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 Belleville Senators

Sogaard Stops 38, Matinpalo Scores Twice, As Belleville Beats Rochester For Fifth Straight Win

April 12, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Belleville Senators News Release

Rochester Americans' Graham Slaggert versus Belleville Senators' Zack Ostapchuk
Rochester Americans' Graham Slaggert versus Belleville Senators' Zack Ostapchuk
(Belleville Senators, Credit: Rochester Americans)

BELLEVILLE, ON - The Belleville Senators earned a fifth consecutive win and tightened their grip on the final playoff spot in the North Division with a 6-3 win over the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena on Friday night.

The B-Sens were first on the board, with Zack Ostapchuk starting things off by firing a wrist shot past Devon Levi just past the midway point of the period, with three seconds left on a Senators power play. Then, just 23 seconds later Nikolas Matinpalo tossed a puck to the net and it snuck between Levi's pads to make it 2-0 Senators after one period. The Sens took the lead despite being outshot 9-6 in the frame.

Rochester answered back with two second-period goals to tie the game. The first, from Graham Slaggert just:35 seconds in, and the second just past the seven-minute mark, when mAson Jobst scored on a one-timer during a lengthy Amerks two-man advantage. Rochester peppered the Senators' net with 22 shots in the frame, but those two goals were the only blemishes on Sogaard through 40 minutes.

Matinpalo would tack on another goal in similar fashion just 2:20 into the third period, firing another long shot that eluded Levi. Josh Currie would score on a power play less than two minutes later to increase the lead to 4-2. The Amerks would pull the goaltender, leading to a Tyler Kleven empty net goal, before Rochester got one back just inside the final minute by way of a Justin Richards wrist shot. Wyatt Bongiovanni capped the scoring with another empty netter in the dying seconds.

The Senators now lead the Laval Rocket by four points for the last postseason berth and still hold a game in hand, plus will play two games against the Rocket to finish the season. Belleville can extend its lead further with another win over Rochester on Saturday, when the two teams meet again at Blue Cross Arena, coupled with a Laval loss in Cleveland.

Fast Facts:

#4 Jacob Larsson collected his 24th assist of the season and is now on a three-game point streak (three assists).

#5 Wyatt Bongiovanni scored his 13th goal of the season and now has three goals over his past two games.

#8 Tarun Fizer picked up his third assist of the season.

#10 Zack Ostapchuk scored on the power play for his 17th goal of the season.

#13 Egor Sokolov notched his 25th assist of the season.

#14 Rourke Chartier collected his fourth and fifth assists of the campaign.

#17 Stephen Halliday picked up another assist, extending his point streak to four games (four assists).

#18 Josh Currie extended his point streak to three games (two goals, one assist) by scoring his 12th goal of the season on the power play.

#21 Max Guenette was credited with his 27th assist of the season.

#25 Tyler Kleven picked up his fifth goal and 16th assist of the season.

#33 Lassi Thomson collected his 15th assist of the season.

#40 Mads Sogaard stopped 38 of 41 shots to earn his 16th win of the season and was named the game's second star.

#52 Nikolas Matinpalo scored his third and fourth goals of the season and was named the game's first star.

The Senators were 2/2 on the power play and 2/3 on the ViewTech Window and Door Penalty Kill.

Sound Bytes:

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on Mads Sogaard's 38 save performance:

"I don't think we let the score trick us, Mads Sogaard was the difference in the hockey game. He was outstanding to start the game, with two huge saves, and then the game got away from us in the second and he held us in there. Without him, that's a different hockey game, but we'll take the win, for sure."

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on Nikolas Matinpalo's two-goal game:

"It's neat, when you shoot the puck, big things happen. But, he's been pretty steady for us and now with Heater out, he'll have an elevated role in defending against the top two lines. I thought he was good tonight, and it's nice to see a defensive-minded guy get rewarded."

Belleville Sens defender Nikolas Matinpalo on the win:

"I think it was a good game for us and the first and third periods were our best. The second was a little bit hard, but Sogy played really well and we played good defence. So, it was a good game."

Belleville Sens defender Nikolas Matinpalo on scoring twice:

"I was just shooting at the net, playing a simple game and good things happen sometime."

Belleville Sens defender Nikolas Matinpalo on his defensive play:

"Of course, we have good defensive players on our team, so that's helped a lot and I've been watching a lot of video, so that helps a lot too."

Full media availabilities are below.

Up Next:

Saturday April 13, 2024 @ Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres) - 5:05 p.m.

Wednesday April 17, 2024 vs Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) - 7:00 p.m. (Winning Wednesday)

Friday April 19, 2024 vs Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens) - 7:00 p.m. (Fan Appreciation Game presented by BOQRMB)

Ticket Info:

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games for the remainder of the 2023-24 season are now on sale online, via Ticketmaster or the Belleville Sens Ticket Hub, by visiting the Belleville Sens Box Office at the Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre, or by emailing [email protected]. Box Office hours are available.

Fans can also click the following links for more information on season seat memberships, flex packs, group experiences or Business Elite memberships, or send an email to [email protected].

Images from this story

Rochester Americans' Graham Slaggert versus Belleville Senators' Zack Ostapchuk
Rochester Americans' Graham Slaggert versus Belleville Senators' Zack Ostapchuk

(Rochester Americans)

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