Belleville 3, Binghamton 2 (OT); Belleville 1, Bridgeport 3

Another pair of games are in the books so here are my thoughts (incidentally, my PK piece is almost done–all the leg work is completed, I just need to wrap it up). They were games of contrast, as the BSens looked competent against the struggling Devils, but were outclassed by the speedy and aggressive Sound Tigers (wtf is a sound tiger anyway?).

Belleville 3, Binghamton 2 (OT)
Shots: 31-38
PP: 1-3
PK: 4-5
Scoring chances: 9
The Goals
1. Binghamton – low wrist shot from the point is tipped in
2. PP – Paul nice tip in front
3. Binghamton PP – rebound banged in (Blunden is too slow to get there for coverage)
4. Erkamps floats one in through a screen
Werek scored the only goal in the shootout (as the fourth shooter)

It was another solid effort from Danny Taylor, who seems to be back to his expected form (sitting out nine games either allowed him to get healthy or get his game in order–hey Randy Lee–move the guy while you can!). Sexton looked good in his return to the lineup, although we still saw too much Blunden and Randell remains dressed (always a failing). Sieloff’s return to the lineup also helped; ECHLer Corrin may not have played a shift in the game (by the time I started looking he wasn’t playing).

Notable plays: Sexton hit the crossbar (second); Taylor bails out Burgdoerfer (second); Rodewald misses the net on a 2-on-1 (nice pass by Chlapik; second–thus this Tweet); Gagne scores on a tip, but it’s waived off (goalie interference; second); Rodewald hurt via a crosscheck in front of the net (second; he would miss the next game); Sieloff misses the net in the slot (second); Taylor bails out Englund who got turned into a pylon (second); Chlapik misses the net from the high slot (third); Harpur passes to the wrong team (OT).

Belleville 1, Bridgeport 3
Shots: 25-27
PP: 1-2
PK: 5-5 (including a 4-on-3 and 5-on-3)
Scoring chances: 6
The Goals
1. Bridgeport – bang in a loose puck
2. Bridgeport – wrist shot from the slot
3. Bridgeport – cross crease pass banged in (Blunden just can’t keep up on the backcheck)
4. PP Chlapik bangs in a centering pass

Taylor was solid in net, but there was no need to play him in back-to-back games (what’s the point of having three other goaltenders if you aren’t going to play them?). Kleinendorst may be feeling the heat to get the team into the playoffs, but Taylor hasn’t shown any ability to win in this scenario so it smacks of desperation.

Bridgeport showed great speed and pressure, which was fun to watch (don’t let the close shot clock fool you, this game was not close). I will say the camera set-up for their arena is terrible–it’s so far back it made it really hard to see the jersey numbers; the Bridgeport play-by-play guy said what no one is saying in Belleville: the lack of discipline by team leaders is a huge problem (both Blunden and McCormick were guilty of taking selfish, stupid penalties). Once again I’m not sure how much or if Corrin played.

Almost no notable plays: Blunden erases a potential powerplay by taking a penalty on the delayed call (second); Gagne with a great deke through traffic that’s stymied by the goaltender; O’Brien misses the net on a 2-on-1 with Chlapik; McCormick takes a dumb penalty in the third (a pointless crosscheck off a faceoff).

Filip Chlapik’s return has been a blessing for the underperforming Nick Paul and the team’s powerplay, but the BSens are 1-4-1 and despite being in an awful division show no signs of the kind of run they’d need to make it to the playoffs (barring the hockey gods sending Thomas Chabot back).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)


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