Home Rocket A Rivalry Renewed | RECAP: LAV @ BEL

A Rivalry Renewed | RECAP: LAV @ BEL

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Laval Rocket vs Belleville Senators Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL | Game 2, Away Game 1 | Saturday, October 16, 2021
CAA Arena, Belleville, ON

ROCKET

Laval

2-5

SENATORS

Belleville

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Ryan Poehling – Jesse Ylonen

Kevin Roy – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Laurent Dauphin

Danick Martel – Lukas Vejdemo – Gabriel Bourque

Brandon Baddock – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – Michael Pezzetta

Defense pairings

Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio

Fairbrother – Schueneman

Bisson – Dello

Goaltenders

Michael McNiven – Cayden Primeau

Scratches

Cameron Hillis, Brandon Gignac, Alexandre Fortin, Terrance Amorosa, Carl Neill

Injuries

Joel Teasdale (surgery), Josh Brook (surgery)

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson

After opening the season in front of a packed crowd at Place Bell in Laval on Friday with a dominant 6-2 victory over the Belleville Senators, the Rocket hit the road on Saturday to complete the second half of the home-and-home series with their division rivals.

Head coach Jean-Francois Houle kept the personnel on his roster the same, but made some changes to the forward lines. Laurent Dauphin moved up to the second line, while Michael Pezzetta and Danick Martel found themselves on opposite wings from where they were deployed the night before. Michael McNiven got the start in goal.

First Period

Much like their season-opener, Laval took a bit of time in the opening period to register anything on the shot clock. Early in the game, Belleville led 7-0 in shots and the Rocket struggled to gain any meaningful offensive zone time. The pace was there, however, with both teams quick on their skates.

A trio of penalties by Brandon Baddock, Martel, and Gianni Fairbrother in the first period put Laval a bit on their heels, but they did have some good chances shorthanded.

The most noteworthy moment of the period came about halfway through the frame when Ryan Poehling joined a battle for the puck behind the net. In the midst of the four-man scramble, Andrew Agozzini‘s elbow came down hard on the back of Poehling’s head. The forward immediately crumpled to the ice and was slow to get up. 

Officials missed the event, so no penalty was called, but Poehling was left shaken on the bench and eventually headed to the Laval dressing room. He did not return to the game. Per broadcaster Anthony Marcotte, Houle would not comment on the injury after the game, citing more evaluation to be done once the team returns to Quebec.

Second Period

Things went from bad to worse in the second period, as Laval continued their rotation in the penalty box with another three infractions. To make matters worse, Belleville found the back of the net four times during this 20 minutes of play. 

The first two Senators goals were scored by none other than former Rocket forward Jake Lucchini, who was just traded to Belleville by Laval last week in exchange for future considerations. The first puck snuck through McNiven’s five-hole and went off the post and in. The next one was a snap shot from the inside of the right circle.

Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography | Belleville Senators

Matthew Wedman lit the lamp next, on a very similar play to Lucchini’s second goal. After a strong performance in the first period, McNiven looked much more unsure in this frame and was pulled from the game after the third goal. Houle later told Marcotte that the goaltender came out of the game as a result of some cramping he was experiencing.

The Rocket penalties finally came back to bite them when Lassi Thomson blasted a big shot from the point to beat Cayden Primeau on a power play.

Third Period

To their credit, the Rocket didn’t quit after going down by four goals. This was the only period where the Rocket actually outshot their opponents and they managed to remain more disciplined.

Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography | Belleville Senators

Dauphin broke the Belleville shutout bid by deflecting a point shot by Xavier Ouellet past Mads SogaardPontus Aberg restored the Sens’ four-goal lead minutes later, however, with an empty-netter.

Laval had the last say of the night, however, when Dauphin potted one more before the final horn by banging in a loose puck in the crease. 

What’s Next?

Pezzetta’s secondary assists on both goals gives him a four-point weekend in the season’s two opening games (1G/3A). The Rocket will want to work on their power play next week, having come up empty on six man-advantage opportunities this weekend.

The team will return to practice on Monday morning, gearing up for a Wednesday night home game against the Manitoba Moose. Then they’ll head south of the border for the first time since spring 2020, to face the Providence Bruins and Bridgeport Islanders.

Plus / Minus

▲ Laurent Dauphin, Michael Pezzetta, Xavier Ouellet

▼ Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Danick Martel

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
ROCKET   SENATORS
26 Shots 30
0 for 3 Power Play 1 for 6
14 Penalty Minutes 8
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (1-1-0-0) 0 0 2 2
Senators (1-1-0-0) 0 4 1 5
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Dauphin (1), Dauphin (2)
  • BEL: Lucchini (1), Lucchini (2), Wedman (2), Thomson (1)-PPG, Aberg (1)-ENG
  • LAV: McNiven (L) 0-1-0-0
  • BEL: Sogaard (W) 1-1-0-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Mads Sogaard  BEL
  2. Jake Lucchini  BEL
  3. Kole Sherwood  BEL

Watch

 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Belleville head coach Troy Mann on the difference in tonight’s game:

“We needed to protect our goalie better. We did not play as well defensively as we would have liked last night. I called it leaky d-zone coverage, we were too spread out and we weren’t as tight as we wanted. And then we didn’t move the puck quick enough through the neutral zone. So I think both those things were much better tonight.”

Quote taken from audio provided by Belleville Senators

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