|FINAL (OT) | 2018-19 Season, Game 34 | Saturday December 29, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Audette – McCarron – Belzile
[one_half_last]Sklenicka – Lernout
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Charlie Lindgren (lower body), Hayden Verbeek (upper body), Byron Froese (undisclosed), Noah Juulsen (undisclosed)
Game report written by Chris G
Laval closed out 2018 with the second matchup of a weekend series against Charlotte, after the Rocket beat the Checkers by a score of 4-2 on Friday night. Charlotte expected to come out stronger than the first game of this series as they likely wanted to leave town with some points in the standings. Etienne Marcoux got the start in goal after getting a night off on Friday, but there were no other changes in the lineup.
The first period started off with a quick pace but not a lot of stoppages in play. Nikita Jevpalovs opened the scoring with 5:48 remaining in the period with a top corner wrist shot from the face-off circle that beat Scott Darling on the blocker side. The crowd was still cheering from that goal when Alexandre Alain went on a breakaway off the ensuing face-off to score his fifth goal of the season only eight seconds later.
The two goals motivated the Checkers, as they put the pressure on the Rocket for the remainder of the period, but Marcoux made 13 saves including a spectacular glove save to leave Charlotte off the board at the end of the period.
Charlotte continued to outplay Laval in the second period, outshooting the Rocket 17 to 8 in the frame. Five of Laval’s eight shots were taken during the power play, which led to Jake Evans scoring his ninth goal of the season as he completed a passing play started by Michael McCarron and Xavier Ouellet.
The defensive pairing of Cale Fleury and Ouellet were on the ice for both Checkers goals scored in the period, as Patrick Brown deflected a point shot and Morgan Geekie was left open in the crease and found a loose puck to put past Marcoux.
Laval came out strong in the third period, outshooting Charlotte 18-2. Dennis Robertson beat Marcoux with one of the two Checkers shots of the period with a hard shot from the face off circle. “The fourth goal, I wanted to make the save to keep the game tied”, said Marcoux after the game.
After delivering a hard hit on Andrew Poturalski, Michael Pezzetta dropped the gloves against Dan Renouf. “I thought we needed some energy in the third tonight,” said Pezzetta on trying to fire up his bench.
With 3:16 remaining in the period, Lukas Vejdemo capitalized on a turnover by Trevor Carrick to score on a rebound and push the game into overtime. Poturalski ended the game 1:08 into the overtime to give his team the victory.
“We played pretty hard. A lot of character, a lot of caring. [..] I’m sure proud of what we did in less than three days in those three games,” said Joel Bouchard after the game.
Laval will begin the new year with a visit from the Belleville Senators on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm Eastern time. Listen in the player below for full post-game audio.
▲ Jake Evans, Nikita Jevpalovs, Michael Pezzetta
▼ Brett Lernout, Xavier Ouellet, Alexandre Grenier, Michael McCarron
|1 for 1||Power Play||1 for 1|
|AHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard:
Post-game interview with Etienne Marcoux:
Post-game interview with Michael Pezzetta:
Post-game interview with Nikita Jevpalovs:
Post-game interview with Antoine Waked:
Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report
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