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Game Recap

Smejkal scores twice as Senators snap back at Marlies with 6-2 win on home ice

January 14, 2024

The Belleville Senators got some payback on the Toronto Marlies, following their road loss on Friday, answering back with a 6-2 win in front of a packed crowd at CAA Arena on Sunday afternoon.

It was all Belleville to start things off, with the Senators putting on a big push from the puck drop, before gaining some momentum from an early penalty kill and capitalizing with three straight goals. Egor Sokolov beat Dennis Hildeby with a backhand into the roof of the net at 9:00 in, Kyle Betts scored his first of the season on a penalty shot a couple of minutes later, and then Josh Currie tipped in a point shot from Jacob Larsson just past the midway point, to make it 3-0.

Toronto would get close with two quick goals to start the second period. Kieffer Bellows managed to beat Leevi Merilainen just 1:16 into the period and Grant Cruikshank scored about 20 seconds later. But the Senators would lock down their defence through the rest of the frame and take a one-goal lead to the second intermission.

The Senators tacked on three more goals in the third, including two deflections from Jiri Smejkal and a low wrist shot from the point by Jacob Larsson to seal the win.

Fast Facts:

  • #4 Jacob Larsson had one goal and one assist
  • #11 Kyle Betts scored his first goal of the season on a penalty shot in the first period
  • #13 Egor Sokolov had two goals and one assist, putting him atop Belleville’s team scoring race with 23 points. He was named the game’s second star.
  • #16 Tyler Boucher had an assist and a fight
  • #18 Josh Currie scored his sixth goal of the season
  • #21 Max Guenette added an assist
  • #25 Tyler Kleven had an assist
  • #26 Brennan Saulnier notched an assist
  • #27 Graham McPhee had an assist
  • # 35 Leevi Merilainen stopped 27/29 shots in his return from the ECHL and improved his AHL record to 4-3-1 on the season
  • #39 Jiri Smejkal had two goals, for his second two-goal game this season, and was named the game’s first star
  • #52 Nikolas Matinpalo had an assist
  • Belleville was 2/6 on the and 3/3 on the penalty kill


Sound Bytes:

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on his team’s response in the second period:

“You knew they were going to push back and they changed a couple of systematic things, but we caught our breath, regained our composure and then swung it back our way. In the third, I thought we took over again, by playing the right way and playing the way we need to, to our strengths.”

Belleville Sens Head Coach Dave Bell on Jiri Smejkal’s recent strong play:

“He’s having fun, that’s the biggest thing. He was up (in the NHL), which is unbelievable and what his goal ultimately is. But when you’re up there playing two or three minutes a night and then come down here and play 15 or 16 a night, it’s more fun. I think he’s starting to feel the puck a lot more and he’s a big body, that when he decides to go to the net, you’re not moving him.”

Media Availabilities:

Up Next:

  • Sunday January 14, 2024 vs Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) – 2:00 p.m. ET (Sunday Fun Day)
  • Wednesday January 17, 2024 @ Utica Comets (New Jersey Devils) – 7:00 p..m. ET
  • Friday January 19, 2024 @ Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens) – 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Saturday January 20, 2024 vs Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens) – 7:00 p.m. ET (Bell Let’s Talk Night)

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.

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The full 2023-2024 Belleville Senators regular season schedule can be found by clicking here.

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