Laval Rocket vs Providence Bruins Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 4, Away Game 2 | Saturday, October 23, 2021|
|Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, RI|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Danick Martel
Kevin Roy – Laurent Dauphin – Alex Belzile
Michael Pezzetta – Lukas Vejdemo – Gabriel Bourque
Brandon Baddock – Brandon Gignac – Jean-Christophe BeaudinDefense pairings
Gianni Fairbrother – Xavier Ouellet
Corey Schueneman – Louie Belpedio
Tobie Paquette-Bisson – Tory DelloGoaltenders
Michael McNiven – Cayden PrimeauScratches
Jesse Ylonen, Alexandre Fortin, Terrance Amorosa, Carl NeillInjuries
Joel Teasdale (surgery), Josh Brook (surgery), Ryan Poehling (undisclosed)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
After restoring a winning record with a 5-4 victory over the Manitoba Moose at Place Bell on Wednesday night, the Rocket took to the road and headed south of the border for the first time since the pandemic shut down the 2019-20 season. They first faced off against the Providence Bruins on Saturday night.
Due to COVID-19 border-crossing regulations, Jesse Ylonen did not make the two-game trip with his Laval teammates as, according to broadcast Anthony Marcotte, it has not yet been two weeks since the young forward’s second vaccine shot. Ryan Poehling also did not travel with the team this weekend, as he continues to be out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury.
It took a bit of time for the shots to open up for either team in this game, but that seemed to be no bother for the visiting Rocket. They controlled much of the play, with only a few minutes of any real pressure by the Bruins that they and goaltender Michael McNiven handled well.
Two defensemen recorded their first goals of the season in the period. First, Gianni Fairbrother skated up the ice after a Providence turnover at the blue line and Jean-Christophe Beaudin was with him on the opposite wing. Beaudin fed Fairbrother the puck on the odd-man rush, and the defenseman scored his first professional goal. Michael Pezzetta had the secondary assist on the play, giving him a total of four points in four games played.
Next, captain Xavier Ouellet got his first goal of the year after Lukas Vejdemo skated the puck into the zone and fed a centering pass to Gabriel Bourque, who quickly delivered to Ouellet’s stick. That’s also the captain’s fourth point of the season.
What the middle frame lacked in goal scoring, it certainly made up for with entertaining moments. First were the fights: Brandon Baddock dropped the gloves with Tyler Lewington, after shaking off Ian McKinnon who also wanted a piece of the big Laval forward. Baddock made easy work of Lewington.
Then, McKinnon got his way when he teed off against Pezzetta for a fiesty bout. This time it was the Rocket player who took the brunt of things as McKinnon took Pezzetta to the ice.
With just 17 seconds left in the period, the fans inside the Dunkin’ Donuts Center screamed with delight as the spotlight over the goal lit up. That’s their cue that the home team has scored. But officials immediately called no-goal after the puck bounced in and out of McNiven’s glove but never actually crossed the goal line. A long review confirmed it.
Protecting a two-goal lead is one those precarious situations that many hockey fans and analysts like to focus on. Laval entered the third period up two goals on Providence, and immediately put that lead at risk when Laurent Dauphin went down but officials decided he should head to the penalty box for embellishment. Fortunately, the Rocket penalty killers were up to the task.
Then Bourque decided to give the penalty box a try after he was called for slashing. The Rocket have been guilty of being undisciplined in their start to the season, giving opponents a total of 23 power play opportunities over four games. The PK for Laval, however, has been much more effective than the power play.
Dauphin then made up for his earlier error by banging in a puck in a net-front scramble to put the Rocket up 3-0. An empty-netter by Brandon Gignac, making his season debut for Laval, put a final stamp on the game. McNiven earned his first shutout of the season and looked strong in goal.
The Rocket don’t have long to celebrate this win, as they’ll board the bus and head down the highway. Next stop? Connecticut, just west of Rhode Island, and home of the Bridgeport Islanders. That’s where Laval will drop the puck on Sunday afternoon for a matinee game at 3:00.
Plus / Minus
▲ Michael McNiven, Louie Belpedio, Corey Schueneman
▼ Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Danick Martel
|0 for 5||Power Play||0 for 5|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Interviews not available post-game
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Victory Despite Penalties | RECAP: BEL @ LAV https://t.co/QpOKTlypic pic.twitter.com/6eDCZzU6b9— AHL Report (@TheAHLReport) October 21, 2021
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