First Fall to the Comets | RECAP: UTC @ LAV


GAME RECAP | Laval Rocket vs Utica Comets: Line-up, Score, Statistics, Highlights, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL | Game 60, Home Game 29 | Friday, March 16, 2023
Place Bell, Laval, QC






Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Xavier Simoneau – Peter Abbandonato – Lucas Condotta

Gabriel Bourque – Mitchell Stephens – Joel Teasdale

Danick Martel – Louis Boudon – Pierrick Dube

Nolan Yaremko – Jan Mysak – Riley McKay

Defense pairings

William Trudeau – Corey Schueneman

Mattias Norlinder – Madison Bowey

Olivier Galipeau – Tory Dello


Cayden Primeau – Philippe Desrosiers


Frederic Allard, John Parker-Jones, Jayden Struble, Nicolas Beaudin


Gianni Fairbrother (knee), Otto Leskinen, Kevin Poulin (upper-body), Brandon Gignac

Game Report

Game Report written by Chris G

The Laval Rocket began a four-game homestand on Friday with a match against the Utica Comets. Laval returned home after being shutout 2-0 by the Rochester Americans on Wednesday, while Utica came into Place Bell on a two-game losing streak.

An injury to defenceman Nicolas Beaudin forced him out of the lineup. As a result, Jean-Francois Houle returned to a formation of 12 forwards and six defencemen by inserting forward Louis Boudon into the lineup. Boudon was making his professional debut after signing an amateur tryout contract following his season with Lake Superior State University.

Cayden Primeau got the start in goal after being named third star of Wednesday’s game when making 30 saves.

First Period

The contest between the North division rivals was heated right off the opening faceoff. At the first whistle, Xavier Simoneau and Zack Hayes exchanged blows and were sent to the box for roughing minors.

Utica opened the scoring in the fourth minute when a turnover by Simoneau led to Alexander Holtz beating Primeau with a wrist shot that hit the bar inside the net and bounced right out. The officials consulted the replay to confirm that the goal was valid.

Indiscipline started creeping into Laval’s match. Lucas Condotta cancelled an upcoming power play when he went after Robbie Russo during a delayed infraction against the Comets.

A couple of minutes later, Nolan Yaremko engaged in his first fight as a pro against Mason Geertsen. Geertsen had the advantage in the bout.

The Rocket got on the board midway through the period when Mitchell Stephens redirected Gabriel Bourque‘s pass behind Isaac Poulter.

Laval killed off consecutive infractions against Jan Mysak and Riley McKay before the Comets extended their lead. Brian Halonen skated around Madison Bowey before slipping the puck between Primeau’s pads for the goal.

The Rocket ended the first period on the penalty kill with Bourque in the penalty box for a trip in the offensive zone.

Second Period

Utica added to their lead early in the period when a collision between Boudon and Mattias Norlinder in the neutral zone led to a 2-on-0 rush for the opposition. Aarne Talvitie buried the puck in the net after accepting a pass from Samuel Laberge.

Laval obtained the next two power plays of the game. The first advantage came after a scrum ensued when Simoneau delivered a hit in the offensive zone that the Comets didn’t appreciate. Pierrick Dube and Joel Teasdale were not able to capitalize on their quality chances.

Midway through the period with Simoneau, Teasdale and Stephens had consecutive scoring chances that were stopped by Poulter. Laval’s momentum was ended with a slashing infraction against Simoneau in the offensive zone.

Dube had a second quality chance with five minutes remaining when his shot hit the post to the right of Poulter.

Laval had one more power play opportunity before the end of the period and Houle’s squad was not able to get any behind Poulter. The power play unit kept the puck in Utica’s zone and Simoneau had the best scoring chance but his shot hit the side of the net.

Third Period

Laval made it a one-goal 5:07 into the third when Simoneau escaped coverage to head on a breakaway. The forward surprised the goalie by dropping the puck back to Dube and he had an open net to score.

Houle called a timeout and pulled Primeau with 2:33 remaining in regulation, but despite several quality chances in the final moments, the puck did not find the way behind the red line.

What’s Next?

With the loss, Laval currently sits one point behind the Belleville Senators and the final playoff spot in the North division.

Danick Martel did not return for the third period due to injury. There was no updates available post-game.

The rematch between the division rivals is on Saturday at 3:00pm Eastern.

Be sure to scroll down for audio clips from tonight’s post-game media interviews with Stephens, Simoneau, Yaremko, and Houle, in addition to Jayden Struble‘s first media interview following his contract signing, conducted by the AHL Report and other members of the press.

Plus / Minus

▲ Corey Schueneman, Mitchell Stephens, Olivier Galipeau

▼ Madison Bowey, Louis Boudon, William Trudeau

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
35 Shots 34
0 for 3 Power Play 0 for 4
31 Penalty Minutes 29
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (24-26-7-3) 1 0 1 2
Comets (30-22-6-2) 2 1 0 3
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Stephens (14), Dube (9)
  • UTC: Holtz (6), Halonen (16), Talvitie (3)
  • LAV: Primeau (L) 12-12-6-1
  • UTC: Poulter (W) 5-2-3-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Aarne Talvitie  UTC
  2. Alexander Holtz  UTC
  3. Mitchell Stephens  LAV


 Video Highlights

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews
Jean-Francois Houle Jayden Struble Mitchell Stephens Xavier Simoneau Nolan Yaremko

Post-game interviews conducted for The AHL Report tonight by Chris G

Social Media

 Follow @TheAHLReport on Twitter

Follow @theAHLReport on Twitter


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