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Game Day Build-Up: Senators vs. Rocket, Dec. 28

 

 

The set-up

After snapping a season-high four-game losing streak, the Belleville Senators will look for its second straight win as they host the Laval Rocket Thursday night.

It’ll be the fourth match-up of the season between the two North Division rivals, both in their inaugural AHL seasons.

Laval (11-14-52-) sit 12th in the Eastern Conference with the Senators (12-16-0-3) a spot behind. The Rocket have won just twice in its past 10 games while Belleville has claimed victory on three occasions.

The Rocket are 4-6-3-1 away from Place Bell while the Senators are 6-7 at the Yardmen.

Pre-game thoughts

During its four-game losing streak, the Senators gave up 23 goals but pulled together a complete performance in a 2-1 win over Toronto on Boxing Day. Furthermore, the Sens got some much-needed assistance as Ben Harpur returned from Ottawa along with Chris DiDomenico and Andreas Englund while Pat Sieloff returned from injury.

Kurt Kleinendorst

“I thought our game was a lot cleaner against Toronto than it’s been in a while and I think that likely was because you’ve got a Ben Harpur back there, Englund was back, Sieloff was back, so put three high end defencemen back in your line-up it’s going to make a difference.”

Roster notes

Harpur was recalled by Ottawa Wednesday so he’ll be absent but Pat Sieloff returned for the Senators after a four-game injury absence against Toronto as the Sens blueline continues to get close to full health.

No word on who will start in goal for Belleville with Danny Taylor, Andrew Hammond and Chris Driedger, Marcus Hogberg all available.

Ben Sexton and Kyle Flanagan remain out for Belleville while Christian Jaros appears close to a return after originally being included in Belleville’s line-up against Toronto before being a late scratch.

Previous history

The Sens won the last match-up between the two sides on Jack Rodewald’s overtime winner at the Yardmen. Laval won the first two clashes between the sides in the first two game of the season. The two sides will play another eight times after tonight’s game.

Who to watch

Colin White is on a three-game points streak for the Sens having tallied a goal and two helpers in his last three contests. In his first full year of professional hockey, White has five goals and eight assists in 22 games.

Laval forward Chris Terry has 33 points this year, the fourth most in the AHL. His 16 goals are the third most in the league this season. Terry has two goals against Belleville this year.

Where to watch

Thursday’s game starts at 7pm and can be seen live on www.theahl.com through their AHL Live application (subscription required) or at Shoeless Joe’s in Belleville.

The radio broadcast on CJBQ 800 begins at 6:50pm with David Foot on the call and Paul Svoboda on colour.

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