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Game Day Build-Up: Senators at Comets – April 16, 2022

April 16, 2022

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397

The Set-Up:

The Belleville Senators are back in a Calder Cup playoff spot, at least temporarily, after earning a 2-1 win over the Americans in Rochester Friday. The Senators will look to strengthen their standing tonight back in Utica, as they round out their season series with Comets. Viktor Lodin scored his first career AHL goal on a penalty shot Friday, with Egor Sokolov cashing in on his 19th of the season and Filip Gustavsson making 28 saves, helping the Senators leapfrog the Amerks and into the 5th and final playoff spot in the North Division. And while the Comets have already locked up the division’s top spot and are guaranteed to see postseason hockey, they’re not going to make Belleville’s road to the playoffs any easier. Utica has struggled a bit lately, failing to win in four straight games, but responded with a resounding 5-1 win at home against the Syracuse Crunch last night. They’ll also be looking to get back at the Senators, who beat them twice last week, once here at Adirondack Bank Center (4-3 OT) and once at CAA Arena (4-1).

Previous History:

Tonight’s game is the finale of the six-game season series between Belleville and Utica, with the pair of Belleville wins in the home-and-home series last week gives the Senators a 2-2-1-0 record against the Comets this season and a 1-1-0-0 record on the road. The Sens lifetime record against Utica is 12-10-1-0 and 5-5-0-0 at Adirondack Bank Center over the last five years.

Roster Notes:

As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Head Coach Troy Mann is sticking to that, as he’ll put out an identical lineup of skaters for the third straight game. However, there is one major change in the crease, as Ottawa has recalled Filip Gustavsson and sent Mads Sogaard back to Belleville. The Great Dane will take over the Belleville Sens net for the foreseeable future, after playing his first couple of NHL games on his call-up to Ottawa. He’ll be backed up by Logan Flodell again. Belleville’s scratches tonight include Jack Dougherty (IR), Rourke Chartier (IR), Chris Wilkie, Cedric Pare, Max Guenette and Kevin Mandolese (IR).

Who to Watch:

Senators newcomer Viktor Lodin scored his first goal in a Belleville uniform on Friday, finishing a silky smooth penalty shot early in the game, but didn’t play big minutes the rest of the way due to Belleville’s penalty trouble. It’s hoped that his first taste of AHL goal-scoring may spur him on with increased minutes tonight. Zach Senyshyn continues to search for his first goal as a Senator as well, after pinging his third crossbar in as many nights last night. Plenty of eyes will also be on Mads Sogaard, who plays his first AHL game since backstopping Belleville to a win over Lehigh Valley at home on March 26. Sogaard had one win and one loss, with a 3.07 GAA and .889 SV% in his call-up to Ottawa.

There are no members of the comets on significant point streaks, though Michael Vukojevic (two assists), Alexander Holtz (one goal, three assists), Reilly Walsh (one goal, one assist), and Ryan Schmelzer (one goal, one assist), all have points in back-to-back games. Defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon had three points (one goal, two assists) on Friday night, along with three shots on goal.

Follow the action:

Tonight’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. ET and can be heard on the Belleville Sens Official Broadcast Partner 800 AM CJBQ, with David Foot (Broadcast time is 6:50 p.m.). The game can also be streamed live on AHL TV.

Don’t forget to download the Belleville Senators app before game time and follow the Sens social media (@BellevilleSens) for updates.

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