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Sturtz Looking to Rebound from Injury-Filled 2018-19 Season

September 3, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Belleville Senators News Release

To say that Andrew Sturtz would want to forget the 2018-19 season is likely an understatement.

An injury-riddled season saw the 24-year-old play only 15 games for the Belleville Senators.

Now, with the 2019 Rookie Showcase set to kick off on Friday, a tournament Sturtz will play in for Ottawa, he's just excited to get to hit the ice again.

"I haven't played in what feels like forever," Sturtz said.

February 8 to be exact. And if you want to break it down even further, Sturtz has only played three games in 2019.

A light groin strain heading into last season kept Sturtz on the shelf, but then a broken foot in two spots, a high ankle sprain and finally a grade 3 ACL joint sprain ended Sturtz's rookie season before it really began.

"It was really frustrating but for me," Sturtz said. "I looked at the positives that it hopefully all happened in one year and I can have a strong, positive September and bring what I learned in camp to Belleville."

In the 15 games with Belleville, the Penn State alum had two goals and six points. In 21 career AHL games, Sturtz has nine points (three goals).

"It's always frustrating to be hurt but to be hurt in four different ways, you come back from one injury, you think you see the light and start to prove yourself, and then to get hurt again numerous times was tough," Sturtz said. "But we had a lot of older guys who have been through things like that and taught me how to handle it.

"It's something you work through as an athlete and a little bit of adversity I've had to overcome and I'm looking forward to getting back out there."

Back out there will be this weekend when Sturtz will join a number of Ottawa's top prospects for the Rookie Showcase where Ottawa will also battle Montreal and Winnipeg at CAA Arena from Sept. 6-9.

Sturtz played in the tournament last year in Laval where the Senators went a perfect 2-0 to claim the title for the second straight season.

This year though, the tournament is the kick starter to a season that Sturtz is determined to prove himself in the American Hockey League.

"You want to come into any season and prove that you had a good, hard-working summer but for me, it's more so proving that I can play in this league and stay healthy and contribute whatever way the coaching staff wants me to contribute on a nightly basis."

Tickets to the Rookie Showcase are still available. A tournament pass costs $60 and includes a ticket to all four games. A Family pack also costs $60 and includes four tickets to one game. Single-game tickets are $20. All tickets are subject to applicable taxes and surcharges.

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