On October 25th I was given access to interview Mads Sogaard, Matthew Highmore and head coach David Bell one-on-one post-game. This came after Belleville’s 4-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals in which Highmore had the lone goal for the Senators.

Mads Sogaard:

22-year old goaltender Mads Sogaard was a second round draft pick by the Senators in the 2019 draft. Sogaard has already played in 21 NHL games with 19 of them being last year when Ottawa was dealing with multiple goaltender injuries throughout the season. 

What are your expectations for yourself personally this season?

For me it’s about just being available and trying to play as many games as I can and take another step in the right direction. In terms of a specific goal, I can’t really give you one, but I’m just trying to get better every day and take another step and make sure that I’m available for the coaching staff to look at me.

After getting some experience in the NHL last year, how has that helped you playing here? Has it changed your approach at all?

No, it hasn’t changed too much. It’s just awesome to get that experience. There are some good games and there are some bad games. It’s just about leaning on what I learned last year and trying to do my best every night. It’s not always going to be perfect. It’s not always going to be pretty. But at the end of the day, if I work as hard as I can and prepare as good as I can, I can work with the results.

Can you tell me about what the experience is like, being suddenly called up into the NHL?

Yeah, it’s a little bit of a mixed emotions, full of excitement, but at the same time you never want to see anyone go down. It was a weird feeling honestly but I was just trying to make the most of my opportunity and I think I ended up playing more than anyone thought I would but I’m just happy to gain the experience, happy to be able to lean on on that, and lean on playing against some of the best teams in the world. It was a great experience and I’m just trying to build on it this year. 

Mathew Highmore:

27-year old center Matthew Highmore has played a total of 139 NHL games for the Blackhawks, Canucks and Blues. He signed a one-year contract with the Senators this past summer. 

What are your expectations for yourself personally this season?

For myself personally, I want to be a leader in the locker room, try to lead with the young guys, obviously on the ice, produce for my team, whether it’s in the defensive zone, offensive zone, doesn’t matter, but just trying to help us win.

Are there any games on the schedule that you are specifically looking forward to?

I think anytime you get to play your old team in Springfield will be fun. I mean just every game is a new challenge and I’m looking forward to that. 

Has the team done anything to bond early in the year? 

Yeah. I think we’ve done a lot of team stuff, we’re really close in the locker room and have had a golf day or two so it’s been good so far.

David Bell:

David Bell is in his fifth year on Belleville’s coaching staff and took over as head coach after Troy Mann was fired midway through last season. 

Who is someone who you think early on has been an early stand out or who has stepped up as a leader?

Well, we have lots of leaders in the room. The leaders that wear the letters have been real good leaders. Bokondji Imama and (Garett) Pilon don’t wear letters all the time, they’re leaders. I think there’s been guys step up at different moments. (Cole) Reinhardt’s been here for three years now, so I don’t think there’s anybody that’s not had a moment of being a leader in their life.

Is there someone you anticipate might surprise people and take a big step this year?

Well, I hope everybody does, but I mean, (Nikolas) Matinpalo is a bit unknown. He’s not a draft pick that I think has a really good game for playing in North America. And I think when he gets used to the game over here he’s going to turn some heads. 


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