Ryan Poehling – Jake Evans – Charles Hudon
Alexandre Alain – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox
Dale Weise – Kevin Lynch – Antoine Waked
Hayden Verbeek – Michael Pezzetta – Nikita Jevpalovs
Xavier Ouellet – Christian Folin
Gustav Olofsson – Maxim Lamarche
Karl Alzner – Josh Brook
Charlie Lindgren – Keith Kinkaid
William Pelletier (undisclosed), Phil Varone (wrist), Evan McEneny (lower body), Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (day-to-day), Michael McCarron (day-to-day)
The Rocket returned home to Laval to begin a four-game home stand on Tuesday night. Charlie Lindgren returned to the crease, apparently no worse for wear after leaving the game early on Saturday night with a potential injury. Charles Hudon also returned to the Rocket lineup and took the right wing position on the first line in place of Riley Barber, recently recalled to Montreal.
Despite a big win on the road Saturday night in Springfield, the Rocket didn’t begin this game looking like they had retained much of the energy and momentum from that victory. In fact, Cleveland worked hard to keep Laval pinned in their own zone and took away most lanes in the neutral zone.
Gustav Olofsson took an early holding penalty on former Canadiens prospect Stefan Matteau and Nathan Gerbe wasted no time on the man advantage to put his team up 1-0. Gerbe fired a point shot that sailed past a Christian Folin who looked like more of a bystander than a defenseman. Folin is due to soon be recalled to Montreal at the end of his conditioning stint, and his play on this goal and another high-danger shot soon after that Lindgren was able to glove left much to be desired.
Kevin Stenlund then doubled the score for the Monsters as he ripped a one-time from the slot that Maxim Lamarche and Karl Alzner couldn’t defend. Less than 30 seconds before the period expired, Antoine Waked took a slashing call on Matteau and sent the Rocket to the penalty kill once again.
As we’ve seen in the past few weeks, the Rocket have had trouble playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. And like their game in Springfield, after struggling in the first period Laval came out much better in the middle frame. Lindgren continued to make some key saves, particularly one against Gerbe on a breakaway, to keep his team in the hunt.
Dale Weise got the Rocket on the board when he picked up a loose puck and charged into the offensive zone on a breakway, beating Veini Vehvilainen cleanly on the glove side.
In the third period, Cleveland took five different penalties and eventually their indiscipline did them in. Hudon set up shop in his office, the right circle, on a power play near the end of the frame, and fired off a shot that beat Vehvilainen to tie the game.
Despite also getting a power play opportunity in overtime, Laval wasn’t able to find the game winner until things moved to the shootout. Both goaltenders stood tall as the teams advanced through seven rounds of the skills competition, with Hudon, Weise, and Michael Pezzetta all scoring for the Rocket to seal the victory.
The home stand continues on Friday and Saturday as the Rocket welcome the very skilled Rochester Americans to Place Bell for a back-to-back series over the weekend.
Plus / Minus
▲ Charles Hudon, Dale Weise, Charlie Lindgren, Ryan Poehling
▼ Christian Folin, Hayden Verbeek