Phil Varone – Jake Evans – Alex Belzile
Charles Hudon – Ryan Poehling – Nikita Jevpalovs
Matthew Peca – Michael McCarron – Dale Weise
Alexandre Alain – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox
Gustav Olofsson – Xavier Ouellet
Otto Leskinen – Noah Juulsen
David Sklenicka – Josh Brook
Charlie Lindgren – Cayden Primeau
Maxim Lamarche, Kevin Lynch, Michael Pezzetta, Antoine Waked, David Sklenicka
William Pelletier (undisclosed), Riley Barber (upper body)
The Laval Rocket were back on home ice Wednesday night after escaping a poorly-executed three-game road trip with three of six possible points. The Rocket were looking to build on their win from Saturday night when they faced off once again with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
For the first half of the opening period, play was pretty quiet as both teams found some difficulty getting shots through. Hartford started to edge out the Rocket on the shot clock, but two consecutive penalties for the Wolf Pack turned the tide for Laval and gave them some momentum.
On the second penalty, a slashing call on Ty Ronning, Michael McCarron pushed at the puck as it rebounded off of Igor Shesterkin and managed to get it under the goaltender’s right pad and across the goal line.
The second period continued the trend of tightly-played hockey at both ends of the ice. Ryan Poehling took Laval’s first penalty of the game but the Rocket, and their first-in-the-league penalty kill, managed to make it through unscathed.
At one point, Alexandre Alain had a very nice breakaway opportunity, deking around a Hartford defender in the offensive zone and putting a shot right onto Shesterkin, but the goaltender got his pad down just in time.
With less than five minutes remaining in the period, and after a few minutes of heavy Laval pressure, the Wolf Pack forced a turnover below the Rocket’s net and Steven Fogarty quickly dished the puck up to Tim Gettinger who fired it straight into Charlie Lindgren’s net to even the score at 1-1.
Things could have gone sideways for Laval in the third period as the team took three penalties in the final 20 minutes, but instead the ice seemed to tilt in their favor and the even-strength goals started coming.
Alain got a second breakaway attempt and he muscled his way to the blue paint to put the puck away this time, unassisted. Then Charles Hudon went top shelf on a laser shot from the top of the circle, also unassisted, to give the Rocket a two-goal lead. Nikita Jevpalovs sealed the win with an empty-netter.
It was a decisive victory for Laval, one that they’ve needed, and Charlie Lindgren stood tall in net. These two teams will face each other once again on Friday night at Place Bell.
Be sure to scroll down to listen to audio from post-game interviews in the player below.
Plus / Minus
▲ Alexandre Alain, Charles Hudon, Charlie Lindgren