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 Belleville Senators

B-Sens Beaten By Amerks To Finish Two-Game Set In Rochester

April 13, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Belleville Senators News Release

BELLEVILLE, ON - The Belleville Senators have battled through plenty of adversity this season and they had to do the same again in Rochester on Saturday night, though they fell 8-2 to the Americans. Belleville was playing without their top three defensemen, with Dillon Heatherington, Jacob Larsson and Max Guenette all out, as they finished a three-game road trip.

The Americans may also have had a bit of a "burr in their saddle" after Friday's loss to Belleville, as they came flying out of the gate. Isak Rosen and Mason Jobst would score two minutes apart, inside the first five minutes of the game. Rosen added another at 11:06, leading to Kevin Mandolese being pulled from the game in favour of Leevi Merilainen. Zach Metsa made it 4-0 Rochester inside the final minute of the period.

Rochester added two more goals in the second period, both via special teams, even though Belleville had a 12-5 shot advantage and four power plays of their own. Amerks Captain Michael Mersch potted a power play marker at 13:39, then Jiri Kulich beat Merilainen on a shorthanded breakaway at 17:05 to extend the lead to 6-0 after 40 minutes.

Kulich scored his second of the game early in the third period before Belleville spoiled Devon Levi's shutout bid through a top-shelf wrist shot from Wyatt Bongiovanni at 8:48. The B-Sens got another one back from Kyle Betts a few minutes later, but Rochester would add on to their lead with Kulich completing his hat-trick at 13:20.

The Senators now prepare to host the North-leading Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday at CAA Arena, before welcoming the Laval Rocket on Friday, then visiting Laval on Saturday to finish the regular season. As of the conclusion of Saturday's game, Belleville still had a four point lead over Laval for the final playoff spot in the division.

Fast Facts:

#5 Wyatt Bongiovanni scored his 14th goal of the season. He has four goals over his last three games.

#11 Kyle Betts netted his 5th goal of the season.

#17 Stephen Halliday collected an assist for the fifth consecutive game.

#31 Kevin Mandolese stopped 2 of 5 shots he faced to start the game.

#32 Oskar Pettersson recorded his fourth assist of the season.

#35 Leevi Merilainen stopped 17 of 22 shots he faced in a relief appearance.

The Senators were outshot 27-22.

Belleville went 0/4 on the power play and 2/3 on the ViewTech Window and Door Penalty Kill.

Sound Bytes:

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on Saturday's loss:

"I thought the guys have battled extremely hard and won those five games in a row to get themselves in the position that they are. If you look at the injuries we took this trip, to lose your top three defensemen in Heatherington, Guenette and Larsson, it's a big hole to fill. It was a valiant effort by the guys."

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on the outlook moving into the final three games of the season:

"The game was what it was, I feel bad for our goaltenders because they've been outstanding for us and won us they've won us games as recently as yesterday, so it's not on them. It's a group thing, it's a team thing, it always is. Just recognize that on this road trip, we went two-for-three and got ourselves above that line. So, this one's over and we start to focus on Wednesday."

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