Against The Odds | RECAP: SYR @ LAV

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

FINAL | Game 25, Home Game 14 | Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Place Bell, Laval, QC

ROCKET

Laval

3-2

CRUNCH

Syracuse

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Danick Martel – Brandon Gignac – Kevin Roy

Gabriel Bourque – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Peter Abbandonato

Justin Ducharme – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – Alexandre Fortin

Devante Smith-Pelly – Ryan Valentini – Shawn St. Amant

Defense pairings

Terrance Amorosa – Tory Dello

Tobie Paquette-Bisson – Carl Neill

Olivier Galipeau – Charles-David Beaudoin

Goaltenders

Michael McNiven – Kevin Poulin

Scratches

Louis-Philip Guindon, Gianni Fairbrother, Cameron Hillis, Cedric Desruisseaux

Injuries

Joel Teasdale (surgery), Josh Brook (surgery), Xavier Ouellet (lower-body injury)

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson

The Laval Rocket haven’t played a game since December 17th, when they mounted a 6-3 victory over the Providence Bruins. The following day’s road trip to Syracuse was later canceled due to COVID-19 protocols affecting the Crunch, and Laval entered their extended Christmas break.

Following that, all team activities for Laval and Montreal were suspended until just three days ago. It’s been a long layoff for the Rocket, and the team that Jean-Francois Houle had to ice on Wednesday night looked a lot different than fans were used to seeing.

Almost all of the team’s top-tier talent and prospects are currently on recall to Montreal, either on their roster or taxi squad, and plenty of callups from Trois-Rivieres (ECHL) were necessary to fill out the lineup for Laval.

Add to that some professional tryout (PTO) contracts for guys like former Montreal forward Devante Smith-Pelly, and you had the makings of a very interesting first game back for the Rocket.

First Period

The opening minute of the game looked much like a Laval team testing their legs after a long time away from playing a game. It didn’t take long for Syracuse to dominate the ice and pin the Rocket in their own end. Michael McNiven had to be sharp early on, coming up with a few key saves.

But on just the second Laval shot of the game, Alexandre Fortin opened the scoring by deflecting Charles-David Beaudoin‘s point shot.

The remainder of the period was pretty evenly played, with both teams getting some decent scoring chances at either end of the ice. Syracuse took the first penalty of the game with just 1:29 left in the period, giving Laval some leftover power play time to begin the second.

Second Period

The Rocket weren’t able to convert the man advantage, even at the beginning of the middle frame, and the Crunch continued to pressure the home team. Syracuse evened the score at 1-1 when Maxim Cajkovic ripped a wrist shot from the right circle that sailed top shelf past McNiven.

Tobie Paquette-Bisson then took a high-sticking penalty, leaving Laval shorthanded for the first time in the game, but no sooner had the penalty kill begun then Gabriel Bourque connected with Brandon Gignac on a give-and-go to regain the lead.

A familiar face wearing the opposition’s jersey was the next one to light the lamp. Charles Hudon picked up a loose puck in front of the net and backhanded it in to bring the game to a 2-2 tie.

Third Period

Most of the third period was a series of back-and-forth shifts, with both teams trying to gain ground on the other. The Rocket were unable to convert an early power play opportunity, but did manage to rack up a bigger amount of shots than Syracuse.

Jean-Sebastien Dea gave Laval another go-ahead goal when he took a puck that had rebounded off of the end boards and easily shuffled it into a gaping net. It was all the insurance that the Rocket needed to finish off their first game back with a win.

What’s Next?

The Rocket will now head out on the road this weekend for a back-to-back starting on Friday night in Springfield to take on the Thunderbirds and finishing Saturday with a visit to the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with McNiven, Gignac, Justin Ducharme, and Houle by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.

Plus / Minus

▲ Michael McNiven, Brandon Gignac, Jean-Sebastien Dea

▼ Shawn St. Amant, Ryan Valentini

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
ROCKET   CRUNCH
28 Shots 33
0 for 2 Power Play 0 for 3
6 Penalty Minutes 4
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (13-10-2-0) 1 1 1 3
Crunch (11-11-2-1) 0 2 0 2
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Fortin (2), Gignac (4), Dea (9)
  • SYR: Cajkovic (2), Hudon (8)
  • LAV: McNiven (W) 4-3-1-1
  • SYR: Lagace (L) 5-4-0-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Michael McNiven  LAV
  2. Jean-Sebastien Dea  LAV
  3. Charles Hudon  SYR

Watch

 Video Highlights 
Video highlights will be uploaded when available

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Jean-Francois Houle

Michael McNiven

Brandon Gignac

Justin Ducharme

Post-game interviews conducted tonight for the AHL Report by Amy Johnson

Social Media

 Follow @TheAHLReport on Twitter

Follow @theAHLReport on Twitter

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