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Game Day Build-Up: Senators look to avenge Friday loss in rematch with Thunderbirds

October 22, 2022

Oct.22/22 vs Springfield Thunderbirds

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397

The Set-Up:

The Belleville Senators will look for some quick payback tonight as they host the Springfield Thunderbirds again at CAA Arena, for the first Molson Super Saturday of the 2022-23 season. Head Coach Troy Mann called his team “disconnected” following their 5-2 loss to the T-Birds last night, as the defending Eastern Conference Champions brought an aggressive play style into Belleville and picked up their first win of the season. Mann highlighted his team’s penalty kill, which was a perfect 4/4, as the lone bright spot. He says his team needs to “get back to the basics” in order to find the success they had in the opening two games of the campaign.

Previous History:

With the loss last night, the Senators lifetime record against Springfield falls to 1-6-1-0. Belleville’s only win against Springfield came at home last season, in a 7-5 victory. Ottawa natives Nathan Todd and Will Bitten factored heavily into the scoring last night, with Todd finding the net twice and Bitten notching a goal and an assist. Hugh McGing and Drew Callin also scored for Springfield, with Vadim Zherenko making 30 saves on 32 shots. Lassi Thomson and Cole Reinhardt scored for Belleville, in the Senators lowest offensive output of the season so far.

Roster Notes:

The injury bug has bitten the Senators again, with forward Cedric Pare getting hurt last night. He’ll be evaluated today and joins a growing injured list that includes Philippe Daoust (now listed as week-to-week), Ridly Greig (day-t0-day), Mads Sogaard (day-to-day) and Jonathan Aspirot (month-to-month). Rather than calling in an ECHL forward on game day, Mann and his staff have decided to go with 11 forwards and seven defencemen, meaning Xavier Bernard will draw into the lineup for just the second time so far this season. Kevin Mandolese will make his third appearance and second start between the pipes for Belleville.

Who to Watch:

Belleville forward Cole Reinhardt has had a strong start to the season, notching five points (two goals, three assists) in five games so far. He also got turned away on a breakaway on Friday night and was one of the lone individual standouts pointed out by Coach Mann in his morning media availability. Mann made a point to say that if the Ottawa Senators needed to recall a forward, he believe Reinhardt would be the first name on that list.

For Springfield, Will Bitten was a catalyst in the offence last night, find the net once and adding an assist. The former third round NHL draft pick to the Montreal Canadiens in 2016 was buzzing around the Belleville zone all game and making life difficult for Senators defenders. He’ll be relied upon again if the T-Birds are to earn their second consecutive victory over the Sens and their second win of the season overall.

Follow the action:

You can watch tonight’s game on AHL TV, with audio coverage available via the Belleville Sens Entertainment NetworkDavid Foot and Brock Ormond will have the call, with pregame coverage starting at 6:45 p.m.

Ticket info:

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games are available via Ticketmaster or at the CAA Arena Box Office. Belleville Sens Season Seat Members already have tickets to all three games.

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