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Game Day Build-Up: Sens open three-game homestand and begin playoff push against Comets

March 1, 2023

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397
Mar.1/23 vs Utica Comets (NHL Affiliate: New Jersey Devils)

The Set-Up:

Coming off a successful road trip that saw them pick up two-of-three wins, the Belleville Senators return to CAA Arena to kick off a three-game homestand and officially begin the push towards the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Sens followed up a loss in Bridgeport last Thursday with wins in Wilkes-Barre and Hershey and will try to keep that momentum going tonight against the Utica Comets, who are also coming off back-to-back wins, sweeping the Cleveland Monsters in a two-game set on the road.

Previous History:

This is the fourth-of-six meetings between the Sens and Comets this season, with Belleville yet to pick up a win (0-2-1-0). Utica has outscored Belleville 14-8, though only one of the games has been lopsided when the Comets picked up a 7-3 win on their last trip to CAA Arena. In their last meeting on New Year’s Eve, Ridly Greig scored twice, but the Comets held the Sens off for a 4-3 win in overtime. Lifetime against Utica, Belleville is 13-12-2-0, with a 7-6-1-0 record at CAA Arena.

Roster Notes:

There’s not a lot of change to Belleville’s roster following Sunday’s win in Hershey, though Interim Head Coach David Bell will shuffle his lines a bit. Angus Crookshank returns from a minor injury and Dylan Ferguson is set to make his home debut for Belleville, after making a career-high 38 saves in Belleville’s overtime win in Wilkes-Barre last Saturday. Defenceman Xavier Bernard will be the only healthy scratch tonight for the Senators.

Injury Report:

# Name Pos. Last Game Games Missed Notes
7 Viktor Lodin LW Feb.18/23 vs LAV 4 Upper Body
10 Philippe Daoust C Nov.23/22 @ UTC 35 Shoulder
11 Kyle Betts C Feb.4/23 vs ROC 10 Lower Body
14 Rourke Chartier C Feb.2/23 vs ROC 10 Lower Body
20 Matt Wedman C Dec.31/22 @ UTC 20 Lower Body
26 Brennan Saulnier C Feb.20/23 vs LAV 3 Upper Body
35 Antoine Bibeau G Feb.20/23 vs LAV 3
49 Scott Sabourin RW Feb.17/23 vs LAV 5 Lower Body

Who to Watch:

Senators forward Jake Lucchini scored one of the goals of the season on Sunday in Hershey and has been one of Belleville’s hottest players of late. The Trail, BC native has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his last five games, including a goal and two assists on Sunday. Defenceman Lassi Thomson also continues to chip in offensively, adding an assist in four straight games. All-Star forward Egor Sokolov scored twice on Sunday, while Cole Reinhardt has goals in back-to-back games, notching the game-winner on both Saturday and Sunday.

Comets forward Graeme Clarke has been scoring in important moments as part of his four-game point streak (four goals, four assists)., but luckily for the Senators, he was recalled to New Jersey this morning. Otherwise, Reilly Walsh is on a three-game point streak (one goal, four assists), with a goal and two assists in Utica’s last game. Joe Gambardella (three assists), Brian Halonen (two assists), and Samuel Laberge (one goal, two assists) each have points in back-to-back games.

Follow the action:

Today’s game can be seen on AHL TV or heard live on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. Pregame coverage from CAA Arena begins at 6:45 p.m. (ET) with David Foot and Joel Vanderlaan.

Ticket info:

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games are available via Ticketmaster or at the CAA Arena Box Office, with more information on group experiences, promotional packs and more available on the Belleville Sens website.

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