|FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 16 | Tuesday November 13, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Chaput – Evans – Belzile
[one_half_last]Kulak – Lernout
Adam Plant, Antoine Waked
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Nikita Scherbak (lower body), Nikita Jevpalovs (lower body), Cale Fleury (day-to-day)
After finishing their road trip with a disappointing loss in Cleveland, the Laval Rocket were back on home ice Tuesday night hungry for a win. With their division rivals, the Toronto Marlies, in town, they didn’t have to look far for motivation to come out with a strong start.
Lukas Vejdemo kicked things off with a goal less than a minute after the opening faceoff when he banked the puck in from a feed down low from Alexandre Grenier. But Toronto turned around and negated that goal with one of their own after Maxim Lamarche turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Chris Mueller took off on a breakaway to wrist the puck past Charlie Lindgren.
But Laval didn’t sit back, as Byron Froese came in with a quick shot in tight to the net to make the score 2-1 for the Rocket before five minutes of hockey had been played. To add to the celebration, Froese’s goal came on the power play – something that has been massively struggling all season long.
Michael Chaput continued the positive power play trend just a few minutes later when he banged in his own rebound on the man advantage, giving Laval a two-goal lead over the Marlies. That goal would chase Jeff Glass from the Toronto crease less than nine minutes into the game, with Eamon McAdam coming into the net in relief. Mueller would find the back of Laval’s net once again before the first intermission.
For the next two periods, however, it was all Laval. Vejdemo scored another goal after a horrendous penalty kill by the Marlies, Maxim Lamarche potted his first of the season with a blast from the point that deflected into the net, and Daniel Audette found the back of the net for the second time in the past week when he found himself alone in the slot and sent a wrister careening past McAdam.
At the other end of the ice, Lindgren was locked in and made some very big saves at opportune times. There was one point where the Marlies looked all but guaranteed to score, but Lindgren made a rolling save and came up grinning from his successful efforts.
The game was physical, however, which is usually the case when these two teams meet. Former Rocket forward Adam Cracknell took a hard hit in the corner during the first period, and headed off the ice gingerly favoring one leg. He did not return to the game. In the second period Hayden Verbeek took a check to the head from Frank Corrado which sent him straight to the room for evaluation. He did return to the Laval bench for the third period, however, after being cleared to play.
Admittedly, the goaltending situation in Toronto isn’t anywhere near the caliber that it was last season when they won the Calder Cup. The Rocket did well to take full advantage of that fact and exploited an obvious weakness in a team they have to play another 10 times before the season ends. Next up, Laval will welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to Place Bell on Friday night.
▲ Brett Lernout, Charlie Lindgren, Lukas Vejdemo, Michael Chaput
▼ Michal Moravcik, Maxim Lamarche
|2 for 6||Power Play||0 for 3|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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