Fairbrother Returns | RECAP: LAV @ HER


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

FINAL | Game 23, Away Game 11 | Sunday, December 12, 2021
Giant Center, Hershey, PA






Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Gabriel Bourque – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Jean-Christophe Beaudin

Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Lukas Vejdemo – Alex Belzile

Danick Martel – Brandon Gignac – Kevin Roy

Brandon Baddock – Cam Hillis – Peter Abbandonato

Defense pairings

Terrance Amorosa – Louie Belpedio

Mattias Norlinder – Tory Dello

Gianni Fairbrother – Tobie Paquette-Bisson


Cayden Primeau – Michael McNiven


Alexandre Fortin, Charles-David Beaudoin


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

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson

In their first and only visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania this season, the Laval Rocket were looking to get back into the win column. On Friday night, the Rochester Americans snapped Laval’s win streak in a 5-3 defeat of the Rocket.

There’s been an obvious shift in the organization’s approach to the goaltending depth, as Cayden Primeau was tapped for his sixth consecutive start. At the other end of the ice, less than 24 hours after the Montreal Canadiens faced former goaltender Charlie Lindgren in a loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Rocket would face another formidable foe: former netminder Zach Fucale. Fucale was sent back to the AHL earlier in the day from the Washington Capitals.

A notable change to the roster on the back end was the return of defenseman Gianni Fairbrother from injury, who suited up for his first game since November 17th.

First Period

The game started off with a bit of confusion as the Rocket were initially whistled for a too-many-men call, but another official stepped in to call it off.

Then things really got bizarre when the ice crew needed to come out to fix a pane of glass in the corner of the rink. It was completely dislodged, but not broken, after Mattias Norlinder was double-teamed on coverage by Eddie Wittchow and Drake Rymsha and sent hard into the glass.

The officials had to confer with each other yet again a few minutes later to determine whether Rafael Harvey-Pinard should be called for delay of game after he sent the puck over the glass while in the defensive zone. They decided that this time a penalty was deserved and the Rocket looked to kill it off.

Hershey had other ideas, however, and converted the power play when Cody Franson fired a one-timer from the point while Primeau was screened in front.

Toward end of period, Laval put together some solid shifts and were rewarded with extended time in the offensive zone. Terrance Amorosa blasted a shot from the point, and with Fucale screened in front this time, it was Laval who lit the lamp to even the score at 1-1.

Second Period

The Rocket turned up the heat in the second frame after Fairbrother was sent to the penalty box for elbowing. He collided with Garrett Pilon in open ice, and although the Hershey forward looked a bit dazed after the hit, he seemed to be okay after returning to the bench.

On the ensuing penalty kill, Lukas Vejdemo had an opportunity to skate the puck into the offensive zone and he connected with Gabriel Bourque on a give-and-go shorthanded goal.

Laval’s lead didn’t last long, however, when Alex Alexeyev scored his first goal of season after driving the net down the wing and putting the puck top shelf over Primeau’s glove on the far side.

The game had to be stopped again, with 6:40 left in the period, when the same piece of glass that had been dislodged on the Norlinder hit in the first frame came loose again and needed to be repaired.

Third Period

If there were odd moments in the first 40 minutes of this game, the third period brought some real headscratchers.

Let’s start with an overturned goal that went Laval’s way. The call on the ice was a good goal after it looked like a Hershey skater deflected the puck into the Rocket’s net. Primeau immediately protested that it was put in with a kicking motion, and the officials reviewed the play. Many (including this reporter) didn’t believe there was enough evidence to overturn the call on the ice, but the officials did so anyway. The Hershey bench was outraged.

Then there was a penalty shot awarded to Harvey-Pinard when he was interfered with on a breakaway. He skated in slowly and then sniped a shot right past Fucale to give the Rocket a 3-2 lead. Again the Giant Center crowd and the Hershey bench were loudly displeased, as the call seemed to be a bit soft to award the penalty shot.

Next it was the case of the missing puck! That’s right, the puck legitimately went missing when players were scrambling for possession below the goal line. The rubber disc popped up and disappeared. Did it go out of play? Was it caught up in someone’s equipment? The mystery remains unsolved.

Despite the Bears pouring on a ton of pressure in the final period, the Rocket didn’t let up. Harvey-Pinard found himself skating hard up ice with Brandon Gignac, who fed him the puck and there was no time for Fucale to react. 

What’s Next?

The Rocket now return home for a week of practice days before they host the Providence Bruins on Friday night.

Plus / Minus

▲ Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Cayden Primeau, Lukas Vejdemo

▼ Danick Martel, Jean-Christophe Beaudin

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
21 Shots 40
0 for 2 Power Play 1 for 5
12 Penalty Minutes 6
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (11-10-2-0) 1 1 2 4
Bears (9-7-2-1) 1 1 0 2
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Amorosa (1), Bourque (3), Harvey-Pinard (4)-PS, Harvey-Pinard (5)
  • HER: Franson (4), Alexeyev (1)
  • LAV: Primeau (W) 8-6-1-2
  • ROC: Fucale (L) 4-2-2-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Rafael Harvey-Pinard  LAV
  2. Cayden Primeau  LAV
  3. Cody Franson  HER


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Post-game interviews not available for tonight’s road game

Social Media

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Follow @theAHLReport on Twitter


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