Calder Cup Champions - 2013 & 2017
AHL Affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings
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Dec 08, 2023
Written By: Dylan Rider
1st 2nd 3rd Final
Grand Rapids Griffins 1 1 0 2
Belleville Senators 3 1 1 5

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2 at Belleville Senators 5

BELLEVILLE, Ontario -- A three-goal first period for the Senators was too much for the Grand Rapids Griffins to overcome in a 5-2 loss in their first game back at CAA Arena since 2018 on Friday.

Simon Edvinsson and Joel L’Esperance both scored in the contest. Edvinsson’s goal was his 15th point in 19 games with the Griffins this season while L’Esperance’s tally was his third in his past four games. The Griffins' fifth-straight road loss is a season-high that keeps the team looking for their second win away from home in the campaign, as they are 1-7-1-1 when playing on foreign ice. 

December 8, 2023  ·  4 Minutes

HIGHLIGHTS: Belleville Sens - 5 vs Grand Rapids Griffins - 2

Edvinsson put the Griffins on the board first with a shot from the top of the left circle, which slipped between Leevi Merilainen's legs at 5:37. The Senators wasted no time tying the game back up, as Matthew Boucher tipped the puck past Sebastian Cossa from the crease with 13:51 left in the opening frame.

Over midway through the period, Grand Rapids was put on the penalty kill. Belleville managed to strike again for a power-play goal and their second tally of the night when Egor Sokolov sniped a bullet past Cossa from the left face-off circle at 13:12 While behind the Griffins’ net, Roby Jarventie banked the disc off Cossa’s back, which bounced into the net for another Senators tally with 3:19 remaining in the period.

Roughly four minutes into the second period, L’Esperance collected a rebound and sent it into the net from the low slot, which brought Grand Rapids within one at 3:34. In the waning minutes of the second period, a shot dribbled by Cossa, which was quickly slid into the net by Josh Currie to put Belleville back up by two with 3:51 left in the period.

With the final period nearly at a conclusion, the Senators sealed a 5-2 victory over the Griffins with an empty-net goal courtesy of Maxence Guenette from Belleville’s zone at 18:02.

- Edvinsson extended his point streak (3-7–10) to seven games with his first-period goal.
- Taro Hirose’s (3-7–10) point streak ended at seven games while Jonatan Berggren’s (4-5–9) ended at six.
- With the loss, the Griffins are now 2-2-0-2 against the Senators all time and are 1-2-0-0 at CAA Arena. 

Box Score
Grand Rapids 1 1 0 - 2
Belleville 3 1 1 - 5

1st Period-1, Grand Rapids, Edvinsson 6 (Johansson, Lombardi), 5:37. 2, Belleville, Boucher 2 (Heatherington, Pilon), 6:09. 3, Belleville, Sokolov 6 (Guenette, Jarventie), 13:12 (PP). 4, Belleville, Jarventie 4 (Highmore), 16:41. Penalties-Currie Bel (tripping), 7:51; Johansson Gr (tripping), 12:49.

2nd Period-5, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 5 (Didier, Gettinger), 3:34. 6, Belleville, Currie 2 (MacKinnon, Crookshank), 16:09. Penalties-Pilon Bel (tripping), 6:16; Kasper Gr (hooking), 11:29; Reinhardt Bel (slashing), 13:48.

3rd Period-7, Belleville, Guenette 3 (Crookshank), 18:02 (EN). Penalties-Lukosevicius Bel (tripping), 2:30; Crookshank Bel (hooking), 8:54; Czarnik Gr (slashing), 10:15; Lukosevicius Bel (high-sticking), 13:23.

Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 6-10-10-26. Belleville 12-9-9-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 0 / 6; Belleville 1 / 3.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Cossa 3-4-2 (29 shots-25 saves). Belleville, Merilainen 3-3-1 (26 shots-24 saves).

Three Stars
1. BEL Jarventie (goal, assist); 2. BEL Sokolov (goal); 3. BEL Boucher (goal)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 7-10-2-1 (17 pts.) / Sat., Dec. 9 at Belleville 7 p.m.
Belleville: 10-8-1-2 (23 pts.) / Sat., Dec. 9 vs. Grand Rapids 7 p.m.

Photo by Belleville Senators