|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 28 | Saturday December 16, 2017
Bojangles’ Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Terry – Cracknell – Scherbak
[one_half_last]Leblanc – Lernout
Simon Bourque, Willie Corrin, David Broll, Zach Fucale
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
After suffering three disappointing losses last week, the Rocket had seven days to practice, rest, and regroup before hitting the ice in Charlotte against the Checkers. They even took some time on Thursday for some team-building activities in North Carolina. With the return of Michael McCarron and Nikita Scherbak from injury, as well, the Laval team looked to get back into the win column on Saturday night.
The first period was pretty evenly paced, however the Rocket were able to outshoot their opponents, thanks in large part to two power plays in the opening frame. The visiting team remained disciplined, taking only one penalty in the final two minutes of the period.
Lucas Wallmark opened the scoring for the Checkers, with a wrister from the right faceoff circle off a clean pass from Andrew Miller. But on Laval’s first man-advantage opportunity, Tom Parisi took advantage of McCarron setting up a screen in front of netminder Jeremy Smith and fired the puck home to even the score at 1-1. Assists on the goal went to Chris Terry and Scherbak.
The second period seemed to move in slow motion for Laval. It took over seven minutes for them to even register a shot on goal, with the ice seemingly tipped in Charlotte’s direction. Charlie Lindgren stood tall in the crease for the Rocket, as he was peppered with some quality shots from all angles.
Scherbak looked very hungry in this period, combining with Markus Eisenschmid for a very dangerous-looking shot at point blank range which Smith was able to track and absorb.
With Stefan Leblanc serving a minor penalty for tripping, the Checkers regained the lead with a power play goal of their own. This time Wallmark centered a pass for Valentin Zykov, who deflected the puck into the net for his 15th goal of the season.
The final period was another sluggish performance for the Rocket, as they only mustered four shots on goal in the entire 20 minutes of play. McCarron took a slashing penalty, but the Laval penalty killers were able to keep Charlotte out of their net. Lindgren continued to make some very important and solid saves to keep his team within one goal.
An empty netter by the Checkers, however, sealed this game in the home team’s favor. It was a good effort by the Rocket, but they’re still having difficulty getting to the paint and putting pucks in the net. These two teams meet again tomorrow with a very early 1:00pm matinee Sunday afternoon.
▲ Chris Terry, Charlie Lindgren, Nikita Scherbak, Markus Eisenschmid
|1 for 3||Power Play||1 for 3|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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