Sens edged by Utica in North Division match-up
The Belleville Senators fought back from a deficit on two occasions Saturday night but couldn’t find a third period equalizer in a 4-3 defeat to the Utica Comets.
Belleville had goals from Nick Paul, Jim O’Brien and Max McCormick while Danny Taylor stopped 20 shots. The Comets collected goals from Andrew Cherniwchan, Cameron Darcy, Justin Taylor and Zack MacEwen while Thatcher Demko made 24 saves.
The Comets jumped out to a 2-0 lead, scoring twice in a 1:47 span as Cherniwchan opened the scoring at 6:30 before Darcy made it 2-0 as he found a loose puck after it had squirted out in front of the goal.
But Belleville got on the board before the first intermission through Paul’s sixth of the year as he redirected Jordan Murray’s point shot on the power play at 10:52.
Belleville would grab its equalizer 6:51 into the second on O’Brien’s 12th of the year as he wired a one-timer pass Demko for the 100th goal of his AHL career.
Utica would restore its lead 3:08 later through Taylor’s first career AHL goal as the puck came loose around the Senators net for Taylor to beat his fellow namesake.
Undetered, Belleville came back again through McCormick as his wicked wrister from the slot flew past Demko for his eighth of the season to make it a 3-3 game.
But MacEwen would notch the game-winning goal in the second as he buried a rebound after Taylor had made the original save on Philip Holm at 14:23.
Belleville mustered just five shots on goal in the third period as they weren’t able to sustain much pressure on their opponents and find that equalizer for a third time.
Max Lajoie returned to the Senators line-up after missing the previous eight games due to injury.
Belleville is back in action on Wednesday they travel to Laval to face the Rocket. The Senators are back home Friday against the Toronto Marlies before hosting the Hershey Bears the following night and the Comets on Feb. 19. Tickets are available by clicking here.