|FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 18 | Saturday November 17, 2018
Onondaga County War Memorial Arena, Syracuse, NY
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Chaput – Evans – Belzile
Audette – McCarron – Froese
Jevpalovs – Vejdemo – Grenier
Pezzetta – Verbeek – Alain
Kulak – Sproul
Sklenicka – Lernout
Plant – Lamarche
Antoine Waked, Hunter Shinkaruk, Michal Moravcik
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Cale Fleury (day-to-day)
Couch Joel Bouchard cited taking bad penalties as one reason his team fell to the Sound Tigers in an eventual shootout on Friday night. But that message didn’t seem to reach the team too loudly, as spending too much time in the penalty box seemed to seal their fate yet again on Saturday night when Laval headed to Syracuse to take on the Crunch.
From the first puck drop, the tension between these two teams was palpable in the arena. Scrums and scraps started within the first minute of play, and didn’t let up for most of the first period. Laval got plenty of pucks in on Connor Ingram early on, but the Crunch seemed to spend an awful lot of time in the Rocket’s zone during the first 20 minutes of play.
The much-maligned Rocket power play did wake up a bit in this game, with Michael Chaput scoring the first goal of the night on the man advantage when he fed the puck cross-crease and Cameron Gaunce deflected it past his own goaltender.
Soon after, Nikita Jevpalovs sat for a holding call followed almost immediately by Brett Kulak with an elbowing penalty. The ensuing five-on-three power play for Syracuse proved to be too much for Laval’s penalty killers for the second night in a row, and the Crunch evened the score with a smooth wrister down low.
Chaput wasn’t yet finished his evening yet and buried his own rebound after Jake Evans tried to drive the net but passed it back to his linemate.
In the middle frame, Laval scored their second power play goal of the night when Ryan Sproul found mesh on a nice one-timer from the right circle. With a two-goal lead in a noisy, intense building, the Rocket seemed to have momentum and confidence. And that’s when things went sideways.
The Crunch would go on to score five (yes, five) unanswered goals, three of which were while Laval was killing a penalty. Despite dominating shots 11-4 in the third period, the Rocket took three goals against in a complete breakdown of discipline and puck management.
One late-game positive came when Michael Pezzetta scored his first professional goal with less than a minute left in the game when he dished a bouncing puck past Ingram to bring Laval back within two, but they couldn’t find the back of the net again before the final horn.
The Rocket now have a few days to regroup and get some good practice in before they head to Utica on Wednesday night for what will surely be another tough divisional battle.
▲ Michael Chaput, Jake Evans, Brett Lernout
▼ Maxim Lamarche, Adam Plant, Alexandre Grenier
|2 for 7||Power Play||4 for 7|
|AHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard:
Post-game interview with Lukas Vejdemo:
Post-game interview with Jake Evans:
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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