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Game Day Build-Up: Senators at Crunch – April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397

The Set-Up:

For the first time this season, the Belleville Senators are officially in position to clinch their first ever Calder Cup Playoff spot tonight, but they’ll also need a little help. Belleville must win against the Crunch in Syracuse, while also hoping for a Toronto regulation loss in Laval, to punch its ticket to the postseason. The Senators come into the game sitting in third place in the American Hockey League North Division (which if the playoffs started today, would earn them a bye through the best-of-three first round) and have won five games in a row, most recently, a 5-4 comeback win over Toronto at home this past Wednesday. The Crunch are hot on Belleville’s tails in fourth place, trailing the Sens by just .001 percentage points and have won seven of their last 10 games, while earning points in eight-of-10. Syracuse’s last game ended in a 5-1 win at home to Toronto last Saturday, which followed a 5-1 loss to division-leading Utica last Friday.

Previous History:

Tonight’s game is the finale of the eight-game regular season series between the Sens and Crunch, with Belleville holding a 3-3-1-0 record overall, a 1-1-1-0 mark at the Upstate Medical University Arena, and a 2-2-0-0 mark back home at CAA Arena. Lifetime against the Crunch, Belleville is 10-12-2-1 and just 2-7-2-1-0 in Syracuse. The Senators last win at UMUA was on November 24, 2021, when Jake Lucchini had the game-winner in a 3-2 victory. The only other time Belleville has defeated the Crunch on the road was a 7-3 win on December 20, 2019.

Roster Notes:

The Senators go back to a 12 forward, six defencemen alignment tonight, with Mads Sogaard making his fourth straight start in goal. The Sens will be without forward Mark Kastelic, after he was recalled to the NHL yesterday, however, Zach Senyshyn returns from Ottawa and will play alongside Cedric Pare and Roby Jarventie. Clark Bishop is also back after coming off the day-to-day IR and will rejoin his line with Matt Wedman and Scott Sabourin. Troy Mann will leave his top two lines unchanged from Wednesday, with Victor Lodin playing alongside Andrew Agozzino and Jake Lucchini, and Cole Reinhardt playing with Logan Shaw and Egor Sokolov. The defence pairs will stay the same as well, but Max Guenette will be a healthy scratch due to numbers. Other players not dressed for Belleville tonight include Jack Dougherty (IR), Rourke Chartier (IR), Chris Wilkie, and Kevin Mandolese (IR).

Who to Watch:

Belleville forward Andrew Agozzino brings a three-game point streak (one goal, four assists) into tonight’s game, and has eight points in his last eight games. The veteran forward has also factored into six of the Sens 16 goals on their current five-game winning streak, scoring twice, and adding four helpers, which accounts for 37.5% of the team’s offensive output. Fellow forward Viktor Lodin has also been turning heads since arriving in Belleville, from Sweden, notching five points (two goals, three assists) over his first seven games in North America.

There aren’t any Crunch players on significant point streaks in terms of offensive production, but goaltender Max Legace has won four straight games and is on a personal six-game point streak. He’s among the league leaders in shutouts (8th), goals against average (12th) and wins (12th). Up front, Charles Hudon snapped a four-game pointless streak with a hat-trick last weekend and has six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games played against Belleville this season.

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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