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Troy Talks: October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

The Belleville Senators had a bit of a disappointing weekend suffering a pair of losses to the Cleveland Monsters this past Friday and Saturday, but preparations are already underway for the team’s first three game week of the season.

We caught up with Head Coach Troy Mann for the second edition of Troy Talks, recapping the weekend, previewing the upcoming games and getting an update on the team’s injured reserve list.

Looking back both games last weekend, how would you evaluate the team’s performance?

“I really didn’t like how we played on Friday night. We felt we were ready, had a really good week of practice and were expecting a good push, but we were flat most of the night and didn’t have enough guys executing. The next night I thought we had a great response game and just couldn’t convert on our chances. I think by our stats we had about 26 chances, so it’s unfortunate, because I thought we deserved to win the game. Our message to the guys Monday morning was that we’ve set the standard for how we can play and if we can get consistency like that, we’re going to win more than we lose.”

Is it too early to be worried about the lack of production?

“I wouldn’t say we’re in panic mode. If you look at Sokolov specifically, it took him five games to get his first goal during the COVID season, or you go back two years ago when Josh Norris went five AHL games without registering a point (He would finish 4th in league scoring that year as a rookie). This is the real AHL and it’s 25% better than last year, in my opinion, so it’s an adjustment. When the majority of your skill is coming from your 19 and 20 year-old guys, it’s going to take some time. Hopefully they’re able to build their game and just need a goal or a point to feel good about themselves. Hopefully that starts tomorrow night.”

This is a much different week compared to last, with the midweek game. How do preparations change, especially with the road trip coming up? 

“It certainly changes the practice structure. Last week we were trying to cover specific things every day because we had a four-day practice cycle. This week, we had a day off Sunday so we came in on Monday and tried to attack some of the areas where we need to get better at. Today was all about pace, which I thought we had, and we touched on power play and penalty kill. Obviously the PP has been struggling, but I did think we generated a number of looks on Saturday, it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t get a goal and get it to overtime.”

Erik Brannstrom left the game after a high cross check on Saturday and there are a few other players dealing with injuries, what’s the latest updated?

“He had I think eight stitches and lost three front teeth, so he was at the dentist yesterday getting some repairs and he’s heading back there today. He tells us he’s ready to go and he played with a full shield in practice, so he’ll play tomorrow and that’s really good news. Rourke Chartier is still week-to-week, Kameron Kielly has been cleared so he’s eligible to play this weekend. Sogaard is coming along and is going to practice tomorrow and take some reps with the team, which is good news, but whether he’s ready for Friday or Saturday we’ll have to see. He’s day-to-day, but he’s awfully close. Lassi Thomson will be out tomorrow and potentially Friday and Saturday, he’s day-to-day with a bit of an ankle tweak. Tyrell Goulbourne is dealing with a bit of a lower back issue and will take the morning skate tomorrow, but he’s a possibility for Friday.”


The Senators welcome the Rochester Americans for the first time this season on Wednesday night, before hosting the Toronto Marlies for their first visit of the campaign on Friday. Belleville travels to Toronto on Saturday for an afternoon rematch. Tickets for Wednesday and Friday’s games are still available via Ticketmaster, or the CAA Arena Box Office.

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