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game day

Game Day Build-Up: Senators host Rocket for last home game of 2023

December 28, 2023

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Dec.28/23 @ Laval Rocket (NHL Affiliate: Montreal Canadiens)                  

The Set-Up:

Coming off a pair of wins over their provincial rivals from Toronto, the Belleville Sens continue a stretch of seven games against Canadian opponents, as they welcome the Laval Rocket to CAA Arena tonight. Belleville’s Boxing Day win in Toronto puts the Sens just two points behind the Marlies for third place in the North Division and coming into tonight’s game, has Belleville five points ahead of what would be the playoff cut line with lots of hockey left to play. They’ll have to put together another strong performance tonight a Rocket team that is coming off back-to-back wins, and trying to make a climb out of the North Division basement as we head into the new year.

Previous History:

This is the fourth meeting of the season between Belleville and Laval, and the second at CAA Arena, with the Sens holding a 2-1-0-0 record so far. In their last meeting on December 6, the Sens picked up a 5-2 win over the Rocket at Place Bell, with Garrett Pilon scoring twice, and Tyler Kleven and Lassi Thomson each notching multi-point games. Over 71-lifetime meetings with Laval, Belleville is 40-28-1-2, with a 22-11-0-2 mark at CAA Arena.

Roster Notes:

Kyle Betts also returned to Belleville’s lineup on Boxing Day, after a lengthy layoff due to illness and was recognized by his teammates as the “Workhorse of the Game”. Meanwhile, both Angus Crookshank and Jiri Smejkal were recalled to Ottawa, after not playing on Boxing Day, and dressed in the NHL parent club’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. The only players remaining on Belleville’s injured list are forwards Brennan Saulnier and Philippe Daoust, with full lineup information for tonight’s game set to be made available ahead of puck drop.

Who to Watch:

There are a pair of Senators that bring active point streaks into tonight’s contest. Roby Jarventie is on another three-game heater (two goals, three assists) after registering an assist and an empty net goal on Boxing Day in Toronto. Garrett Pilon had an assist on Tuesday and now has a total of four assists over a three-game point streak. Zack Ostapchuk (three goals) and Lassi Thomson (two assists) each have points in back-to-back games, while goaltender Kevin Mandolese has picked up the win in four of his last five starts.

Rocket veteran Brandan Gignac has been pacing the Laval offence of late, finding his name on the scoresheet at least once over the past eight games. Gignac has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) over that span, including a goal and a helper in Laval’s win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last week. Goaltender Jakub Dobes is on a personal four-game win streak, stopping 154 of 165 shots over that stretch, and has earned at least a point in five straight starts.

At the Rink:

Tonight is the Belleville Sens Indigenous Communities Night, celebrating the history and culture of our local First Nations and helping to continue to foster the spirit of reconciliation. As part of the evening fans will be able to, once again, shop at an Indigenous Vendor’s Market, featuring local artisans, vendors, and community information booths, with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. Fans will also be able to enter a game night raffle for some great prizes, including two Belleville Sens team-signed sticks and a team-signed jersey. Fans can buy their raffle tickets at Guest Services (just inside Gate 2) and proceeds from the auction will go to support Indigenous communities and programming. The Belleville Sens will also be raising funds for Indigenous groups and programming through the sale of remaining limited-edition t-shirts featuring Kanyen’keha-inspired Belleville Sens logos. The t-shirts were designed by local Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte artist Kory Parkin.

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.

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 CAA Arena in Belleville, Ontario, begins 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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