On a snowy trip East to Belleville on Saturday night, the Petes looked to pick up their third straight win to start 2015. Josh MacDonald continued to shine, and Scott Smith was sharp as he made 38 saves to pick up his first career win as the Petes handled the Bulls 6-2.
The Bulls kicked off the scoring against the rookie Smith, as Jordan Subban fired a quick wrist-shot from the high slot to make it 1-0, assisted by Stephen Harper and Niki Petti at the 4:30 mark. Two minutes later, though, the Petes got one back as the streaking Michael Clarke stepped over the blue line and wired the puck past Connor Hicks, drawing helpers from Matt Spencer and Greg Betzold.
Neither team was able to capitalize on their chances through the mid-way mark of the first, but with a few minutes left on the clock the Petes turned it on again. Hicks survived an initial frenzy of Peterborough chances, but shortly thereafter Greg Betzold wired the puck through a defender to put the Petes ahead.
Belleville would respond before the first period came to a close, though, as Remi Elie finished off a play from Brett Welychka and Michael Cramarossa with just fifty seconds to play in the frame. The period ended with the score knotted at 2-2, and the shots also an even fifteen-apiece.
The visiting Petes were in control for most of the second stanza, keeping Connor Hicks and his defence corps busy throughout. All Peterborough lines were firing, putting over 20 shots on net in the period, and the pressure paid off with an early go-ahead goal by Josh MacDonald from Michael Clarke and Steve Lorentz.
Smith made saves when given the opportunity, and late in the frame the Petes added an insurance marker off the stick of Matt Spencer, assisted by MacDonald, at 17:15. The second period concluded with the Petes ahead 4-2 and 36-29 in shots.
Peterborough came into the game 8-0 when leading after the second period, and the trend continued on Saturday night. MacDonald continued to score at will, lighting the lamp fromJosh Coyle and Steven Varga just 1:56 into the final period. The Bulls tried to mount a comeback, but Jonathan Ang lifted a backhand shot over Hicks from Stephen Nosad andJosh Maguire to extend the lead to 6-2.
No further goals were scored on the night, emphasizing Scott Smith’s excellent play, stopping 38 shots while only allowing two goals to Connor Hicks’ 40 of 46 in the 6-2 win. Matt Spencer, Smith, and Brett Welychka were the first, second, and third stars of the night, respectively.