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Game Day Build-Up: Senators host Phantoms on Hockey Fights Cancer Night

November 18, 2023

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Nov.18/23 vs Lehigh Valley Phantoms (NHL Affiliate: Philadelphia Flyers)              

The Set-Up:

The Belleville Senators finish off their November home schedule tonight, on an important evening at CAA Arena. The Senators will mark the 2023 edition of Hockey Fights Cancer presented by Magna Autosystems tonight, while also trying to get back in the win column, following a pair of losses to Laval earlier this week and Manitoba last night. Jiri Smejkal was the bright spot for Belleville in the defeat to the Moose Friday, scoring two goals a minute apart late in the game, to give the Sens some life, while Kevin Mandolese made 31 saves in his first home start of the season. The Phantoms also played Friday, winning their second consecutive game by edging Laval 3-2.

Previous History:

This is the second meeting of the season between Belleville and Lehigh Valley, and the 12th matchup in their lifetime. The Phantoms took their first matchup by a 5-2 score, in Allentown on October 15. Garrett Pilon and Egor Sokolov each scored in that game for Belleville. Lifetime against the Phantoms, the Senators are 6-4-1-0 and 4-1-0-0 at CAA Arena.

Roster Notes:

There’s one technical change to the roster, as goaltender Mads Sogaard was officially recalled to Ottawa, to back-up for the NHL Senators in their 11:30 am ET game in Sweden today. Sogaard was already with the big club for their trip this week under the NHL’s “third goalie exempt status” rule for international games. Otherwise, there’s no change on the injured list, with Tarun Fizer, Tyler Boucher, Philippe Daoust, Brennan Saulnier and Donovan Sebrango all still out. Line pairings and full lineup info will be available ahead of puck drop.

At the Rink:

It’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Magna Autosystems, so CAA Arena will be decked out with lavender rink boards and graphic theming throughout the night. The Senators will be wearing special edition black, lavender and white Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys, which are being auctioned off in support of the Belleville General Hospital Foundation. That auction is live now via Dash Auctions at this link. Fans will also have a chance to participate in an “I Fight For Moment” by holding up “I Fight For” cards to recognize loved ones who they’ve lost to Cancer, or are still fighting the disease. Representatives from the BGHF will be on hand as well selling tickets for their Cash4Cancer lottery.

Who to Watch:

Senators forward Jiri Smejkal recorded his first multi-point game of his American Hockey League Career on Friday, scoring his second and third goals of the season. The hulking 26-year-old from Czechia is starting to find his groove in North America, after playing the rest of his professional career in Europe. Other standouts for Belleville include Angus Crookshank, who’s on a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist), along with Boko Imama (one goal, one assist) and Garrett Pilon (three assists), who each have points in back-to-back games.

The Phantoms have won back-to-back games, but there are no players with significant point streaks. However, they do have a handful of players who are coming off productive evenings in Laval. That includes Tanner Laczynski who had three points (one goal, two assists) and five shots on goal, Samu Tuomaala who had three assists and four shots on goal, and Olle Lycksell, who had two goals and eight shots last night.

Follow the action:

Tonight’s game can be seen on AHL TV and heard on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. pregame coverage from CAA Arena, in Belleville, Ontario, begins at 6:45 p.m. (ET) with David Foot and Brock Ormond.

Ticket info:

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games through January 20, 2024, are now on sale online via the Belleville Sens Ticket Hub, or by emailing Tickets for the second half of the season will be available for purchase beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 20, 2023, with information on hours for the Belleville Sens Box Office at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre, to be released later. 

Fans looking to buy second-half tickets can secure those seats now, by purchasing season seat membershipsflex packsgroup experiences or Business Elite memberships. Further information on the Belleville Sens promotional schedule, special events and more are set to be released in the coming weeks. 

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

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