|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 45 | Friday January 26, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Terry – Cracknell – Scherbak
[one_half_last]Gelinas – Taormina
Stefan Leblanc, Antoine Waked, Thomas Ebbing
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
Manitoba has been a formidable opponent for the Rocket so far this year, and coming off a close loss on Wednesday night the Laval team knew they needed a clutch performance to contend with the Moose.
The visiting team came out with the same quick pace they always seem to employ, and the Rocket did their best to keep up. Having Chris Terry finally back from injury and Jeremy Gregoire back from serving his one-game suspension certainly helped things on the top two lines.
But it was Manitoba who would get on the board first when Mason Appleton put the puck past Charlie Lindgren. The two teams also each took one minor penalty in the period, but otherwise the opening frame was pretty evenly played.
In the second period, the Moose found themselves on the short side of a five-on-three advantage. Laval didn’t waste the opportunity, tying the game at 1-1 on a power play goal by Daniel Audette, who banked in a rebound off a big shot by Nikita Scherbak.
Elgin Pearce then scored his first goal of the season when Eric Gelinas tried to ring the puck around the boards behind his own net but saw the puck take a weird bounce off the boards and come out in front of the net, right in time for Pearce to put it into the net.
The third period didn’t go well for the Rocket, as Manitoba converted a power play of their own to extend their lead to 3-1. Netminder Eric Comrie was solid in the final frame, denying many quality shot attempts by the Laval skaters.
It looked like the Rocket had a prime opportunity to climb back into the game late in the period when the Moose went on the penalty kill, but they couldn’t get anything going on the power play and Patrice Cormier potted an empty-netter to finish things off for Manitoba.
Winning at home hasn’t been easy for Laval this season, and after dropping two games at Place Bell already this week, they’ll need to regroup and come back tomorrow with a lot more grit and determination if they want to get two points this weekend.
▲ Nikita Scherbak, Charlie Lindgren, Chris Terry
▼ Eric Gelinas, Adam Cracknell
|1 for 5||Power Play||1 for 3|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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