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Playoff Game Day Build-Up: B-Sens open first round series with rival Marlies at CAA Arena

April 24, 2024

Belleville Sens Game Day Build-Up
Apr.24/24 vs Toronto Marlies (AHL Affiliate: Toronto Maple Leafs)
2024 Calder Cup Finals First Round – Game 1 of 3 (Series Tied 0-0)

The Set-Up:

It may be the second Calder Cup Playoff appearance in their history for the Belleville Senators, but there will be a lot of firsts, in the opener of their best-of-three first-round series with the Toronto Marlies tonight. For example, this is the first time in American Hockey League history that the affiliates of the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs have met in playoff action. There are also close to 20 players on the Belleville roster that could make their Calder Cup Playoff debuts tonight. And, perhaps most importantly, a chance for Belleville to earn its first postseason victory, after being swept in the first round two years ago and take advantage of the home ice they worked so hard to gain. And as they come up against a Marlies team laden with veterans, the B-Sens will have to remember that what they may lack in experience, they make up for with a tireless work ethic, smothering defence and a physical style of play. Couple that with some top-class goaltending and timely scoring, there could be more firsts on the way on the long road to the Calder Cup Final.

Previous History:

The B-Sens and Marlies played an extremely tight season series, with seven of the 10 games being decided by one goal or less and four needing overtime or a shootout. Belleville had the upper hand in the season series at 5-3-0-1, including a 3-1-0-1 mark at home. This is the first meeting between Belleville and Toronto in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Roster Notes:

Belleville now has all of its eligible players back from the National Hockey League, as Angus Crookshank was returned from Ottawa this week. The 24-year-old hasn’t suited up for Belleville since March 16 against Bridgeport, before he was recalled to the NHL and injured playing for Ottawa. Despite missing all of that AHL time, Crookshank was still the club’s second-leading scorer and top goal getter this season. Crookshank joins Boko Imama, Zack Ostapchuk, and Jiri Smejkal, who were all recently returned to Belleville. Full lineup details, including tonight’s alignment, will be available before puck drop via the B-Sens social media channels (@BellevilleSens).

Who to Watch:

Belleville forward Wyatt Bongiovanni was red hot through the final stretch, ending the season on a six-game point streak (seven goals, two assists), that included some timely strikes to help Belleville win eight of its last 10 contests. Bongiovanni scored twice against Toronto, in his first game against the Marlies since being traded to Belleville. He also palyed two games against Toronto as a member of the Manitoba Moose earlier in the season. In the net, Mads Sogaard picked up the win in his last four starts of the season, stopping 100 of 108 shots he faced over that span. He finished the season with the 10th-best goals-against average in the American Hockey League (2.45) and the 11th-best save percentage (.916).

The Marlies stumbled into the playoffs, losing their last three games and scoring just five times, but left about a dozen regular players out of their season finale against Cleveland. Veteran forward Keifer Bellows was one of those scratches last Sunday but carried an 8-point, three-game streak into the end of the season. He’s also picked up seven points (three goals, four assists) in seven games against Belleville this season.

At the rink:

CAA Arena gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for the duration of the B-Sens Calder Cup Playoff run. The first 3,000 fans through the doors tonight will receive a free Calder Cup Playoffs rally towel, courtesy of CAA. Fans will also be able to get geared up for the playoffs with deals and discounts at The Locker Room Store including 25% off jerseys and customizations, long and short sleeve tees, hoodies, and team gear. Plus, every fan who makes a purchase either in-store or online, will receive a free Belleville Sens flag. Sales are available outside of game times at the Locker Room Store and will run through Friday, April, 26.

Ticket info:

Tickets for Belleville Sens 2024 Calder Cup Playoff first-round home games are now on sale, via Ticketmaster or the Belleville Sens Ticket Hub. Fans can also purchase tickets by visiting the Belleville Sens Box Office at the Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre, which is open from Noon until 7:30 p.m. today, or by emailing

Fans with further questions about playoff ticketing, or those looking for information on premium seating or group tickets, can also email

Details on 2024-25 season seat memberships, 2024-25 Group Experiences or 2024-25 Business Elite memberships, are available via the Belleville Sens website, or by emailing


Follow the action:

Tonight’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. (ET) and can be seen on AHL TV, or heard free on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network, with pregame coverage on both platforms beginning with David Foot and Brock Ormond, at 6:45 p.m. (ET), from the CAA Arena, in Belleville, Ontario.

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