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Game Day Build-Up: Belleville Sens host Marlies for annual Holiday Celebration Game

December 22, 2023

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Dec.22/23 vs Toronto Marlies (NHL Affiliate: Toronto Maple Leafs)           

The Set-Up:

‘Twas the last game before Christmas and all through CAA Arena, the Belleville Sens (10-11-2-2) were looking to spoil the festivities for one of their closest rivals, as they welcome the Toronto Marlies (13-7-3-1) for the annual Holiday Celebration Game presented by McDowell’s Independent Grocer. Belleville has lost four straight games, including a 5-1 defeat on Thursday to the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton-Penguins, with Max Guenette scoring the only goal. However, the Sens have a chance to pick up some crucial in-division points if they can put together a gameplan that balances the need for offence, with a steady defensive style as they face a Marlies club that’s won five in a row and is charging up the North Division standings.

Previous History:

Belleville and Toronto have met 68 times since the Senators moved to the Friendly City, with Belleville holding a 33-29-2-4 advantage. Here at CAA Arena, the Sens are 14-17-0-3 against Toronto. This is the third game of the 10-game season series, with the first two games both needing overtime, during a two-game set in October. Belleville picked up a 2-1 overtime win on October 27, while the Marlies countered with a 4-3 shootout victory the following night.

Roster Notes:

There was one transaction announced just before Thursday night’s game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, with defenseman Jacob Larsson being returned to Belleville from the NHL. He’s expected to dress tonight, while Brennan Saulnier and Philippe Daoust remain injured. Full lineup details, including tonight’s alignment, will be available prior to puck drop.

Who to Watch:

Another Belleville defenceman will be worth a watch tonight, but more for what he’s done on the offensive side of the puck. Max Guenette scored the Sens only goal on Thursday vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and is among the top 10 in defensive scoring, with 19 points (four goals, 15 assists). He’s also currently leading the Belleville Sens scoring list, a point behind Angus Crookshank, who remains in the NHL with Ottawa.

The Marlies have multiple players on point streaks coming into tonight’s game, but they’re led by Alex Steeves, who has collected at least a point in 16 straight contests (11 goals, 11 assists). The 24-year-old also has three points (two goals, one assist) over the first two games of the season series with Belleville.

At the Rink:

Tonight is the Sens Holiday Celebration Game presented by McDowell’s Your Independent Grocer. Santa will be on hand, giving out gifts around CAA Arena throughout the night, while McDowells will be running its popular “Grocery Store Sweep” contest during one of the game’s promo timeouts, with a $100 grocery gift card up for grabs to the winner! There will also be a holiday craft table set up on the second level in between sections 107 and 108, with fans encouraged to wear their favourite holiday clothing. Fans can also take advantage of some deals at the Locker Room Store for their last-minute holiday shopping needs, with discounts including 25% off new arrivals, 30% off stocking stuffers like mini sticks, Smashcots, glasses and lanyards. Plus, 40% off clearance apparel and hats, and 25% off Belleville Sens team gear. Limited edition “Bellzy Little Christmas” tees are also still on sale for $25, with proceeds supporting the Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation.

Ticket info:

Tickets for 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. Belleville Sens Holiday Packs are also still available until after tonight’s game.

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 the 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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