Belleville 5, Binghamton 2

Wednesday night’s home opener was a fun one for the BSens, particularly in the early going before the game was completely out of hand. Just like the previous game against Manitoba the talented top line dominated and  scored three of the five goals before largely being sat out for much of the second half. Prior to the game we solved the mystery of the Aaron Luchuk scratches in Brampton, as the FA signee is apparently suffering from a concussion.

Belleville 5, Binghamton 2
Shots: 25-40
PP: 2-5
PK: 7-8
Goaltender: Mike McKenna (38-40)
Beauchemin (Batherson, Sieloff)
Wolanin (Paul, Balcers)
Balcers (Batherson, Paul) (pp)
Paul (Batherson, Balcers) (pp)
Rodewald (LaBate, Murray) (sh)

Binghamton arrived with a 3-1-0 record–wins over Toronto, Hartford, and Laval (their only loss was against Laval). Goaltender Cam Johnson was in net for three of those games and despite two wins did not have great numbers.

There was only one change to the lines, with Filip Chlapik out (injury) and Nick Paul in (returned from Ottawa). Christian Jaros had also been sent down, but was held out with the flu.

Special Teams
Other than the aforementioned switch nothing was different on the powerplay. The team is now 5-21 (23.8%), with four of those goals coming from the first unit.

The PK continues to give up goals, allowing one in each game this season. The personnel didn’t change much between games other than Chlapik‘s absence, Paul‘s addition, and the removal of Balcers from the rotation.
Much like Kurt Kleinendorst’s team last season, Troy Mann is leaning heavily on the Sieloff-Burgdoerfer pairing on the blueline for the tough minutes, with an ever-changing rotation otherwise (Wolanin is the only blueliner who is largely removed from the equation). At forward Rodewald and LaBate generally start the kill with the former getting the largest share of TOI.

Other Notes
-It was another great game from Drake Batherson, who didn’t play much in the second half once the game was essentially over–he has seven points in the last two games (eight on the year)–exactly the start you want to see from a top prospect in the minors
-It’s important to note how top-heavy the scoring is from the BSens: of the 13 goals scored this season 9 are from the top line (5-on-5 and PP), with only 2 from the other three (the remaining two goals are from the second unit PP and shorthanded). Long term I don’t think that’s sustainable and the team needs more production from the rest of the lineup (injuries and callups, clearly, are a factor)
-It’s a strange development that Rodewald has become an excellent faceoff guy–having spent his career on the wing and, in my memory, taking few faceoffs previously, I’m not sure where the skill came from, but it makes him a more useful player
McKenna continues to impress–when he was signed I thought we’d be going down the road of seasons past when the org signed a veteran goaltender on a downward slide (Danny Taylor last year, but there’s plenty more historically)–thus far he’s been excellent

All-in-all a fun game and I hope we see more of the same going forward. Given how trigger-happy the org is in pushing prospects into the NHL, I think the clock is ticking for how long we’ll get to enjoy Batherson at this level.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)



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