Belleville 1, Springfield 2; Belleville 5, Rochester 1; Belleville 3, Laval 2 (OT)

Kleinendorst

Three more games are in the books for the BSens and, with Kleinendorst forced to play prospects, the team’s results are improving (4-4-0 in their last eight). The coach’s erratic decisions still impact special teams, but with his fate sealed one way or another (I think Randy Lee will let him go to provide a scapegoat for yet another year of incompetence in the AHL) there’s less need for Kurt to ram underperforming vets down our collective throats (for those who missed it, incidentally, check out my March report on the team). Here’s a look at the games:

Belleville 1 Springfield 2
Boxscore
Shots: 34-26
PP: 0-7 (including a short 5-on-3)
PK: 3-5
Scoring chances: 15
Key saves: 4
The Goals
1. Springfield PP – top-shelf through a crowd
2. Springfield PP – shot floats between Gustavsson’s arm and body
3. Gagne bangs in a loose puck in front with the goalie pulled

Notable plays: Formention driving the net to draw a penalty (first); Sieloff can’t make a pass so Formenton misses the opportunity for a breakaway; Rodewald takes a puck to the face and goes down (second; stays in the game); Springfield hits the post (second); Paul hits the post (great feed from Formenton; third)

Belleville 5 Rochester 1
Boxscore
Shots: 29-33
PP: 2-6
PK: 4-5
Scoring chances: 9
Key saves: 12
The Goals
1. Rochester PP – through the legs from the slot
2. Kelly scores on a breakaway shorthanded
3. Leier tips in a one-timer from the point
4. Paul bangs in a loose puck in front
5. PP Rodewald scores from the slot
6. PP Paul scores short side top-shelf from the dot

Notable plays: Formenton injured (first); Sturtz pulled down on a partial breakaway (second); Amerks hit the crossbar (second); Ciampini boarded (second; he was okay); Leier can’t make the pass on a 2-on-1 (third)

Belleville 3 Laval 2 (OT)
Boxscore
Shots: 33-45
PP: 0-2
PK: 3-3
Scoring chances: 9
Key saves: 9
The Goals
1. Leier scores using the D as a screen
2. Lajoie’s floater bounces in off two Laval D
3. Laval with a tip in front
4. Laval off a draw (wrister through traffic)
Rodewald with the shootout winner (deke)

Notable plays: Laval hits the crossbar (second); great pass by Paul to Moutrey who can’t connect his stick to the puck (second); terrible turnover by Selleck requires a great save from Gustavsson (third); Rodewald hits the post (third); Sturtz accidentally clips Moutrey with his stick (third)

Shootout
Gustavsson stops deke
Leier loses control of the puck on the deke
Gustavsson stops deke
Gagne stopped on slapper
Gustavsson stops a shot for the five hole
Paul loses control on the deke
Gustavsson stops deke
Dziurzynski stopped on a wrister
Gustavsson stops a shot high far side
Rodewald scores on a deke

Thoughts: both goaltenders played well (Gustavsson didn’t have much to do in the loss, but was very good in his win; Hogberg had his best start since shutting out Rochester way back in February). Since Mike Blunden‘s injury the forward groupings on the PK have been incredibly varied and that’s become the case both on the powerplay and with the defense on the PK as the pressure to play younger players continues.

Individual notes:
Ryan Scarfo continues not to impress (12-0-1-1) despite a ton of opportunity
Boston Leier, who I was iffy on to start with, was rounding into form offensively (8-4-2-6) when the team released him so he could finish school; definitely needs work defensively, but there’s more potential there than I thought initially
-Four periods of Alex Formenton left me wanting more–the BSens are a slow team and his speed made a big difference
-I’ve been happy with Parker Kelly thus far–hard to judge a guy whose center is Dizzy, but good speed and hands in the limited viewing thus far
Andrew Sturtz looked good playing with Formenton, but since has been largely invisible
Daniel Ciampini has been playing regularly down the stretch and done his future prospects in the AHL no favours as he’s slumped horribly (no points in eight games)
-Speaking of disasters, you can see why Columbus was eager to dump Nick Moutrey (13-1-1-2), who despite all sorts of opportunities has no offensive ability whatsoever
-Org favourite Tyler Randell was happily out of the lineup for four games, but re-emerged to do nothing against Laval (he was, at least, kept off the PK)
Eric Selleck continues to play like Eric Selleck (15-2-1-3) and for a supposed enforcer has remained invisible when other teams take shots at his teammates (most notably in the game that cost Ben Sexton the rest of the season)–he’s still getting PK time for reasons unknown
-I thought Macoy Erkamps had been banished from the lineup forever, but inexplicably he played against Laval after being scratched the last nine games (he can’t skate and has no hands, so I’m not sure why they bothered)
-I was happy to see Max Lajoie finally get a goal–well deserved in game 53 for a guy with talent who has been jerked around much of the season
-Poor Christian Jaros–he was on for both powerplay goals the team scored against Rochester, but then barely played on the PP vs Laval
-I mentioned when the team acquired David Dziurzynski that he doesn’t really move the needle and despite an ocean of ice time he’s had just one assist in his last five games
Nick Paul continues to lobby for a future contract as his hot streak continues (24-11-7-18)–I’m not convinced that’s enough for us to ignore his horrendous first half
-Kleinendorst appears to be working hard to help Jack Rodewald out by giving him a ton of ice time which has him finally pulling in slightly better numbers (16-6-2-8)
Andreas Englund‘s recall made no sense, but didn’t impact the team

Just three games remain in the season and the questions about what will happen going forward abound. My guess is that we’ll be stuck with Randy Lee for yet more terrible GMing at this level, but with what coach is (I think) an open question. Randy is only happy with coaches who share his outdated notions however, so I’m not anticipating an enlightened hire.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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