Manitoba Moose vs Laval Rocket Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL (SO) | Regular Season – Game 54 | Wednesday, February 19, 2020|
|Place Bell, Laval, QC|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Charles Hudon – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Jake Evans
Laurent Dauphin – Ryan Poehling – Kevin Lynch
Yannick Veilleux – Lukas Vejdemo – Alexandre Alain
Matthew Peca – Phil Varone – Riley BarberDefense pairings
Karl Alzner – Josh Brook
Evan McEneny – Cale Fleury
Nathanael Halbert – Maxim LamarcheGoaltenders
Keith Kinkaid – Cayden PrimeauScratches
Michael McNiven, Ryan Culkin, Antoine Waked, Michael Pezzetta, Gustav Olofsson (flu)Injuries
Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (pectoral surgery), Andrew Sturtz, Hayden Verbeek, Joe Cox, Will Pelletier, Ralph Cuddemi, Otto Leskinen, Nikita Jevpalovs
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
Joel Bouchard and his team likely couldn’t be more relieved to get back home to Quebec this week after a miserable five-game road trip ended with the Rocket earning just a single point out of the ten possible points up for grabs.
But coming home didn’t necessarily mean that things would get easier. Despite facing the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday night, the team holding last place in the Central Division, Laval had some roster movement to contend with prior to puck drop.
Jake Evans was returned to Laval from the Montreal Canadiens, a welcome addition up front, as was Christian Folin. But Folin was immediately recalled to the NHL when Victor Mete was apparently injured in Detroit the night before. In addition, Gustav Olofsson came down with the flu and Otto Leskinen was out of the lineup due to an injury sustained on the road trip.
That meant a new PTO signing for Laval, who brought defenseman Nathanael Halbert on board from McGill University. Halbert also played for the Armada in the QMJHL during the years that Bouchard acted as head coach of that team.
The night started slowly, with both teams taking their time and having trouble getting anything going. That all changed when Charles Hudon was stoned on a shot off the rush by Mikhail Berdin and then the Moose’s Michael Spacek skated the puck up ice and over the blue line along the far boards, made it look like he was about to shoot on Keith Kinkaid, and then made a clean cross-ice pass to Seth Griffith who buried the puck.
Less than two minutes later, Manitoba scored again when a shot glanced off of Kinkaid and went vertical, coming down in the crease and making it over the goal line as Moose players dug it out. Every time Kinkaid made a stop for the remainder of the period, he was met with a loud Bronx cheer from the Laval supporters.
The second period saw the ice tilt in the opposite direction, in Laval’s favor. First Cale Fleury got the Rocket on the board after Evans gained the zone and fed the puck cross-ice to Fleury. The young defenseman easily put the puck just under Berdin’s arm and into the net.
Next, Yannick Veilleux tied the game at 2-2 when he got in the way of a pass just in front of the crease and knocked the puck over the goal line. The go-ahead goal was awarded to Evans, who put a quick shot on net as a power play was expiring, and in the chaos through the crease as players battled for the rebound, Berdin accidentally swept the puck into his own net instead of into the corner.
It was a nailbiter for Laval fans in the third period as Manitoba tied the game on a one-timer from the circle, but Hudon put the Rocket back in the lead when he deflected Jesperi Kotkaniemi‘s shot in close for his 100th AHL goal.
Then, with just over a minute remaining in regulation, the Rocket once again gave up a late goal and their lead when Spacek buried a laser shot off a rebound. Neither team could come up with any more goals in overtime, but the Moose did eventually win out in the shootout.
The downward slide continues for the Rocket, although they did manage to get one point out of tonight’s game. They’ll need a lot more than that, however, when they rematch against Manitoba on Friday night, before welcoming the Toronto Marlies to Place Bell on Saturday afternoon.
Plus / Minus
▲ Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Charles Hudon, Cale Fleury
▼ Keith Kinkaid, Matthew Peca, Josh Brook
|0 for 3||Power Play||0 for 1|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard
Post-game interview with Karl Alzner
Post-game interview with Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Post-game interview with Jake Evans
Post-game interview with Phil Varone
Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report
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