The Belleville Senators continue to battle for a playoff spot in the American Hockey League.
They’re currently tied for fourth place in the North Division with the Cleveland Monsters. Both teams have 74 points. The top four teams in each division will qualify for the postseason.
“Every game from here on in is huge,” said Senators forward Nic Paul.
On Wednesday night, the Senators (33-27-8) host the division-leading Syracuse Crunch. The Senators enter the contest on a two-game losing streak but coach Troy Mann told the team to forget about the past and focus on the present.
“He’s done a great job for us this season,” said Paul, a former OHL standout with the North Bay Battalion.
“Considering all the moves that Ottawa has made, it’s amazing we’re still fighting for a postseason berth. Things have been stable for a while and we’re building some chemistry. That’s a big reason why we’re playing some pretty good hockey. We went on a nice roll in February and March, picking up points in 17 straight games.”
One advantage for Belleville is that six of the final eight games are at home where the Sens have a healthy 20-8-4 record at the C.A.A Arena this year.
“The fans have been great,” continued Paul, who played 20 games this season in the NHL with Ottawa and scored one goal.
“The crowd really gets the boys pumped up. They’ve played a key role in our success this season with their support and we’d like nothing better than to reward them with some post-season hockey.”
Wednesday’s game against Syracuse will start at 7 p.m.