|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 30 | Wednesday December 20, 2017
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Terry – Cracknell – Scherbak
[one_half_last]Taormina – Lernout
Simon Bourque, Willie Corrin, David Broll, Michael McNiven
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
Well the Laval sticks finally woke up in the last game, with the Rocket scoring five goals but ultimately falling to the Checkers who outscored them with two additional goals. But discipline and a struggling penalty kill seemed to doom the team yet again in a game that they looked as if they could win. With a three-game homestand now on the schedule for this week, the Rocket must find ways to head into Christmas with as many points as possible.
The Rocket played a very consistent, solid opening 20 minutes of hockey in this game. Adam Cracknell started things off the right way by cleaning up a rebound off the post by Chris Terry just 28 seconds into the period to give Laval an early 1-0 lead.
They controlled much of the pace during the period, applying plenty of offensive pressure and executing textbook zone entries and exits. Charlie Lindgren looked locked in from the start, making some big saves to keep Syracuse from finding the back of the net.
Late in the period, with Nikita Scherbak serving an interference penalty, the Crunch evened the score with a quick wrister from the faceoff circle. The teams headed to the first intermission knotted at 1-1.
The second period started a bit slowly, but things heated up quickly when Scherbak got on the board with a power play goal to put Laval back on top, 2-1.
Terry had a momentary scare when a deflected puck off a hard shot by Noah Juulsen hit him in the side of the face. He left the game for a few minutes, but returned to the Laval bench no worse for wear a few minutes later.
Syracuse would go on to pull even with the home team yet again, but the top line for the Rocket would combine yet again in the waning minutes of the period to regain the lead. Scherbak fed the puck perfectly to Terry in the slot, who proceeded to pass it back to Cracknell. Adam carried it briefly on his stick blade before going bar down on Louis Domingue to make it 3-2.
Then the Rocket really kicked things into high gear in the final frame. Brett Lernout took a boarding penalty and, upon exiting the penalty box after his two minutes had expired, snagged the puck on a breakaway to pot his first goal of the season. Lernout was then recalled by the Canadiens immediately following the game and will join the Habs in Calgary.
With more than six minutes remaining in the period, Benoit Groulx pulled netminder Louis Domingue in an attempt to close the gap on Laval. But his plan backfired when Terry fired the puck down the ice for an empty-netter, putting a stamp on the game as the Rocket finished the game with a dominant 5-2 victory.
This was a big win for Laval. A complete 60 minutes. Disciplined. High-scoring. Great goaltending. Hopefully they can begin to play this way every night. The Rochester Americans are the next team to visit Laval this week, and they’ll be in town for a back-to-back series on Friday and Saturday nights. The Rocket will look to build on this complete game with more wins over the weekend.
▲ Nikita Scherbak, Adam Cracknell, Chris Terry, Charlie Lindgren, Brett Lernout
|1 for 9||Power Play||1 for 4|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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