked a bit rusty and made a terrible turnover in front of his own net in the second, but there were a lot of positive signs
Gagne: starting to play a bit more and made a great tip on the goal, but otherwise largely invisible
Reinhart: did not play a whole lot, but the offensive tools are there
Chlapik: deserves a better fate–made a number of excellent passes that did not wind up in the back of the net–also pushed his scoring chance streak to five games
Rodewald: I was critical of signing him to a two year deal, but the early returns have been good–not just offensively, but defensively (albeit I’m sure he’d like an opportunity he had in the first back, where he shot the puck over the net from the slot)
Paul: rounding into form–showing good speed, puck control, and an ability to steal the puck from the opposition

This was a solid win for the BSens–while they didn’t dominate (despite the score) they were able to parlay strong goaltending and capitalizing on their chances into a convincing victory. The win came without many of their veterans (McCormick was suspended, Blunden and Burgdoerfer were both hurt in the first) and I’d like to hope Kleinendorst will refrain from his veteran-addiction that was so problematic in the opening two games (there was no sign of this in Saturday’s game, but I can hope whether it makes sense or not).

Saturday’s game saw more lineup changes (due to injury, returns from suspension, etc), but the winning streak came to an end as the BSens blew a 2-0 lead late in the third and lost in a shootout. The team showed signs of fatigue, but before my observations, here are the basics (you can see the box score here):
Shots: 27-41
PP: 1-3
PK: 4-4 (almost a minute of 5-on-3)
Goaltender: Andrew Hammond (I had him making six key saves); Danny Taylor backed him up

The Opposition
The Bruins are a talented team and dominated almost the entire game; of benefit to the BSens is that Providence started their third-string goaltender (for those keeping track this is the second time in six games where the BSens have faced a third-stringer–the other was their win against Hershey)

The Goals
1. PP Chabot bounces the puck off of Werek and in
2. Rodewald bangs in McCormick’s rebound
3. Providence: top of the circle shot beats Hammond high
4. Providence: broken play where Sieloff can’t control the stick of his man in front
Third Bruin scores, BSens go 0-3

Scoring chances (13): O’Brien (x2), Werek (x2), Perron (x2), Chabot, Paul, Chlapik, Rodewald, Lajoie, Jaros, Gagne

The Roster
Blunden, Flanagan, and Sexton are out with injuries (as are the almost forgotten Driedger and Colin White). McCormick and Dunn returned from suspension, while Burgdoerfer was also able to return; Erkamps was scratched and the team went with six defensemen for the first time since game three in Syracuse.

Perron spent most of the game on other lines, particularly replacing Ciampini on the third line. Chabot had the most ice time among defensemen, playing with a wide variety of partners (I think Sieloff is the only one he didn’t have a shift with).

Special Teams
Reinhart-Chlapik-Werek/Burgdoerfer-Chabot (scored)
Perron-Ciampini/Englund-Jaros (Burg was penalized at the time so Eng remained)
OT 3-on-3
O’Brien-Gagne/Chabot (Perron replaced Gagne with the other two unable to get off until a stoppage in play)
Penalty Kill
O’Brien-McCormick/Sieloff-Englund (Burgdoerfer was penalized so couldn’t be part of his usual rotation)
Perron-Randell/Sieloff-Englund (same notation as above)
McCormick/Sieloff-Englund (5-on-3)
McCormick (stopped), O’Brien (stopped), Rodewald (missed the net)
This is the most Chabot has been used on the PK and Jaros playing with him in that role is also new (the Slovak played with Sieloff in Burgdoerfer’s absence against Hartford, and with Englund prior to that). I’m not sure why Jaros hasn’t been moved to play with Chabot on the powerplay (Burgdoerfer is like a fish out of water on the powerplay and should be nowhere near the first unit or, really, the man advantage at all).

Notable Plays
Chabot saves a goal in the first (his second game in a row stopping a shot while his goaltender is out of the net–in this case Hammond lost the puck behind the net)

Notable Blunders/Errors
Despite being hemmed in their own zone for much of the game and committing a lot of turnovers, nothing in particular stands out as especially egregious

Randell was hurt early in the third, but eventually returned to action. Also of note, Providence had a goal in the third waived off for a high stick (this was before their first goal that counted).

Player Notes
Burgdoerfer: probably should have taken the night off after getting hurt the previous game (two bad turnovers and a dumb penalty on the night)
Sieloff: pretty standard game from him–nothing flashy, but largely dependable defensive play
Englund: also standard play (a turnover, a good defensive play–otherwise invisible)
Lajoie: quiet but solid
Jaros: other than a bad penalty had a very strong game
Chabot: a strong game offensively and defensively
Randell: what does he achieve?
Dunn: utterly invisible (played the least by far)
Ciampini: didn’t make any mistakes, so there’s that; one good steal
Gagne: not very noticeable other than a clear breakaway in OT
Reinhart: much like Dunn above he didn’t warrant any notation
Perron: best game of the year for him–fully healthy and showing off good hands and instincts; had a couple of steals along with scoring chances
O’Brien: good speed, zero hands–the song remains the same (no idea why he was used in the shootout)
McCormick: I still don’t think he belongs on the first unit powerplay or as an early shooter in the shootout, but he had a solid game
Chlapik: kept his scoring chance streak alive, but his game felt a bit hampered by his linemates
Werek: I’ve seen him enough to understand the kind of player he is–not a possession driver, but a net-crasher; he isn’t noticeable defensively and tends to turn the puck over if he holds onto it too long, but the former isn’t awful
Rodewald: average game for him–continued his goal scoring streak (he has a great shot)
Paul: a solid game from him, but not as dominant as the night before

Like a heroine addict Kleinendorst couldn’t resist putting McCormick on the ice as much as possible; there was also more O’Brien than made sense and it will be interesting to see if/when he plays them an appropriate amount (they ought to be in second line TOI territory–both are fine on the PK wherever you want them). It’s worth noting the three rookie defensemen were the strongest on the blueline. Because neither Dunn or Randell played much the team essentially played three lines for the second game in a row and I can only imagine how exhausted they will be for this afternoon’s tilt against Springfield.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



  1. […] Checkers and ultimately the game was won by the better team (it’s very reminiscent of the 3-2 shootout loss to Providence–blowing a lead late by a team that badly out-shot them). Before I get into my observations, […]

  2. […] lead so late in the third. This is not the first game where such a lead has been blown (they did so against Providence on October 21st), albeit just twice in a season isn’t a trend. The lineup changes are a […]

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