Chase Balisy had the overtime winner as the Belleville Senators kept its playoff dream alive with a 3-2 win in Toronto
Rudolfs Balcers (2) scored for Belleville in regulation while Marcus Hogberg made 22 saves. Toronto’s Jeremy Bracco and Pierre Engvall had goals while Kasimir Kaskisuo turned away 33 shots.
Tied 1-1 heading into the third period, Balcers’ second goal of the game gave Belleville a 2-1 lead at 7:26 as he buried a one-timer from Christian Wolanin in the slot to give the Sens the lead. However, Toronto tied the game with 9:12 to play as Engvall circled from down low out front and fired low past Hogberg to grab his 19th of the season.
Hogberg kept the game tied at 2-2 with an incredible left pad save to deny Adam Brooks on a wraparound to send the game into overtime.
Balisy won the game in overtime on an odd man rush as after Cody Goloubef was denied, Balisy whacked the puck out of the air 32 seconds in to give Belleville the extra point.
Balcers opened the scoring through Balcers’ 16th of the year at 14:53 of the first as he took a Justin Falk pass in the middle slot and turned and fired past Kaskisuo for his first goal in a Belleville jersey since his reassignment from Ottawa towards the end of their season.
After Colt Conrad cames centimetres from tying the game on a wraparound, the hosts did find the tying goal with 1:04 left in the frame as with Drake Batherson in the box for a double minor, Bracco tipped Rasmus Sandin’s pass for his 22nd of the season to make it all square after 20 minutes.
The Senators outshot Toronto 15-4 in the second period but couldn’t find a way past Kaskisuo despite two power play chances in the frame. The Sens’ penalty kill also got some work in as they too were able to kill off two Toronto man advantages.
The win means the Sens can clinch a playoff spot Sunday with a win. If Belleville and Cleveland both lose Sunday, the Sens will still take the final North Division playoff spot.
Belleville concludes its regular season Sunday when they host the Rochester Americans at 2pm. Tickets are available by clicking here.