|FINAL (OT) | 2017-18 Season, Game 60 | Friday March 9, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Rychel – Cracknell – Terry
Boucher – McCarron – Waked
Petti – Eisenschmid – Gregoire
Broll – Ebbing
Parisi – Taormina
Bourque – Leblanc
Boutet – Gelinas
Yannick Veilleux (lower body), Daniel Audette (lower body)
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
After a disappointing loss to the Bruins on Wednesday, the Laval Rocket welcomed their neighbors the Belleville Senators to Place Bell on Friday for the first in a back-to-back series.
The opening 20 minutes was relatively uneventful as most of the period was spent playing end-to-end hockey. Zach Fucale and Danny Taylor both denied every shot that came their way, with the Senators outshooting the home team 10-8. Only two penalties were assessed in period, one from each team, and both penalty kill units did their job effectively.
To begin the second period, it was more of the same style of hockey. Both goaltenders were strong in net, but neither team could generate any sustained pressure or find space to get quality shots on goal.
All of that changed, finally, when Gabriel Gagne banged in a rebound in close to Fucale to put the Senators on the board first. Just seconds later, Michael McCarron cleanly won a faceoff in the offensive zone and sent the puck back to Eric Gelinas at the blue line. Gelinas ripped a shot towards the net and the puck sailed past Taylor to even the score at 1-1.
After Adam Cracknell was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking, however, Belleville took advantage of the power play when Ben Sexton buried the puck on a wrister from the far circle to give the visitors a one-goal lead again.
The third period was pretty intense, as both teams seemed to have found a second gear. Belleville extended their lead early on, but instead of letting it take the wind out of their sails the Rocket hammered down and got back to work.
Gelinas blasted a shot from the point again on a power play to bring his team within one goal, then after Niki Petti laid a big (but clean) hit on Gagne along the boards a full-ice brawl broke out. With two players from each team in the box for fighting, Laval continued to dominate the ice.
With under two minutes remaining in regulation, Gelinas found the back of the net one more time to complete a hat trick and tie the game. In overtime, the Senators took a very ill-timed too-many-men penalty, sending the Rocket to the man advantage yet again. Gelinas and Matt Taormina combined to set up Chris Terry who sent the puck flying past Taylor for a rousing home victory.
Laval continues to struggle at home, but they’ll have two more chances this week to fix that as they play a back-to-back at Place Bell on Friday and Saturday against the Belleville Senators.
▲ Eric Gelinas, Zach Fucale, Chris Terry, Matt Taormina, Michael McCarron, Tom Parisi
▼ Etienne Boutet
|2 for 6||Power Play||1 for 4|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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