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Game Day Build-Up: Senators vs Thunderbirds – January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397

The Set-Up:

It’s been a mixed start to 2022 for the Belleville Senators, who get set to for a weekend series with the Springfield Thunderbirds, starting tonight inside a mostly empty CAA Arena. This weekend’s games are being played without fans, due to new provincial measures imposed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The Belleville Sens already have recent experience playing in an empty building, splitting a pair of games in Toronto (a 2-1 win on New Year’s Day and a 4-2 loss two days later) and for some players who played out of Ottawa last season. However, this will be a first at home. The Thunderbirds, meanwhile, are coming off a loss in Laval on Wednesday, which snapped a three-game point streak for the Atlantic Division leaders.

Previous History:

A meeting between B-Sens and T-Birds is a rare sight in general, but even more so at CAA Arena, as the Thunderbirds make just their second ever visit to the Friendly City. This will be the fourth overall meeting between the two clubs, with Belleville yet to pick up a win.

Roster Notes:

The Senators have breached the 100-transaction mark just 25 games into the season, with another handful of moves over the past week. Defenders Michael Del Zotto, Max Guenette and Lassi Thomson were all returned from Ottawa, along with B-Sens Captain Logan Shaw. Senators first round draft pick Tyler Boucher was also assigned to Belleville this week for a conditioning stint, before joining the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s. Along with those additions, the Belleville Sens also sent forward Kam Kielly and goaltender Tyler Parks to the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL) and released defenceman Chris Martenet from his pro tryout and returned him to the Toledo Walleye (ECHL). Senators scratches tonight include Xavier Bernard, Jack Dougherty, Philippe Daoust, Mitchell Hoelscher, Tyrell Goulbourne, Tyler Boucher, Hugo Roy and Jonathan Aspirot.

Who to Watch:

Rourke Chartier continues to be the hottest Senator of late, scoring in three straight games and notching a point in all five games he’s appeared in. Defenceman Xavier Bernard celebrated his 21st birthday on Thursday and marked the occasion early, registering his first professional point in Monday’s loss to Toronto. Forward’s Jake Lucchini and Mark Kastelic are the Senators’ Iron Men so far this season, playing in all 25 of Belleville’s games to this point.

The Thunderbirds are led by former Belleville Senator Matthew Peca, who is riding a point-per-game pace this season, with 22 points in 22 appearances (12 goals, 10 assists). The Petawawa native suited up in 21 games for Belleville last season, notching 11 points (8 goals, 3 assists) and had one assist in five games with the NHL senators in 2020/21. Springfield’s roster also boasts 2019/20 AHL scoring champion Sam Anas, who had 70 points (20 goals, 50 assists) in 63 games played with the Iowa Wild that 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 Jack Miller and 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.

Ticket info:

Tonight’s game is being played without fans, in line with new Ontario Government guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. More information on that decision can be found by clicking here.

Single game tickets for the remainder of the 2021-22 Belleville Senators season are now on sale and can be purchased via Ticketmaster, by stopping by the CAA Arena Box Office. Season Ticket Memberships and Flex Packs are also available with more information available at

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