GAME RECAP | Laval Rocket vs Utica Comets: Line-up, Score, Statistics, Highlights, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL – OT | Game 12, Away Game 4 | Friday, November 11, 2022|
|Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, NY|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Brandon Gignac – Jesse Ylonen
Anthony Richard – Xavier Simoneau – Rem Pitlick
Gabriel Bourque – Peter Abbandonato – Alex Belzile
Lucas Condotta – Jan Mysak – Danick MartelDefense pairings
Corey Schueneman – Justin Barron
Mattias Norlinder – Madison Bowey
Otto Leskinen – Tory DelloGoaltenders
Kevin Poulin – Cayden PrimeauScratches
Nicolas Beaudin, Joel Teasdale, Mitchell Stephes, Alex GreenInjuries
Gianni Fairbrother (knee), William Trudeau (lower-body, out indefinitely), Nate Schnarr (lower-body, out indefinitely)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
After finishing a six-game homestand that only brought the Laval Rocket one victory, the team was gifted a few days of practice time and a bit of rest. They even spent a day with Montreal’s development staff to work on skills. This weekend they hit the road for their first three-in-three in a few years (that’s three games played in three consecutive days), which began in Utica. The game marks Laval’s first matchup against the Comets for the season.
In the Rocket lineup, all eyes were on newly-waived forward Rem Pitlick playing in his first AHL game since the 2020-21 season. Also of note was Jean-Francois Houle‘s choice of starting netminder for this game: Kevin Poulin. In a three-in-three situation, many would have estimated that young Cayden Primeau would get two starts, so we’ll have to wait to see how the assignment plays out for the rest of the weekend.
The game opened up with about five minutes of back-and-forth play. Poulin was then upended in the crease, and although a crowd gathered, no penalties were assessed. Then things really start to heat up when Laval scored the first goal of the night.
Gabriel Bourque rammed the puck over the goal line during a scrum in the paint. The play was reviewed due to the net coming off in the process, but Bourque’s goal stood.
The Rocket then extended the lead to two goals when Anthony Richard banged in a rebound. Pitlick was awarded a secondary assist on the play.
With a decent start to the game, it seemed like Laval could maybe be on the right track to start this game, but that’s about the time that the wheels came off. Otto Leskinen was sent to the box on a slashing penalty, and Zach Senyshyn scored on the power play after being fed the puck by Brian Halonen and 2022’s second-overall pick Simon Nemec.
Laval still held a one-goal lead, but just two minutes later Samuel Laberge capitalized on a rebound and beat Poulin to the puck as the goaltender dove forward to try to poke it out of harm’s way. 15 seconds later, Andreas Johnsson scored to put Utica up 3-2. The Rocket watched their lead disappear in the course of just under three minutes.
Leskinen took another penalty, this time for hooking, three minutes into the period. Danick Martel gets a partial breakaway and buries a one-timer for a shorthanded goal, his first goal of the season.
Almost predictably, the Rocket started piling up unnecessary penalties, including a tripping penalty by Richard who was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct on the play for getting a bit too vocal with the official. That gave Utica a five-on-three advantage, and Brian Pinho managed to quickly score a power play goal when he was left all alone on the doorstep.
With just 1:03 left in the period, Laval managed to find an equalizer when Xavier Simoneau shot a quick wrister from the slot.
The scoring slowed to a halt in the final frame, but Laval was finally the recipient of a couple of power play opportunities. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to convert on either of them, and instead followed those missed chances with a late-period penalty by Alex Belzile. The penalty killers did their job, however, and the game went to extra minutes.
It was the third time in as many games that the Rocket played three-on-three overtime, and although the play wasn’t necessarily lively, both goaltenders came up with some key saves. Finally, Justin Barron sprung Richard on a breakaway where he scored to give Laval a much-needed victory.
What’s Next?The Rocket hope to build on this momentum as they continue their road trip with a four-hour drive south of Utica to Allentown, PA where they’ll face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday night.
Plus / Minus
▲ Justin Barron, Rem Pitlick, Xavier Simoneau
▼ Kevin Poulin, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Alex Belzile
|0 for 2||Power Play||2 for 6|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews not available for tonight’s road game
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