Utica Comets vs Laval Rocket Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media, Montreal Canadiens

FINAL | Regular Season – Game 20 | Friday, November 22, 2019
Place Bell, Laval, QC

ROCKET

Laval

6-4

COMETS

Utica

Photo by Laval Rocket

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Dale Weise – Ryan Poehling – Kevin Lynch

Matthew Peca – Michael McCarron – Riley Barber

Alexandre Alain – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox

Nikita Jevpalovs – Jake Evans – Antoine Waked

Defense pairings

Gustav Olofsson – Noah Juulsen

Otto Leskinen – Maxim Lamarche

Karl Alzner – Josh Brook

Goaltenders

Cayden Primeau – Charlie Lindgren

Scratches

Michael Pezzetta, David Sklenicka, Charles Hudon (recalled to MTL)

Injuries

William Pelletier (undisclosed), Phil Varone (wrist), Xavier Ouellet (lower body), Evan McEneny (lower body), Alex Belzile (upper body)

Game Report

Game Report written by Blain Potvin

The Rocket returned home from a one-game trip to rival Toronto on Wednesday. Despite being unable to win and move to the top of the North Division, they were able to take a point to remain within striking distance of the top spot in the division.

It was a costly point, as Alex Belzile sustained what the team calls an upper body injury when he was hit from behind by Garrett Wilson.

Replacing Belzile on the top line tonight, who is tied for the team lead in point production with Lukas Vejdemo, was Dale Weise, with Nikita Jevpalovs slotting into the fourth line for Weise.

The opening period began with the Rocket setting the tone with their cycle game. After a few shifts, both teams settled into a tentative game. Laval ran into trouble as they allowed Utica to control the neutral zone.

Utica’s Francis Perron, a Laval native, capitalized on the only power play of the first period, as Maxim Lamarche was in the box for hooking.

The momentum then shifted to Laval for most of the remainder of the game once Josh Brook intercepted an errant pass in the Rocket zone. He used his speed to create separation and was able to gain a partial breakaway and, using an accurate wrist shot, tied the game at 1-1.

Laval controlled the majority of the second period by controlling the boards, winning foot races and controlling the neutral zone. Utica’s Nikolai Goldobin was able to generate the only dangerous scoring chance for his team but Rocket goaltender Cayden Primeau shut the door with a desperation save, kicking his leg out at the final moment.

Ryan Poehling generated several scoring chances by going to the net with speed, however he was unable to capitalize until the third period. Riley Barber and Jake Evans were dangerous on each shift as well, and they were each awarded a goal to extend Laval’s lead to 3-1 after two periods of play. Barber’s goal was later reviewed and awarded to Michael McCarron.

In the third period, the play opened up for Laval, who continued their domination. Goals by Otto Leskinen, Barber, and Poehling extended the Rocket’s lead to 6-2. A late surge by Utica, fueled by undisciplined Rocket play, led to a string of penalties which allowed the Comets to cut the lead to 6-4.

But it was too little too late, and Laval earned a key two points to move up in the standings and tie division-leading Toronto and Rochester in points. Neither team gets much rest, as they play each other yet again in a Saturday matinee game tomorrow.

Plus / Minus

▲  Riley Barber, Otto Leskinen, Lukas Vejdemo

▼  Dale Weise

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
ROCKET   COMETS
32 Shots 28
1 for 6 Power Play 3 for 7
14 Penalty Minutes 12
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (11-6-3-0) 1 2 3 6
Comets (10-7-1-0) 1 0 3 4
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Brook (3), McCarron (3), Evans (2), Leskinen (1), Barber (2), Poehling (4)
  • UTI: Perron (4), Jasek (3), Camper (2), Gadjovich (2)
  • LAV: Primeau (W) 7-2-1-1
  • UTI: McIntyre (L) 6-4-0-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Riley Barber  LAV
  2. Jake Evans  LAV
  3. Otto Leskinen  LAV

Watch

 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews
 

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

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