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Game Day Build-Up: B-Sens back at CAA Arena to begin four-game homestand against Bridgeport

March 16, 2024

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Mar.16/24 vs Bridgeport Islanders (NHL Affiliate: New York Islanders)                 

The Set-Up:

After a loss to the new division leaders, the Syracuse Crunch last night, the Belleville Senators are back in and ready to settle in for an important four-game homestand at CAA Arena. It begins tonight with a visit from the Bridgeport Islanders, their only stop on the Friendly City this season. Belleville is still in fourth place in the North to start the day, now three points back of Rochester, and just a single point ahead of Laval, who have hopped over Toronto and hold the fifth and final playoff spot. With the Rocket off today, but everyone else in action, it’s imperative for the Sens to defend home ice and take two points away from a non-divisional opponent in the Islanders, who are last in the Atlantic Division and 11 points back of the playoff cut line with 13 remaining in their schedule.

Previous History:

This is the second and final meeting between Belleville and Bridgeport, with their last matchup coming back on November 26, 2023, in Connecticut. Jarid Lukosevicius had both Belleville goals in a 4-2 loss. Kyle Betts and Matthew Boucher each had a pair of assists. Lifetime against the Islanders, the B-Sens are 4-7-0-0 with a 2-3-0-0 mark on home ice, at CAA Arena.

Roster Notes:

The Senators organization was busy ahead of Friday’s AHL Trade and Loan Deadline, with Ottawa acquiring two players and assigning them both to Belleville. Forward Wyatt Bongiovanni was brought in from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for future considerations, while the Sens sent a sixth-round draft pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft to the Carolina Hurricanes, with forward Jamieson Rees coming back the other way. Both players are expected to make their B-Sens debuts tonight. Meanwhile, forward Orrin Centazzo was released from his professional tryout this morning and returned to the Toledo Walleye (ECHL). Six players who started the season with Belleville, or played AHL games this campaign remain in Ottawa, including forwards Zack Ostapchuk, Rourke Chartier, Matthew Highmore and Zack MacEwen, along with defensemen Max Guenette and Jacob Bernard-Docker. Full lineup details, including tonight’s alignment, will be available prior to puck drop.

Who to Watch:

Belleville’s most consistent offensive players continued to “drive the bus” in Syracuse last night, with Angus Crookshank (six games), Josh Currie (five games) and Egor Sokolov (four games) all extending their point streaks. Cole Reinhardt also had an assist, to give him points in three consecutive games.

Bridgeport is led offensively by sophomore standout Ruslan Ishakov, who’s picked up 42 points (16 goals, 26 assists) over 53 games this season. The Islanders second-round draft pick in 2018 had a goal and an assist against Belleville earlier this season and scored twice against the B-Sens in two games in 2022-23. Ishakov also represented the Islanders at the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Tech CU in San Jose.

At the rink:

Tonight is the third annual Road to the AHL Night presented by Mackay Insurance, as the Club and Mackay Insurance team up to celebrate and recognize the journey of some of your favourite Belleville Sens players as they develop in the American Hockey League, in pursuit of their dreams of playing in the National Hockey League. To mark the occasion, the first 2,500 fans through the gates at CAA Arena will once again receive a set of exclusive, limited-edition, Road to the AHL trading cards to add to their collection from the past two seasons. This season’s set features 2024 AHL All-Star Angus Crookshank, along with returning Belleville Sens favourites Cole Reinhardt and Max Guenette. The set also includes rookie defenceman Tyler Kleven and veteran forwards Boko Imama, and Garrett Pilon. Video segments featuring those players will also be screened in arena and online. The B-Sens’ “Gift with Purchase” sale on in-game purchases at the Locker Room Store, also continues through Sunday. Fans who spend $25 will receive a free Belleville Sens water bottle, with a free Belleville Sens flag with purchases of $50 or more.

Ticket info:

Tickets for Road to the AHL Night presented by Mackay Insurance and all Belleville Sens home games for the remainder of the 2023-24 season are now on sale online, via Ticketmaster or the Belleville Sens Ticket Hub, by visiting the Belleville Sens Box Office at the Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre, or by emailing Box Office hours are available by clicking here.

Fans can also click the following links for more information on season seat membershipsflex packsgroup experiences or Business Elite memberships, or send an email to

Follow the action:

Tonight’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. (ET) and can be seen on AHL TV and heard on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. Pregame coverage from CAA Arena, in Belleville, Ontario, begins at 6:50 p.m. (ET) with David Foot and Tim Durkin.

The full 2023-24 Belleville Senators regular season schedule can be found by clicking here.

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