B-Sens fly past Rocket to open three-in-three weekend

It was a matter of quality rather than quantity for the Belleville Senators, as they mustered just 18 shots but scored seven times, in a 7-2 win against the Laval Rocket at CAA Arena.

The victory kicked off a three-game-in-three-night stretch for the B-Sens, who will host Providence (Boston Bruins) on Saturday and visit Toronto (Toronto Maple Leafs) on Sunday.

Neither team had a shot within the first 4:30 of the game, but Laval would score on just their second, with Jake Evans deflecting in a pass out of the corner from right in front of the net.

Belleville would answer half a minute later, on their first shot of the night, with Rudolfs Balcers wiring home a power play wrist shot from the far circle, past Etienne Marcoux.

Marcus Högberg made a handful of good saves in the period for Belleville, who were outshot 9-2 in the frame.

Belleville Senators forward Rudolfs Balcers makes a pass during a game against the Laval Rocket, at CAA Arena, on December 7, 2018. (Photo: Jason Scourse / Belleville Senators)

The B-Sens turned the tide early in the second period, starting just over a minute in, with Stefan Elliott scoring in his Belleville debut.

The defender, who was acquired by the Senators in a trade with Pittsburgh earlier in the week, rifled in a wrist shot from the far circle on the rush.

Elliott says he felt he fit in quite well and was happy to contribute in his first game for the Senators.

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At 3:18 Paul Carey made it three goals on four shots for Belleville, knocking home a rink-wide saucer pass from Jack Rodewald to make it 3-1, leading Rocket coach Joel Bouchard to pull Marcoux in favour of Michael McNiven.

The Senators would score on another cross-ice pass at 10:55 with Boston Leier feeding Daniel Ciampini.

Ciampini had been called up from Brampton earlier in the day and buried his first of the season to stretch the lead to three goals.

Belleville would get two more before the end of the second.

With under 5:00 left, the B-Sens worked the puck around on the power play, Stuart Percy zipped a pass down towards the goal and Rodewald tipped it home.

Then at 17:06, Balcers got his second of the game on another two-on-one, with the pass coming from Adam Tambellini.

It was 6-1 Belleville after 40 minutes.

Senators Head Coach Troy Mann told media after the game, he was straight with his team at the first intermission, telling them they didn’t play well at all and felt they responded.

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Laval would get one goal back about 4:00 into the third, when Evans hit Nikita Jevspalovs in the shot and he snapped a shot past Högberg.

But Belleville would re-instate the five goal lead less than two minutes later.

Logan Brown started and finished the play, by tapping in a pass from Pat Sieloff to earn his fourth point of the game.

He says he and Balcers, who also had four points, developed some quick chemistry in their first game playing together.

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Balcers, Brown and Carey were named the game’s three stars.

You can click here to read the Friday night box score and see highlights below.