GAME DAY: Sen­a­tors at Syra­cuse

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - SPORTS - PAUL SVOBODA THE INTELLIGENCER

Both clubs are look­ing for their first win of the AHL sea­son as the Belleville Sen­a­tors visit the Syra­cuse Crunch tonight at the Onondaga County War Memo­rial Arena. • B-Sens at Crunch

The B-Sens kicked off their in­au­gu­ral sea­son last week­end with back-to-back losses at Laval. The defending East­ern Con­fer­ence cham­pion and Calder Cup runner-up Crunch — the top farm club of the Tampa Bay Light­ning — did like­wise in a home-and-home week­end se­ries with the Rochester Amer­i­cans, although they gained a point for an O.T. loss.

Af­ter vis­it­ing the Crunch, the B-Sens move on to Her­shey where they’ll bat­tle the Bears on Satur­day night at the Giant Cen­ter.

Game time tonight in Syra­cuse is 7 p.m. Live ra­dio broad­cast can be heard on CJBQ 800 AM. Here’s a look at the matchup:

• Where they stand: B-Sens, 0-2-0; Crunch, 0-1-1.

• Who’s hot: Chris DiDomenico has a goal and an as­sist af­ter two games for the B-Sens; Team Canada WJC grad Mitchell Stephens has sim­i­lar stats for Syra­cuse.

• Big D: Pa­trick Seiloff earned the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing in­volved in the first-ever fight for the B-Sens last week­end in Laval; Ben Thomas leads the Crunch blue­line with two as­sists af­ter two games.

• Puck stops here: Vet­eran Danny Tay­lor faced a to­tal of 65 shots for the B-Sens last week­end, stop­ping 58; Syra­cuse net­min­der Michael Leighton, 36, has ap­peared in 111 ca­reer NHL games.

• Be­hind the bench: B-Sens boss Kurt Kleinen­dorst, 56, guided the team (then lo­cated in Bing­ham­ton, NY) to a Calder Cup ti­tle in 2011; Syra­cuse coach Benoit Groulx, 49, won three QMJHL crowns with the Gatineau Olympiques and went to con­sec­u­tive Memo­rial Cups in 2003-04. • Need to know: In the iconic 1977 hockey movie, Slap Shot, the Syra­cuse Bull­dogs were the fic­ti­tious foes of the Charlestown Chiefs in the Fed­eral League fi­nal.

ON DECK: Tonight — Belleville at Syra­cuse, 7 p.m. Live play-by-play on CJBQ 800 AM ra­dio.

SENS STUFF ... De­fence­man CHRIS­TIAN JAROS, who started the sea­son in Belleville, earned high praise from GUY BOUCHER, head coach of the par­ent OTTAWA SEN­A­TORS, af­ter get­ting called up to the NHL club with fel­low rear­guard, THOMAS CHABOT. Boucher told the Ottawa Cit­i­zen: “We love those guys. Those guys are go­ing to be NHL play­ers. It’s just a mat­ter of time whether it’s Chabot or Jaros. Love him. Love his game. I’m re­ally thrilled to see that qual­ity depth on de­fence.”

AROUND THE ‘A’ ... Four East­ern Con­fer­ence teams opened the 201718 AHL cam­paign with two straight wins — Laval, Rochester, Toronto Mar­lies and Char­lotte Check­ers ... Top open­ing-night AHL at­ten­dance was recorded by the CLEVE­LAND MON­STERS — 12,115 — in a 4-0 home-ice loss to the Rock­ford Ice Hogs; low­est open­ing-night at­ten­dance was 2,152 at Hart­ford where the home­town WOLF PACK beat Le­high Val­ley 2-1 in a shootout ... The COLORADO EA­GLES will join the AHL as an ex­pan­sion club in the Western Con­fer­ence next sea­son. Ea­gles cur­rently play in the ECHL. They’ll be the top farm club of the Colorado Avalanche ... For­mer record-set­ting Belleville Bulls de­fence­man JOR­DAN SUB­BAN starts his third AHL sea­son with the UTICA COMETS. The Van­cou­ver Canucks prospect had 16 goals and 36 points in 65 games for Utica last sea­son. He holds the Bulls fran­chise mark for most goals in one sea­son (25) by a blue­liner. Comets make their first of three vis­its to Yard­men Arena on Feb. 19.

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