|FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 37 | Saturday, January 5, 2019
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Audette – Evans – Froese
Jevpalovs – Vejdemo – Grenier
Belzile – Martineau – Alain
Pezzetta – Verbeek – Waked
Sklenicka – Lernout
Ouellet – Fleury
Plant – Lamarche
Michal Moravcik, Alex Kile
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Charlie Lindgren (lower body), Noah Juulsen (undisclosed), Michael McCarron (undisclosed), Hunter Shinkaruk (undisclosed)
Game Report written by Chris G
The Laval Rocket were hosting the Rochester Americans on Saturday for the second game of the weekend series between the two teams. Rochester won the first game 3-2 in a shootout on Friday. Laval was trying to extend the sequence to five games without a regulation loss.
Connor LaCouvee made his third start since joining the Rocket, giving Michael McNiven the day off following his 33 save performance on Friday. Adam Plant was also back in the lineup, and Michal Moravcik was a healthy scratch.
The first period was evenly played between both teams until former member of the Canadiens, Zack Redmond, scored his 16th goal of the season on the power play. Redmond was all alone in the left face off circle and blasted a shot past LaCouvee.
Rochester outplayed their opponents until the Rocket got back-to-back power play opportunities in the final two minutes of the period. Alex Belzile hit the side of the net with five seconds remaining in the frame, which started a wild scramble around Adam Wilcox’s goal, leading to the Rocket drawing another penalty.
The Americans controlled the play to start the second period, including Wayne Simpson hitting the post. In a scramble in front of Wilcox’s goal, Daniel Audette hacked away until he was able to put the puck in the net to tie the game. That was Audette’s eighth point in his last eight games.
Laval’s penalty kill unit got tested as they gave Rochester a 5-on-3 for 1:36. Adam Plant was in the penalty box after he got into a scrum with Matt Tennyson following a big hit against Michael Pezzetta. Belzile was called for high-sticking 24 seconds later. The Americans were not able to capitalize on their opportunity and it gave energy to the Rocket for the remainder of the game.
Alexandre Grenier scored the game-winning goal at the 6:50 mark of the third period with a top corner wrist shot. With an assist on the goal, Xavier Ouellet extended his point streak to four games. LaCouvee made 28 saves in the game, several key in the final frame, and was named the first star of the game.
“Very happy they way the guy compete. We were a lot better tonight than we were last night,” said Joel Bouchard after the game. “It was the turning point. [..] We killed probably as good as we have killed 5-on-3, the whole year,” he continued, referring to the 5-on-3 penalty kill.
Listen in the player below for full post-game audio. Laval heads to Winnipeg to face the Moose on Thursday and Saturday night.
▲ Connor LaCouvee, Alexandre Grenier, Xavier Ouellet, Lukas Vejdemo
|0 for 2||Power Play||1 for 5|
|AHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard:
Post-game interview with Connor LaCouvee:
Post-game interview with Hayden Verbeek:
Post-game interview with Phelix Martineau:
Post-game interview with Alexandre Grenier:
Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report
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