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Game Day Build-Up: Sens begin season-ending three-in-three with visit to Rochester

April 14, 2023

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397
Apr.14/23 @ Rochester Americans (NHL Affiliate: Buffalo Sabres)

The Set-Up:

Even though the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs are mathematically out of reach, the work isn’t over for the Belleville Senators, as they begin a season-ending three-in-three against the Americans in Rochester tonight. Belleville is coming off a pair of games against the Cleveland Monsters last week, in which they earned three of a possible four points, but that wasn’t enough to keep their playoff push alive. The Amerks, meanwhile, are fighting to solidify second place in the division and have been doing just about all they can to get that done, earning points in 10 straight games, including back-to-back victories.

Previous History:

Tonight’s matchup finishes the eight-game season series between Belleville and Rochester. The Senators have had the upper hand on the campaign with a 4-1-2-0 record, with an even 1-1-1-0 mark here at the Blue Cross Arena. Lifetime against the Amerks, the Sens are 18-10-5-0, with a 10-5-1-0 record in Rochester.

Roster Notes:

With almost everyone healthy again and a trio of players returning from the National Hockey League following the conclusion of Ottawa’s season last night, Belleville Sens Coach David Bell will have plenty of personnel to choose from tonight. Forward Egor Sokolov, defender Max Guenette (who made his NHL debut on Thursday night) and goaltender Mads Sogaard all returned from the NHL on Thursday, while forward Brennan Saulnier has made the trip after sitting out 19 games due to injury. In other roster news, the Sens released forwards Jarid Lukosevicius and Kyle Betts from their lengthy professional tryouts this week, while Ottawa has assigned defender Jorian Donovan to Belleville, from the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

Playoff Push:

With Senators only able to earn a maximum of 74 points this season and the Laval Rocket hitting that threshold earlier in the week, and holding tiebreaker advantages, Belleville will not be able to qualify for the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs. More on the overall American Hockey League playoff picture can be found via the daily AHL Playoff Primer.

Who to Watch:

Belleville defender Jacob Larsson set a new career high for goals in a season at four, when he notched the game-winning goal last Saturday. His next point would tie a career-high for him as well (16). Meanwhile, Belleville Sens 2022-23 MVP and Man of the Year Egor Sokolov returns to the American Hockey League tonight after scoring his first NHL goal last week. Sokolov will set a new AHL career high in goals (20) the next time he lights the lamp, and is four assists away from tying the B-Sens single-season record of 40, held by Drake Batherson. One more point would also set a new career high in a season for Jake Lucchini (52), who is also one goal away from moving into sole possession of second place in that category in Belleville’s franchise history (39).

A lot of focus will be on the Rochester crease, where the goaltending tandem of Michael Houser and Malcolm Subban have been integral in the Amerks 10-game point streak. Houser has won three straight games, while Subban has a personal nine-game point streak on the go. Rookie forward Isaak Rosen has been an offensive force of late as well, notching a pair of goals, along with seven shots on net in the Amerks’ last game against Utica. Ethan Prow also has points in back-to-back games (one goal, two assists), while Matt Bartkowski had two points (one goal, one assist) on Saturday against the Comets as well.

Follow the action:

Tonight’s game can be seen on AHL TV, or heard live on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. Pregame coverage from Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York, begins at 6:50 p.m. (ET) with David Foot.

Ticket info:

While there are no home games remaining for the 2022-23 campaign, Season Seat Memberships, Flex Packs and Business Elite Packages are all on sale now, with more information available on the Belleville Sens website.

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