Belleville 5 Rochester 4 (OT)

The rematch with the Amerks was an entertaining game to watch (I caught it after the fact). Before I get into my observations, here are the basics (the boxscore):
Shots: 40-23
PP: 0-3
PK: 2-3
Goaltender: Andrew Hammond, who struggled (he made 7 key saves); Chris Driedger backed up, while Danny Taylor was scratched.

The Opposition
Rochester played their backup who, like Hammond, was also guilty of some bad goals. The team was also without veteren blueliner Redmond who was replaced by former Binghamton flameout Conor Allen (who was -3 on the night). So all-in-all, it was a weaker team.

The Goals
1. Chabot one-timer from the dot
2. Rochester – 3-on-2 shoots and scores 5-hole
3. Rochester – odd man rush hits the post and neither Gagne nor Englund can tie-up the man in front who bangs in the loose puck
4. Rochester PP – great pass through the crease beats Hammond 5-hole
5. Murray’s point shot goes in 5-hole (this was originally given to McCormick)
6. Rochester – Hammond beat 5-hole
7. Murray from a terrible angle down low
8. Perron bangs in flubbed Reinhart shot in front
9. Murray tips in Perron’s flip pass

Scoring chances (12): McCormick (x3, pp), Murray (x3), Perron (x2), Chabot, O’Brien (pp), Werek, Ciampini

The Roster
All the injured players remained out and with ECHL callup Walters already returned (I’m not sure what the story behind that is); instead Cody Donaghey was dressed but sat on the bench the entire game (zero shifts).

Lines
McCormick-O’Brien-Gagne
Perron-White-Chlapik
Ciampini-Reinhart-Werek
Dunn-Randell
Englund-Sieloff
Chabot-Burgdoerfer
Murray-Erkamps
Donaghey

This is the identical lineup and, as mentioned, Donaghey did not get a shift. Also of note, Werek took Perron’s spot on the second line early in the game (this helped the latter, not the former).

Special Teams
Powerplay
McCormick-Reinhart-O’Brien/Chabot-White
Gagne-Chlapik-Perron/Chabot-Burgdoerfer
Penalty Kill
McCormick-O’Brien/Sieloff-Englund
Perron-White/Sieloff-Englund
Perron-White/Murray-Englund (scored on)
Perron-White/Murray-Erkamps
Ciampini-Reinhart/Murray-Erkamps (once)

I’m not a big fan of the PP as currently configured–if McCormick and O’Brien are on the powerplay they should be on the second unit, but I don’t know what it will take to get Kleinendorst away from that (he gave up on Werek pretty quickly, but he knows the latter two from coaching them previously). Erkamps returns to the PK rotation, but really the combos are basically the same.

Notable Plays
Despite the huge volume of shots the BSens were guilty of missing open opportunities on numerous occasions (Reinhart in the first, O’Brien in the first and second, and Burgdoerfer and Chabot in the third). We also got the trademarked O’Brien OT maneuver from Burgdoerfer who pulled the puck out of the zone while having offensive pressure because reasons.

Player Notes
Erkamps: picked up his first point of the year and seemed more comfortable 5-on-5 than he has all season
Murray: a non-factor since being recalled from Brampton he exploded for a hat-trick (!); if he can in anyway start to consistently produce I’ll pat Randy Lee on the back for the signing–but one game isn’t quite enough for that
Englund: another day at the office for him
Sieloff: most notable play was taking a head shot from MacWilliams in the third; he’s lucky he was able to continue
Burgdoerfer: hasn’t had a point in five-games, is off the PK, but gets to play with Chabot–makes my head hurt a little
Chabot: pretty much back to form–not only did he get his first 5-on-5 point, but he was dominant and probably played 30 minutes on the night
Dunn: I know he played, but warranted no notations
Ciampini: invisible except for the play leading to the tying goal, so all things considered, that’s not bad
Randell: two of his teammates took nasty hits in the game and his response was… well he didn’t respond (nor did he do anything notable). He’s off the PK though, so that’s something
Werek: I mentioned earlier that he’d regress to the mean and that’s happening in a hurry (being off the PP doesn’t help), with just one assist in his last three games; he isn’t a good fit with Chlapik/White and I hope Kleinendorst doesn’t stick with that line
Reinhart: got off the schneid┬áin the previous game and picked up another point, which is what he’s on the team to do
Perron: was demoted down the lineup, but scoring did wonders for his confidence (he was definitely struggling prior to that goal)
White: is a funny player in that he’s hugely impacted by who he plays with–not a great fit with Werek–my only note for him the entire game was a turnover late in the third
Chlapik: had his point streak broken, but not for a lack of trying–made a great steal in the offense zone in the third to set up Chabot who walked up main street but missed the net; he did the same for Burgdoerfer later in the period who also missed
Gagne: showed off great speed, but the most notable moment was a terrible fall into the end boards in the third (I think the Amerk D might have helped him on his way)–he looked shook up, but was fine and played in OT
O’Brien: a solid game for Jimothy as he picked up another point, but he’s badly misplaced as a top center
McCormick: his assist still has him slightly behind his expected ppg (6 instead of 7) and he’s far behind his goal-scoring pace from both previous seasons (he’s about on par with his rookie year), this despite an enormity of ice time including the top powerplay unit

The BSens did well to come back from a pair of two-goal deficits and bail out the goaltender who has stood tall for them all season. There are still issues on the powerplay, which has only scored in one of the last seven games–the hypodermic needle marked “veteran-I-know” that Kleinendorst uses so often is still an impediment, although spreading out talented prospects (like Gagne) throughout the lineup helps. I was happy to see Erkamps play regularly as it’s simply too much of a burden to play five-defensemen night after night (he might as well play on the PK as well, as the results have been fine when he has). The team definitely needs a different player on White’s line–possibly Gagne, or even someone like Reinhart who can let the other two figure out possession for him.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

 

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