Matthew Peca – Michael McCarron – Riley Barber
Dale Weise – Ryan Poehling – Kevin Lynch
Alexandre Alain – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox
Nikita Jevpalovs – Jake Evans – Antoine Waked
Karl Alzner – Josh Brook
Otto Leskinen – Noah Juulsen
Maxim Lamarche – Christian Folin
Charlie Lindgren – Cayden Primeau
Ryan Culkin, Michael Pezzetta, David Sklenicka
William Pelletier (undisclosed), Phil Varone (wrist), Xavier Ouellet (lower body), Evan McEneny (lower body), Alex Belzile (upper body)
After coming out on the wrong side of the final score in the past few games, the Rocket needed a solid performance on the road to get some motivation under their skates. With Charlie Lindgren in net, and Gustav Olofsson recalled to Montreal, Laval paid their first visit to their division rivals, the Syracuse Crunch, on Friday night.
Lindgren played lights out all night, period. If not for the performance of the Rocket’s most seasoned, dependable, and calm netminder, this game could have easily gotten quite out of hand for the visiting team.
It also helped that Jake Evans scored the first goal of the game just 45 seconds after the opening puck drop. Playing on the road in Syracuse is never an easy task, and striking first, so quickly, definitely provided a much-needed boost right out of the gate.
However the one area that Laval performed poorly in was discipline. They spent a good portion of the night in the penalty box, leaving Lindgren and the PK units to fend off some pretty dangerous scoring attempts by the Crunch. However neither team was successful in scoring on the man advantage in this game, which was a testament to some pretty scoring penalty killing.
Danick Martel tied the game at 1-1 with just over four minutes left in the opening period. Riley Barber then restored the Laval lead in the second period, followed by a goal from Alexandre Alain, a sharp wrister from the circle, less than two minutes later to give the Rocket a cushion.
Interestingly, Spencer Martin was sent in to replace Scott Wedgewood in the Crunch goal to begin the third period. Whether that was a wake-up call for Syracuse or not can’t be measured, but Martel combined with Mitchell Stephens on a slick centering pass to pull the Crunch within a goal.
Despite the Rocket taking a couple of additional unnecessary penalties late in the game, it was Lukas Vejdemo who potted a shorthanded empty-netter with 18 seconds left to seal the victory for Laval.
The team now travels to Springfield to wrap up this road trip tomorrow night against the Thunderbirds.
Plus / Minus
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Karl Alzner, Lukas Vejdemo
▼ Michael McCarron, Kevin Lynch, Ryan Poehling