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Game Day Build-Up: B-Sens look to climb back into playoff picture against division-leading Crunch

April 6, 2024

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Apr.6/24 vs Syracuse Crunch (NHL Affiliate: Tampa Bay Lightning)             

The Set-Up/Playoff Picture:

With two more points in their pocket and just a tiebreaker separating them from the final playoff spot in the North Division, the Belleville Senators could find themselves back above the Laval Rocket in the playoff race after tonight’s game. For that to happen, the B-Sens will have to knock off the division-leading Syracuse Crunch, who visit CAA Arena tonight and have Laval take another loss, as they did last night to the Crunch at Place Bell. The Senators helped themselves out on Friday with one of their strongest efforts of the season, backed by a 25-save shutout from Kevin Mandolese, the first of his AHL career, goals and two-point nights from Zack Ostapchuk and Cole Reinhardt, and another marker from the blue line courtesy of Tyler Kleven. The Sens have had Syracuse’s number this season and will look to continue that trend in their third-last home game of the 2023/24 regular season. The full playoff picture can be found via the American Hockey League’s Playoff Primer.

Previous History:

As mentioned, Belleville has had the upper hand against the Crunch this season, skating to five wins over their first six contests. However, Syracuse had the last laugh, picking up a 4-2 win over the visiting Senators at Upstate Medical University Arena last month. Lifetime against the Crunch, the B-Sens are 18-16-2-2, with a home record of 12-6-0-0. Belleville and Syracuse have one more game scheduled against each other after tonight, as they conclude their eight-game season series at CAA Arena on April 17.

Roster Notes:

After Tyler Kleven was returned to Belleville yesterday, the Ottawa Senators have made another recall from the AHL this morning. Forward Boko Imama was called-up to the National Hockey League and will join the Ottawa Senators ahead of their home game with New Jersey tonight. Imama currently has nine games of NHL experience, all played with the Arizona Coyotes, and would make his NHL Sens debut if he dresses tonight. A complete list of recent transactions can be found here. Full lineup details, including tonight’s alignment, will be available prior to puck drop via the B-Sens social media channels (@BellevilleSens).

Who to Watch:

Three Senators come into tonight’s game with points in back-to-back contests. Cole Reinhardt has two goals and one assist over his last two games, while Jamieson Rees and Nikolas Matinpalo have each picked up assists in their last two trips out. With Angus Crookshank up in Ottawa, Egor Sokolov is Belleville’s leading point-getter against the Crunch this season (six assists in six games), while Max Guenette has scored twice and added three helpers, despite dressing in just three games of the season series so far.

On the Syracuse side of things, Max Crozier (one goal, three assists) and Jack Finley (one goal, two assists) are each on three-game point streaks entering tonight’s contest. Tristan Allard (three assists), Gage Goncalves (one goal, two assists), and Daniel Walcott (two goals) all have points in back-to-back games. Cole Koepke is Syracuse’s most consistent weapon in the season series, notching six points (four goals, two assists) in five games against Belleville this season.

At the rink:

It’s Country Night at CAA Arena presented by Cool 100, featuring country theming, music and giveaways throughout the night. The CAA Arena gates will open early tonight, at 5:30 p.m., so fance can check out our pre-game Pub Party featuring live music from Caleb Hutton in McFarland’s Pub, until 6:15 p.m. This weekend’s feature merchandise deal at the Locker Room Store is 25% off novelty items, like Smashcot stuffed toys, mini sticks and more! Stop by the Locker Room Store in the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre before heading into the game or check out the Gate 2 merchandise stand once inside.

Ticket info:

Tickets for Country Night presented by Cool 100 and all Belleville Sens home games for the remainder of the 2023-24 season are now on sale online, via Ticketmaster, 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:

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

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

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