|2017-18 Season, Game 14 | Saturday November 11, 2017
MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Terry – Holland – Carr
Audette – McCarron – Baun
Deslauriers – Petti – Gregoire
Veilleux – Ebbing – Waked
Taormina – Lernout
Parisi – Jerabek
Gelinas – Leblanc
Simon Bourque, Jordan Boucher, David Broll
Noah Juulsen (foot), Jeremiah Addison (shoulder), Markus Eisenschmid (lower body)
It had been almost a week since the last time the Laval Rocket had suited up for a game when they arrived in Springfield, MA Saturday night to take on the Thunderbirds. With a sold-out crowd packed into MassMutual Center to see former Boston Red Sox David Ortiz, the energy in the building was electric. But the Rocket never seemed to catch the spark.
Despite taking two penalties in the first period, and neither team really controlling the puck very well, Laval managed to get up by three goals in 20 minutes. First Chris Terry scored a power play goal with a laser shot from the point, assisted by Matt Taormina and Mike McCarron. Next it was Jeremy Gregoire with an even-strength goal, followed by a smooth backhander that went five-hole through Samuel Montembeault from Peter Holland, with the assists going to Terry and Jakub Jerabek.
The sloppy play in the first frame continued into the next, combined with defensive breakdowns in the Rocket’s end. Rookie Michael McNiven, who started in goal due to Charlie Lindgren and Zach Fucale both being called up to Montreal, did his best to protect his net, but pucks started getting through.
Mikkel Aagaard fired a shot from the point that got through traffic in front of McNiven and into the goal. Thomas Ebbing was upended along the halfboards twice in a matter of seconds, creating a breakaway opportunity for Denis Malgin who buried the puck in the drive to the net.
As tensions grew, McCarron and Ed Wittchow dropped the gloves for a very short bout which saw the big Laval forward take down his opponent rather quickly. Chase Balisy then made a nice play from the faceoff circle to even the score at 3-3 before the end of the second period.
If the second period was bad, the third period was a disaster. The Thunderbirds scored just 37 seconds into the frame, but Coach Sylvain Lefebvre decided to challenge the goal. After a lengthy review, the officials determined the goal would stand, but oddly enough then assessed a bench minor to the Rocket for delay of game for losing a coach’s challenge – something not in the AHL rulebook. Lefebvre and the coaching staff were rightly furious, and the league later admitted after the game that they were mistaken in doing so.
But the damage was already done. Springfield scored again on that unwarranted power play opportunity, and despite a late goal by Daniel Carr, there wasn’t enough time to mount a comeback. The Rocket fell 6-4 after Springfield potted an empty-netter.
There’s not much time to mull this loss, as the Rocket get back to work today in Hartford where they’ll look for redemption against the Wolf Pack.
▲ Chris Terry, Jakub Jerabek, Matt Taormina
▼ Brett Lernout, Thomas Ebbing
|1 for 7||Power Play||2 for 4|
|AHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Sylvain Lefebvre
Post-game interview with Jakub Jerabek
Post-game interview with Michael McNiven
Post-game interview with Chris Terry
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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