|FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 25 | Friday December 7, 2018
CAA Arena, Belleville, ON
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Belzile – McCarron – Alain
Jevpalovs – Evans – Froese
Verbeek – Vejdemo – Waked
Shinkaruk – Audette – Grenier
Alzner – Sklenicka
Mete – Lernout
Depres – Lamarche
Adam Plant, Michal Moravcik, Ryan Culkin
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Cale Fleury (day-to-day), Charlie Lindgren (lower body)
The Laval Rocket hit the road on Friday to head to Belleville, taking on their division rivals the Senators, having dropped eight of their last ten games and looking for a way back into the win column. With Charlie Lindgren sidelined because of a lower-body injury, Etienne Marcoux was recalled from the ECHL and would get his first start in net for Laval, along with the debut of defenseman Simon Depres.
Jake Evans ended his scoring drought with a quick goal in the first period as he deflected a shot from Nikita Jevpalovs while driving to the net. The Rocket also outshot their opponent 9-2 in the opening frame, but the good news for the visiting team ended there. Despite only allowing one goal by Belleville in the first period and playing a decent 20 minutes, the Rocket were in for a nightmare in the middle frame.
The Sens quickly struck twice to begin the second period, chasing Marcoux from the net after giving up a total of three goals on four shots. With Michael McNiven in the crease things didn’t fair much better. Belleville would score a total of six unanswered goals – five in the second period – to put a staunch 6-1 choke hold on the Rocket heading into the second intermission.
Jevpalovs scored a goal of his own in the third period, a quick one-timer from the slot, to close the gap a bit, but the Senators struck back right away. To save McNiven’s energy for his afternoon start on Saturday, Marcoux was back in the Laval net to begin the final period.
Despite staying decently disciplined in this game, special teams continued to plague the Rocket, with the power play unsuccessful on all three of their man-advantage opportunities and the penalty killing units failing to prevent Belleville from scoring on both of their power plays. Michael McCarron and Joseph Labate each sat for five minutes when they tossed the gloves for a quick scrap less than a minute into the third period.
The Rocket will travel overnight to Toronto where they’ll face another harsh division rival, the Marlies, at 4:00pm on Saturday afternoon.
▲ Nikita Jevpalovs, Karl Alzner
▼ Etienne Marcoux, Alexandre Alain, Victor Mete, Brett Lernout
|0 for 3||Power Play||2 for 2|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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