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Game Day Build-Up: Senators host Hershey for Belly’s Birthday Bash on Family Day

February 19, 2024

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Feb.19/24 vs Hershey Bears (NHL Affiliate: Washington Capitals)               

The Set-Up:

It’s been 129 days since the Belleville Sens (23-19-2-3) last saw their next opponent and a lot has changed since opening night in October when the Senators spoiled the Hershey Bears (38-9-0-2) Calder Cup celebration with a 3-0 shutout win in “Chocolatetown USA”. Since then, the Sens have been involved in a North Division dogfight and hold onto the fourth spot going into today’s game, one point behind third-place Rochester. The Bears, meanwhile, have clawed their way to the top of the Atlantic and are 13 points clear of their next divisional opponent in a so-far successful defence of their 2023 title. Most recently, Belleville has played inspired hockey of late and won seven of their last nine games, including a 3-2 win over Utica on Saturday. Hershey has only suffered nine regulation losses this season, but two of those have come over their last five games. 

Previous History:

This is the second of two games in the season series between Belleville and Hershey, with the Senators holding a 1-0-0-0 record after their shutout victory in Hershey back in October. Cole Reinhardt, Nikolas Matinpalo, and Angus Crookshank all scored for the Sens that night, while Mads Sogaard made 30 saves for the shutout. Lifetime against the Bears, the Sens are an even 5-5-0-1, but Hershey has had the advantage at CAA Arena. Belleville has only beaten Hershey once on home ice in five games since their inaugural season in 2017/18.

Roster Notes:

Forward Cole Reinhardt returned to the lineup in Utica on Saturday night, picking up an assist in his first game back from a 10-game injury layoff. There have been no other transactions for Belleville since their last game. Full lineup details, including tonight’s alignment, will be available ahead of puck drop.

Who to Watch:

Sens Goaltender Mads Sogaard is entering some record-breaking territory. His victory in Utica on Saturday night was the 44th of his American Hockey League career, putting him just one win back of Filip Gustavsson for most all-time by a Belleville Sens goaltender. “The Great Dane” has earned wins in seven of his last eight appearances and holds one of the top goals against averages in the league (2.45).

Focus will likely be on the crease for the Bears as well, with the goaltending tandem of rookie Clay Stephenson and Hunter Shepard holding two of the top three goals against averages in the AHL. Stephenson leads the league at 1.93, while Shepard ranks third at 2.09. Forward Alex Limoges has been the most consistent offensive threat of late for Hershey, picking up a point in seven straight games.

At the rink:

It’s Family Day and Belly’s Birthday Bash at CAA Arena! The first 1,500 fans will receive a free Belly bobblehead doll, courtesy of CAA, and the Sens will be wearing limited edition Belly-themed alternate uniforms which will be auctioned starting at 1 pm today. Proceeds from jersey sales will go towards Belleville Senators community programming. Belly will be joined by some of his local mascot friends, plus Ottawa Senators mascot Spartacat will be on hand to celebrate as well! Fans are encouraged to arrive early to take part in the pre-game Kids Zone once the doors open at 1:00 p.m.

Ticket info:

Tickets for today’s game and Belly’s Birthday Bash, along with 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. 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:

Today’s game starts at 2:00 p.m. (ET) and can be seen on AHL TV and heard on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. Pregame coverage from CAA Areba, in Belleville, Ontario, begins at 1:50 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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