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Game Day Build-Up: Senators aim to steal two more points in final visit to Utica

March 9, 2024

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Mar.9/24 @ Utica Comets (NHL Affiliate: New Jersey Devils)                      

The Set-Up:

It’s a light week of action for the Belleville Senators (28-22-2-3), who play just twice, but the games are no less important. All but one team in the American Hockey League’s North Division picked up at least a point last night, while Belleville was off, including tonight’s opponent the Utica Comets (23-22-4-4). The Senators roll into Utica still in third place in the division but are now tied on points with Toronto, who they lost to on Wednesday, and just one point up on Rochester who hold the fifth and final playoff spot. The Comets, meanwhile, have earned at least a point in three straight games since losing in Belleville at the end of February. Utica picked up back-to-back shutouts against Hershey and Lehigh Valley, and fell to the Marlies in a shootout on Friday, as they try to claw into a playoff spot with less than 20 games remaining in the regular season.

Previous History:

As is the case with most other teams in the North Division, the Senators have a winning record against the Comets this season at 4-2-0-0. That record is split evenly with a pair of wins and a defeat each at CAA Arena and here at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica. Belleville has outscored Utica 20-17 over the first six games of the eight-game season series, which concludes back in the Friendly City on Wednesday March 13, 2024. Lifetime against the Comets, the B-Sens are 18-15-3-0, with a record of 8-7-2-0 in Utica.

Roster Notes:

The National Hockey League trade deadline has come and gone and there was minimal impact from the parent club in Ottawa, on the AHL affiliate in Belleville. Forwards Rourke Chartier and Jiri Smejkal, along with defenceman Max Guenette, were loaned back to Belleville on Friday to meet the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs roster deadline, but all three were recalled again and stay with the NHL Sens for their matchup in San Jose tonight. Full lineup details, including tonight’s alignment, will be available prior to puck drop.

Who to Watch:

The Senators will be looking frequently to veteran forward Garrett Pilon over the course of the playoff stretch drive, as the 2023 Calder Cup Champion brings plenty of knowledge and experience to pass around the room. Additionally, Pilon has found a good amount of success against the Comets this season, picking up seven points (three goals, four assists) in just five games played against them. There are no Senators currently on active point streaks, other than Josh Currie, who has assists in back-to-back games.

For the Comets, Captain Ryan Schmelzer is on a three-game point streak (two goals, two assists), including a goal on Friday against Toronto. Brian Halonen (one goal, two assists) and Nolan Foote (two goals, one assist) each had three-point nights against the Marlies on Friday, while Kyle Criscuolo had two helpers in the shootout loss to Toronto.

Ticket info:

Tickets for 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. Tickets can also be purchased 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 Adirondack Bank Center, in Utica, New York, begins at 6:50 p.m. (ET) with David Foot.

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

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