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Game Day Build-Up: Senators vs Thunderbirds – January 8, 2022

January 8, 2022

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397

The Set-Up:

The Belleville Senators and Springfield Thunderbirds kicked off their two-day mini-series last night with a special teams battle. Despite scoring twice on the power play, the Senators gave up a pair of power play goals against, plus a short-handed marker and fell 4-3 inside an empty CAA Arena. This weekend’s games are being played without paid attendance in line with Ontario Government guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19. Michael Del Zotto had a pair of goals (his first career AHL goal and first multi-point game), while Andrew Agozzino also tallied and Mads Sogaard made 33 saves on 37 shots in the loss. Springfield was led by Nathan Walker, who had a goal and an assist, plus seven shots on goal. Sam Anas, Steven Santini and Peter Crinella also scored for Springfield.

Previous History:

Friday’s meeting was just the fourth between the B-Sens and T-Birds in Belleville’s franchise history, with the Senators still without a win in their lifetime series. Springfield holds a 4-0-0-0 record against Belleville, including a pair of wins home and away.

Roster Notes:

Head Coach Troy Mann will make two roster changes from Friday’s loss. Defenceman Colby Williams was banged up and will get the night off, to be replaced by Xavier Bernard, who notched his first career AHL point in Toronto on Monday. The only other change is net where Kevin Mandolese starts in place of Mads Sogaard, looking to put forward a better performance than he did against the Marlies, when he was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots.

Who to Watch:

While Rourke Chartier’s five-game point streak came to an end on Friday, the Senators do have a couple players who have been producing offensively. Defender Zach Leslie has three assists in has last two games, including two last night, while Senators’ leading scorer Jake Lucchini snapped a four-game pointless skid with an assist and is trying to get back to the form that saw him register 13 points (five goals, seven assists) in the month of November.

Nathan Walker paced the Thunderbirds attack on Friday and should be expected to be a big piece of the offensive puzzle for Springfield again tonight. Former league scoring champ Sam Anas can also be looked-to to continue the T-Birds attack. As a team, Springfield has the 7th best power play in the American Hockey League, at 21.2% (28 goals on 128 attempts).

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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