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Game Day Build-Up: B-Sens prepare for another Boxing Day Classic in Toronto

December 26, 2022

Dec.26/22 @ Toronto Marlies (NHL Affiliate: Toronto Maple Leafs)

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397

The Set-Up:

The Belleville Senators holiday break has come and gone, faster than it takes for kids to unwrap their presents, and after just four weather-beaten days to decompress, they’re back at it again in Toronto this afternoon. The Sens renew hostilities with the Toronto Marlies in the 3rd installment of the Boxing Day Classic, at Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. The division leading Marlies are among the league’s top teams, earning points in five straight games, including three in a row, while the Sens have points in back-to-back games, with an overtime loss in Manitoba and a win over Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.

Previous History:

Belleville’s 4-2 win over the Marlies on December 7 evened the season series to 2-2-0-0 and upped the Sens lifetime record against Toronto to 30-24-2-2. The Senators are 18-9-2-1 lifetime in Toronto, and 3-0 in the Boxing Day Classic, picking up a 3-2 win in 2019-20, a 4-1 victory in 2018-19 and a 2-1 win in 2017-18. The annual game at Scotiabank Arena wasn’t played in 2020-21 or 2021-22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roster Notes:

A couple of holiday gifts are coming to Belleville’s blueline ahead of this afternoon, as captain Dillon Heatherington returns from an NHL call-up and Jonathan Aspirot finally gets off the injured list, after missing all 27 games this season following offseason shoulder surgery. Mads Sogaard is expected to get another start in goal, with Antoine Bibeau backing him up. Belleville’s healthy scratches include defencemen Xavier Bernard and Alex Breton, along with forward Jarid Lukosevicius.

Injury Report:

No. Name Pos. Last Game Games Missed Timeline Notes
7 Viktor Lodin LW Dec.7/22 @ TOR 5 Week-to-Week Upper Body
10 Philippe Daoust C Nov.23/22 @ UTI 11 Season Ending Shoulder
19 Cory Conacher RW Nov.5/22 vs TOR 17 Indefinite Undisclosed
33 Lassi Thomson D Dec.21/22 vs WBS TBD N/A
34 Roby Jarventie LW Oct.29/22 @ RFD 18 Week-to-week Knee

Who to Watch:

It’s been an agonizing wait, but Senators defenceman Jonathan Aspirot will finally return to the lineup this afternoon. The Mascouche, Quebec native has missed all 27 games so far this season after having offseason shoulder surgery. The 23-year-old is in his fourth season with Belleville and sits second in B-Sens goals by a defenceman (14), and third in assists by a defenceman (33), and points by a defenceman (47).

Two Marlies enter the game today with two players riding five-game point streaks. Joseph Blandisi has 10 points (five goals, five assists) over that span, with a goal and an assist in Toronto’s last game on Tuesday, while Semyon Der-Arguchintsev has seven points (two goals, five assists) over his streak. He had an assist and three shots on goal in Toronto’s last game.

Follow the action:

Today’s game can be seen on AHL TV, or heard live on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. Pregame coverage starts at 2:45p.m. (ET) with David Foot and Joel Vanderlaan.

Ticket info:

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games are available via Ticketmaster or at the CAA Arena Box Office, with more information on group experiences, promotional packs and more, available on the Belleville Sens website.

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