|FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 10 | Wednesday October 31, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Scherbak – McCarron – Froese
Shinkaruk – Chaput – Alain
Agostino – Evans – Belzile
Pezzetta – Vejdemo – Jevpalovs
Kulak – Lernout
Sklenicka – Sproul
Plant – Fleury
Michal Moravcik, Antoine Waked, Daniel Audette
Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Alexandre Grenier, Jeremiah Addison
The lineup for the Laval Rocket looked a lot different on Wednesday night, partially due to injuries, partially due to roster changes. Michael Pezzetta made his season debut on this night, after being called back up to Laval from the Maine Mariners along with Antoine Waked. Nikita Scherbak also slotted into the lineup while in Laval on a conditioning stint for the Montreal Canadiens.
Despite having a much different look to the lineup, however, the result didn’t change. Lots of shots on goal, no success on the power play, and a fifth consecutive loss leaves fans wondering what needs to give in order for this team to find success.
It was the first of 12 meetings this season between Laval and the Belleville Senators. It didn’t take long for the division rivals to remember that they don’t like each other very much. But even with plenty of hard hits, solid checks, and some post-whistle scrums, the teams were relatively disciplined, and no roughing or fighting penalties were dealt out.
Laval looked unfocused early on in this one, with not much energy on display. Belleville eventually got the first goal of the night when Julius Bergman pinched in, took the puck from the boards, and centered it to Drake Batherson who quickly pulled the trigger.
For much of the first period, the Senators maintained good puck possession and controlled the ice, while Laval was guilty of plenty of turnovers and missed chances. Belleville extended their lead in the second period when Laval’s defensemen got caught down below the net and Chase Balisy found himself basically alone in the slot.
The final frame could have been magical for the Rocket, outshooting Belleville 18-0 in the period, but they could only muster a single goal. Jake Evans shot a soft wrister from the circle, assisted by Kenny Agostino and Ryan Sproul, to get the home team on the board and pull to within one goal.
Michael Chaput left the game in the second period and was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the night with an upper body injury.
The one bright spot was Scherbak, who looked determined to show the NHL club why he should be playing games instead of watching them from the press box. He began the night on the second wave of the power play, but was eventually promoted to the first wave by the third period.
Can Joel Bouchard and his coaching staff find the right formula to get this team back on a winning track in time for this weekend’s back-to-back series against the Utica Comets? Friday night at Place Bell marks the Rocket’s deadline to find out.
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Nikita Scherbak, Jake Evans
▼ Adam Plant, Hunter Shinkaruk
|0 for 4||Power Play||0 for 2|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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