|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 53 | Saturday February 17, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Audette – Cracknell – Boucher
Waked – McCarron – Eisenschmid
Baun – Ebbing – Gregoire
Leveille – Blain – Broll
Parisi – Juulsen
Gelinas – 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)
The Rocket suffered a terrible defeat against the Hershey Bears on Friday night, and they returned to the ice at Place Bell on Saturday looking to take out their revenge on Toronto.
Laval came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, setting the tone for intensity, pace, and energy. Their forecheck was strong and they managed to outscore their opponents 16-3 in the opening 20 minutes.
Antoine Waked, promoted to the second line with Michael McCarron and Markus Eisenschmid, was rewarded with his second goal in as many games when he banked in a rebound off of Calvin Pickard after McCarron fired a point-blank shot at the Marlies goaltender.
The rest of the opening frame was steady and uneventful, except for one penalty taken by Jeremy Gregoire. The Rocket penalty killers stood their ground and the teams headed to intermission with Laval leading 1-0.
After both teams trading too-many-men penalties to open the second period, Miro Aaltonen got the Marlies on the board with a puck deflection past Michael McNiven to even the score at 1-1.
Rinat Valiev later sent Gregoire careening into the net as he drove hard to the crease, earning the Rocket their second power play opportunity of the night. McCarron took full advantage, accepting a beautiful centering pass from Adam Cracknell and banging in his own rebound to restore the Rocket lead, 2-1.
But once again, the third period found the home team struggling. They held onto their lead for more than half the period, but then Toronto came on strong and managed to pot three unanswered goals to put the game out of reach for Laval.
With playoff hopes quickly slipping more solidly out of reach, the team now needs to focus on finishing the season with some strong wins and playing a full 60 minutes every night. They’ll have a few days of practice in Laval before heading back to Utica late in the week for another matchup against the Comets.
▲ Antoine Waked, Michael McCarron, Adam Cracknell, Noah Juulsen
|1 for 3||Power Play||1 for 2|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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