Belleville 0, Hershey 3; Belleville 4, Utica 5

We have two more losses in the books for the BSens who are playing out the string for the remainder of the season. Colin White’s return to the team has him playing on the third line (for whatever reason); he is, at least, getting plenty of special teams time. First up, the loss to Hershey.

Boxscore
Shots: 28-24
PP: 0-2
PK: 3-3
Scoring chances: 14
Key saves: 12
The Goals
1. Hershey – untouched Bear beats Hogberg with a wrist shot from inside the faceoff dot
2. Hershey – wide open in the slot as Randell gets puck watching
3. Hershey – Empty-net from behind their own blueline

Notable plays: Blunden goes down and straight to the room, but returns soon after (second); Paul blows a 3-on-2 with an offside pass (second); Chlapik with a couple of great feeds for scoring chances (third).

This was not a particularly entertaining game and despite the relatively high volume of scoring chances the BSens had limited zone time and were stuck counter punching.

Belleville 4, Utica 5

One of the more entertaining games to watch of the season, despite the loss. Danny Taylor’s play, which had been on the decline since his stellar game February 2nd (against lackluster Binghamton; going 1-3-0 .893 2.94 since) was pulled after the first as the bottom fell out (Hogberg actually ate the loss however, as the BSens unexpectedly scored a bunch in the game). Speaking of Hogberg, since being pulled in the 7-4 loss to the Marlies his numbers are back in form (.916 2.55).

Ben Sexton had the team’s second hat trick of the season (Jordan Murray with the first way back in November), along with the second four-point game of the season (Jack Rodewald had the other, also in November). All of Belleville’s goals were on special teams (three powerplay goals and a shorty).

Boxscore
Shots: 34-38
PP: 3-8
PK: 2-2
Scoring chances: 13
Key saves: 3/4
The Goals
1. Utica – score off a scrambled faceoff
2. Utica – wrister from the top of the circle
3. Utica – Blunden runs a Utica player into Taylor and with part of the net open the Comets score
4. PP – Sexton’s cross-crease pass deflects in off the defender (5-on-3 goal)
5. PP – Paul bangs in White’s rebound
6. Utica – Hogberg baubles the puck and loses it and Utica bangs it in
7. Utica – a wide shot bounces off the back boards and the Comets bang it in
8. SH Sexton scores shooting on a 2-on-0 (Blunden skated behind him because he couldn’t keep up, so there wasn’t a pass option)
9. PP Sexton goes shelf from the dot (this was with the goalie pulled as well)

Notable plays: Utica has a 5-on-2 but overpass and don’t get a shot (first); 2-on-1 White can’t make the pass (first); Englund kicks in Paul’s rebound (third; disallowed, obviously, but it would have been his first goal of the year); with 20 seconds left in the game and needing a goal…the BSens make a line change? Bizarre.

One of the things I’ve been harping on all season is Kleinendorst’s preference to play favourites on the powerplay–of late this has been reduced to the second unit and that unit hasn’t scored a goal in 10 games (versus the first scoring eight). We’re also hitting absurd with or without you numbers for Max McCormick on the PK (12-13 over five games, or 92.3% (vs 170-221/76.9% with him))–Ary gave him a shoutout in his last prospect piece and I’ll just repeat what I’ve always said about him: in limited duty, in his role, he’s at best a marginal NHL player.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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