|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 52 | Friday February 16, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Audette – Cracknell – Boucher
Broll – McCarron – Eisenschmid
Leveille – Ebbing – Gregoire
Waked – Blain – Baun
Gelinas – Juulsen
Parisi – Lernout
Bourque – Leblanc
Yannick Veilleux (lower body), Matt Taormina (upper body), Chris Terry (day-to-day), Niki Petti (lower body), Matt Petgrave
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
After finding the will to garner the ever-elusive win on home ice Wednesday night, the Rocket got back to work on Friday when the welcomed the Hershey Bears to Place Bell for the first time this season.
The opening period was admittedly uneventful for most of the 20 minutes. Both teams seemed to be a bit tentative, with most shots coming from the blue line or the perimeter. Laval found themselves on the man advantage on two occasions, however couldn’t muster any success on the power play.
Instead, Hershey managed to get on the board first with a short-handed goal by Liam O’Brien when he forced a turnover in the neutral zone to create a breakaway chance. Eric Gelinas couldn’t catch him, and O’Brien put the puck past netminder Charlie Lindgren.
Then David Broll took a late-period penalty for slashing, and the Bears wasted no time on the power play to extend their lead to 2-0 when Travis Boyd wristed the puck perfectly from the circle.
In the second period, the pace picked up dramatically as both teams seemed to find a good rhythm. The Rocket also did a better job of driving the net and had some quality scoring chances.
Finally, Adam Cracknell got a puck through when he deflected the puck off a big shot by Noah Juulsen from the point.
Just seconds later, however, Boyd scored his second goal of the night when a bad clearing attempt by Laval generated a blue-line turnover. Joe Whitney quickly passed the puck to Boyd in the crease who dangled long enough to get a clean shot at the net and restore Hershey’s two-goal lead.
But before the period expired, the Rocket would pull within one again when Antoine Waked showed off his puck-handling skills on a breakaway and beat Vitek Vanecek clean.
Boyd would complete a hat trick before the night was over, when he muscled his way past Jeremy Gregoire to get to the slot and fire the puck into the net through traffic. He would then go on to score a fourth goal, and O’Brien would tally another shortie, an empty-netter this time.
The third period was a complete defensive breakdown for Laval, as the team seemed to run out of gas in the final frame. They’ll need to find focus and a bit of fire in the belly as they have a quick turnaround for another game against the Toronto Marlies on Saturday night.
▲ Luc-Olivier Blain, Adam Cracknell
▼ Jeremy Gregoire, Simon Bourque
|0 for 4||Power Play||1 for 4|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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