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Game Recap

Pilon and Crookshank pick up three points each as Sens get payback on Comets

February 10, 2024

The Belleville Senators got some payback against another divisional rival and picked a pair of important points, as they knocked off the Utica Comets 5-4 in a back-and-forth affair at CAA Arena on Saturday. The win split the two-game weekend set between the Sens and Comets and marks the halfway point in their eight-game season series.

In contrast to Friday, it was Belleville who opened the scoring inside the first five minutes of the game. Oskar Pettersson was able to convert his first career American Hockey League goal to make it 1-0, assisted by Boko Imama and Tyler Kleven. Utica would counter inside the final five minutes of the frame, with Ryan Schmelzer sneaking in past the defence and sliding the puck between the legs of Leevi Merilainen.

The Senators would emerge from a back-and-forth second period with a 4-3 lead, as Jiri Smejkal, Angus Crookshank and Garrett Pilon (on the power play) all scored for Belleville. Graeme Clarke and Brian Halonen countered for Utica.

Belleville tacked on a fifth goal in the third, with Pilon smashing home his second of the game. That insurance marker turned out to be the game-winner, after Kyle Criscuolo scored inside the final minute of the game to make it 5-4.

The Senators are in action next on Wednesday when they welcome the Syracuse Crunch to CAA Arena, continuing their four-game homestand.

Fast Facts:

  • #3 Dillon Heatherington had an assist
  • #4 Jacob Larsson had an assist
  • #9 Angus Crookshank had three points (one goal, two assists) and was named the game’s second star
  • #12 Boko Imama had an assist
  • #13 Egor Sokolov had an assist
  • #15 Matt Highmore had an assist
  • #22 Garrett Pilon had three points (two goals, one assist) and was named the game’s first star
  • #25 Tyler Kleven had an assist
  • #32 Oskar Pettersson scored his first career AHL goal and was named the game’s third star
  • #33 Lassi Thomson had an assist
  • #39 Jiri Smejkal scored a goal and has four points (three goals, one assist) in his last two games played


Sound Bytes:

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on the win:

“I think they bought in after we went hard on them this morning. They played a bit more to our identity and guys got rewarded early. It was nice to see Oskar get rewarded by getting to the inside and we rolled from there. The power play finally had a night, so that was good.”

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on Oskar Pettersson’s first career AHL goal:

“It’s huge. It’s only three games in but he’s improved every game. He’s a really intelligent and smart guy. You can tell he’s played at a high level over in Europe. He’s a confident guy, but really composed, so that was really nice to see.”

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on heading into next week and another busy stretch of the schedule:

“We’re just worried about Wednesday right now. We’ll let them enjoy the Super Bowl tomorrow and then get ready for a real good Syracuse team on Wednesday.”

Belleville Sens forward Garrett Pilon on the differences from Friday’s loss:

“Early on we generated a good net front presence. That was something we got called out for this morning, being a little too perimeter, so it started with everyone in our lineup making sure we got in front of the goalies eyes, then bashed and battled in front.”

Belleville Sens forward Garrett Pilon on controlling momentum swings in game:

“Obviously you can’t take a shift off because teams in this league are good and everyone’s a good player. You can’t rest, so you have to make sure you keep your mind in it and stick to the details.”

Media Availabilities:

Up Next:

  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 vs Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) – 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Friday February 16, 2024 vs Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) – 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Saturday February 17, 2024 @ Utica Comets (New Jersey Devils) – 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Monday February 19, 2024 vs Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) – 2:00 p.m. ET (Belly’s Birthday Bash)

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 Box Office hours are available by clicking here.

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The full 2023-2024 Belleville Senators regular season schedule can be found by clicking here.

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