In what seemed to be a fitting coincidence, the Belleville Senators held their second ever Teddy Bear Toss night, hosting the Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins) on Saturday and finished their second game of a three-game weekend with a 3-2 win.
Filip Gustavsson ended up making 35 saves in the victory and says the more shots he gets, the more comfortable he feels and it was an important two points for the club.
There wasn’t a whole lot of action through the first 10:00 with both Gustavsson for Belleville and Dan Vladar for Providence stopping all of the shots they faced.
But at Joseph LaBate would bring the bears at 14:35 of the period, finishing a passing play from Chase Balisy and Gabriel Gagne, for his second of the season.
The teddy bear clean-up lasted under 5:00, with all of the bears collected being donated to the Belleville Professional Firefighters Toy Drive.
There was no more scoring in the frame.
The Bruins started the second playing with lots of energy and pace, but Gustavsson continued to be steady, making 22 saves to the 10:00 mark.
That strong goaltending would pay off with Belleville increasing it’s lead at 12:02.
Rudolfs Balcers became the first Senator to reach the ten goal mark this season, burying a pass from Jack Rodewald on the power play.
Paul Carey won the face off leading to the goal and earned an assist, his 200th career American Hockey League Point.
Carey didn’t take the milestone too seriously when asked post game about what it takes to reach that accomplishment.
Providence would get their first of the night about 3:00 later.
Cam Hughes won a neutral zone face off, skated into the Belleville zone and lofted a pass across to Zach Senyshyn, who found a hole on Gustavsson to make it 2-1.
But Belleville would get back the two goal lead at 17:36 after Rodewald slammed a one-timer wide of the net and Filip Chlapik chipped in the rebound off the end boards.
It was 3-1 Belleville after two periods.
Providence controlled the just about the whole third period and made the game closer with 2:34 to play, as Connor Clifton wired a high wrist shot past Gustavsson to make it 3-2.
But Belleville would survive the final Bruin’s Barrage and hang on for the win, moving themselves back to the .500 mark and improving to a perfect 9-0-0-0 when leading after two periods.
Head Coach Troy man felt it was an important win with the team set to head out on an eight game road trip.
That road trip starts Sunday in Toronto against the Marlies, with a a 3:50 p.m. broadcast time on 800 AM CJBQ, for Eastern Overhead Doors and Deerhaven Farm and Garden.