|FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 32 | Thursday December 27, 2018
CAA Arena, Belleville, ON
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Shinkaruk – McCarron – Belzile
Audette – Evans – Froese
Jevpalovs – Vejdemo – Alain
Pezzetta – Martineau – Grenier
Lamarche – Juulsen
Ouellet – Fleury
Sklenicka – Lernout
Adam Plant, Michal Moravcik, Antoine Waked
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Charlie Lindgren (lower body), Hayden Verbeek (upper body)
After the Christmas holiday, the Laval Rocket got back to work with a quick road trip to Belleville to face their division rivals once again. Earlier in the day, goaltender Michael McNiven was recalled on an emergency basis to Montreal with Carey Price injured, leaving Etienne Marcoux to start in net against the Senators and two new netminders signed to amateur tryouts.
The first period was a flurry of activity at both ends of the ice. Belleville struck first as Tobias Lindberg sailed the puck past Marcoux from the blue line. Michael McCarron soon evened the score on a power play, however, when he deflected Xavier Ouellet‘s point shot past Filip Gustavsson.
Soon after that, though, Joseph LaBate allowed Belleville to regain the lead when he buried a big rebound off of Gabriel Gagne‘s shot. But yet again the Senators gave up another power play goal minutes later when Alexandre Grenier was left wide open at the back door to tie the game at 2-2.
Less than 40 seconds before the period expired, the Sens found the back of Laval’s net again, this time when the puck trickled through Marcoux’s pads and Belleville poked it across the goal line.
In the second period, the Senators continued to dominate the puck and spent most of the period in the Rocket’s defensive zone. But within the last few minutes of the period, Laval found a surge of energy and managed to tie the game for the third time when Cale Fleury blasted a point shot past Gustavsson with 54 seconds left in the frame.
But Belleville came out firing in the third period and Jack Rodewald took full advantage of an early breakaway opportunity to restore the Senators’ one-goal lead. Later in the period he would score again, but this time on a penalty shot. McCarron would also pot a second goal on the night on another tipped shot, but the Senators had the final say when Drake Batherson sealed the home team’s victory with an empty net goal.
Byron Froese and Noah Juulsen both did not play in the third period. Joel Bouchard did not comment on their injuries after the game, but did say that both players will be evaluated by team doctors on Friday.
Laval will now head back to Quebec for back-to-back games on home ice against a very strong Charlotte Checkers team. They’ll play Friday night and Saturday afternoon to complete this three-in-three, and it promises to be a tough challenge with rookie goaltenders minding the crease.
▲ Jake Evans, Cale Fleury, Alexandre Grenier
▼ Maxim Lamarche, Etienne Marcoux, Xavier Ouellet
|2 for 4||Power Play||0 for 2|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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