Drake Batherson scored his first professional hat-trick as the Belleville Senators beat the Laval Rocket 6-3 at CAA Arena.
Belleville’s Filip Gustavsson made 20 saves while Stefan Elliott, Nick Paul and Filip Chlapik also scored. Michael McNiven stopped 12 shots, as did Charlie Lindgren in relief, while Alex Kile (2) and Michael Pezzetta scored.
The Senators took just 2:12 to open the scoring as on the power play Adam Tambellini’s point shot was stopped by McNiven and after a quick scramble out front, Elliott was on the doorstep to bang in his fifth of the year and fourth with Belleville.
It was 2-0 at 11:18 as after killing off a penalty, Paul used his silky hands to set-up Batherson who had a wide open net to put the puck into as he scored his 13th of the year, extending his rookie record. Laval cut the deficit in half with 1:50 left in the period as Pezzetta swatted the puck out of the air past Gustavsson.
Belleville restored its two-goal lead 1:56 into the second as Paul buried his fifth of the year as Filip Chlapik was stopped on the power play and Paul was on hand to extend the Sens lead.
Laval’s Kile made it 3-2 as he banked the puck off of Gustavsson from the side of the net at 6:56 but Batherson made it 4-2 Belleville with his second of the night as he finished off a dandy give-and-go with Brown for his second multi-goal game of the season.
Batherson made it 5-2 as he completed his first career professional hat-trick as he beat Lindgren up high with a backhander on a breakaway although Laval cut into the lead only 12 seconds later as Kile notched his second of the night at 1:38 of the third.
The Senators completed the scoring with 5:04 to play as Chlapik scored short-handed as Lindgren came out to play the puck but had it stolen by Lindberg who fed Chlapik to bury into an empty cage.
With his four points tonight, Batherson took the lead in the AHL’s rookie scoring race with 43 points.
The Senators are back in action Sunday when they visit the Toronto Marlies. Belleville is back home Wednesday to host Syracuse and tickets are available by clicking here.