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game day

Game Day Build-Up: Sens and Pens conclude brief season series at CAA Arena

December 21, 2023

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Dec.21/23 vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (NHL Affiliate: Pittsburgh Penguins)                      

The Set-Up:

The Belleville Senators (10-10-2-2) battle for seeding in the middle of the North Division continues this week, as the Sens return home to CAA Arena for two more games before the brief Holiday Break. And after a pair of losses to division-leading Cleveland last week, the Senators will play outside the division tonight, as they welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (14-9-3-0) for their only visit of the season. And while Belleville is looking to find its offence after a weekend of low-scoring affairs against the Monsters, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has picked up three straight victories, outscoring their opponents 10-3, with their most recent victory, against Rochester last weekend.

Previous History:

Tonight’s game concludes the two-game mini set between the Sens and Pens for 2023-24, which started with a 3-2 Belleville win in Overtime, back on November 4. The Sens’ victory improved their lifetime record against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to 4-3-0-0, with a 3-1-0-0 mark at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Place. At home, at CAA Arena, the Senators are 1-2-0-0 in their lifetime against the Penguins.

Roster Notes:

Belleville will be without its leading scorer and one of its top power forwards tonight, after both Angus Crookshank and Jiri Smejkal were recalled to Ottawa, following last week’s games in Cleveland. Crookshank made his National Hockey League debut earlier this week in Las Vegas and scored his first career NHL in Arizona, while Smejkal has dressed in two more games on this recall, after making his debut and playing a second game earlier this month. On the injury front, just forwards Brennan Saulnier and Philippe Daoust remain out hurt for the Senators.

Who to Watch:

He tends to get through most games quietly, unless he’s unleashing a powerful point shot, but fans will want to keep an eye on defender Nikolas Matinpalo tonight. The 25-year-old rearguard from Finland leads the club with a +7 rating, and has also contributed with a goal and three assists this season. Matinpalo also received his first recall to Ottawa this season and is hoping his steady back-end play will eventually earn him another NHL shot.

Rem Pitlick has been pacing the Penguins offence of late, registering at least a point in eight straight games (three goals, seven assists). Veteran forward Peter Abbandonato is riding a three-game point streak coming into tonight (one goal, two assists), while netminder Magnus Hellberg has won his last four starts.

At the Rink:

Tonight, is the second-last game before the Holiday Break, with CAA Arena doors opening at 6:00 p.m., and puck drop slated for 7:00 p.m. 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 tomorrow night’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 Brock Ormond.

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

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