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Game Recap

Pilon’s three points push B-Sens past Islanders to begin homestand

March 16, 2024

The Belleville Senators kicked off their four-game homestand in impressive fashion, earning a 4-2 victory over the Bridgeport Islanders (AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders), at CAA Arena on Saturday night.

Just like last night, the Senators would score first, despite being outshot in the opening frame. Tonight, it was Garrett Pilon ripping s wrist shot past Henrik Tikkanen, on the power play just over five minutes in. Angus Crookshank and Jacob Larsson assisted on the goal, and Leevi Merilainen stopped all 13 shots he faced in the period.

Belleville extended the lead to 2-0 just 27 seconds into the second period when Nikolas Matinpalo flipped a puck on goal and Egor Sokolov chopped it by Tikkanen. Bridgeport would get a goal back from Julien Gauthier, pouncing on a rebound about four minutes later, but Sokolov would bury his second of the game midway through the period. He finished off a cross-slot from Pilon, to make it 3-1 Belleville after 40 minutes.

The Islanders made it close late in the third, when Seth Helgeson hammered in a slap shot, with all kinds of commotion around the Belleville crease. But Pilon would cap the night with an empty net goal just a few minutes later, hustling to beat out an icing call and converting his second of the night.

The Senators homestand continues on Friday and Saturday with important games against the Laval Rocket, before the Hartford Wolf Pack visit CAA Arena on Sunday.

Fast Facts:

  • #3 Dillon Heatherington recorded his sixth assist of of the season.
  • #4 Jacob Larsson had an assist and has points in back-to-back games (two assists).
  • #5 Wyatt Bongiovanni made his Belleville Sens debut and registered two shots on goal, with a +2 rating.
  • #6 Donovan Sebrango recorded his seventh assist of the season.
  • #9 Angus Crookshank had an assist, to stretch his point streak to seven games (five goals, three assists).
  • #13 Egor Sokolov scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season and was named the game’s second star. He has points in five consecutive games (four goals, two assists).
  • #22 Garrett Pilon scored his 15th and 16th goals of the season, and added an assist, extending his point streak to three games (three goals, three assists). He was named the game’s first star.
  • #35 Leevi Merilainen stopped 29 of 31 shots and earned his eighth win of the season. He was named the game’s third star.
  • #52 Nikolas Matinpalo picked up his seventh assist and had four shots on net.


Sound Bytes:

Belleville Sens Assistant Coach Nate McIver on the win:

“It definitely wasn’t a good start for us and that’s two nights in a row, but I thought we responded. We scored a big power play goal in the first and I thought we came out and played better in the second, then in the third we locked it down.”

Belleville Sens Assistant Coach Nate McIver on working the new additions into the lineup:

“They both showed well. That’s not easy for them to step in without even having a practice and not getting a lot of video, because you don’t want to throw a lot on them, you just want them to go out there and play. It’s great timing for us now that we have a week of practice to get them acclimated with the team.”

Belleville Sens Assistant Coach Nate McIver on the importance of this homestand:

“Every game the rest of the way is huge. We know the standings and how important every game is, but these two against Laval are huge. We know where we sit, we know where they’re at and we play them four of the next five games. So, we’ve got to have a great week of getting prepared and be ready for Friday night.”

Belleville Sens forward Egor Sokolov on the win:

“I would say I’m probably happy, and unhappy in some moments. The first period was a little bit sloppy with some bad habits, but I thought as the game went on we got the lead, we played with the lead pretty well and got the two points. That’s all that matters.”

Belleville Sens forward Egor Sokolov on opening the homestand with a win:

“You can see the standings and over the last three years in this division, every game matters right now. I think we’ve got to hit the rest button here, we have five days off, so that’ll be good for our group. We’ve got to win all three next weekend, that’s all we’ve got to do.”

Media Availabilities:

Up Next:

  • Friday March 22, 2024 vs Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens) – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday March 23, 2024 vs Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens) – 7:00 p.m. (Community Heroes Night presented by Bell)
  • Sunday March 24, 2024 vs Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers) – 2:00 p.m. (Sunday Fun Day)

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 2023-24 Belleville Senators regular season schedule can be found by clicking here.

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