Laval Rocket vs Springfield Thunderbirds Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
FINAL-OT | Eastern Conference Final – Game 4 | Friday, June 10, 2022
Series tied 2-2
|Place Bell, Laval, QC
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Cedric Paquette – Jesse Ylonen
Danick Martel – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Alex Belzile
Gabriel Bourque – Nate Schnarr – Joel Teasdale
Lucas Condotta – Gianni Fairbrother (7th defenseman) – Devante Smith-PellyDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio
Corey Schueneman – Tobie Paquette-Bisson
Sami Niku – Tory DelloGoaltenders
Cayden Primeau – Kevin PoulinScratches
Olivier Galipeau, Terrance Amorosa, Nicolas Mattinen, Owen Savory, Cameron Hillis, Kevin Roy, Riley Kidney, Gianni Fairbrother, Jean-Christophe Beaudin, Peter Abbandonato, Joshua RoyInjuries
Lukas Vejdemo (lower body), Mattias Norlinder (upper body), Brandon Gignac
Game Report written by Chris G
On Friday, the Laval Rocket were looking to tie the series after losing 6-3 to the Springfield Thunderbirds in game three. Jean-Francois Houle changed his lineup as he felt that the Thunderbirds played “heavy” on Wednesday.
Up front, two physical veterans made their way to the starting the lineup. Gabriel Bourque returned after missing last game with an upper body injury, and Devante Smith-Pelly slotted in for the first time since the fourth game of the second round series against the Syracuse Crunch.
Brandon Gignac was not available on Friday due to injury. In addition, Joshua Roy was scratched after his making his debut as a professional, as well was Peter Abbandonato.
Houle elected to utilize a formation of 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Gianni Fairbrother returned to game action for the first time since his injury on Mar. 4th.
Cayden Primeau got the call in goal after allowing five goals on 42 shots in game three.
Springfield opened the scoring early in the game, after Xavier Ouellet’s failed clear out from the defensive zone was intercepted by Dakota Joshua. Joshua made a quick pass to Wednesday’s hero, Will Bitten, and he set up Mackenzie MacEachern for the goal.
At the 7:26 mark, the same line struck for the Thunderbirds as Joshua tapped in a loose puck in the crease to make it 2-0.
Springfield dominated the first half of the period in all aspects of the game, and outshot Laval 16-8. The Rocket turned things around after killing off a slashing penalty to Tobie Paquette-Bisson.
Consecutive penalties against the Thunderbirds gave the Rocket a two-man advantage for 1:48. Danick Martel nearly put Laval on the board, but hit the post.
As the period was winding down, Jean-Sebastien Dea redirected Ouellet’s point shot behind Joel Hofer. The referees reviewed the sequence and confirmed that there was 0.1 seconds remaining when the puck crossed the line.
The first period was highlighted by several scrums after the whistle.
Laval carried the momentum over to the second period, and controlled the play early on.
Cedric Paquette put the sold-out crowd on its feet as he skated coast-to-coast and beat Hofer glove side with a wrist shot. The goal snapped Paquette’s four-game scoreless drought, and Ouellet recorded his second assist of the night.
Springfield obtained their second power play, but Laval’s shorthanded unit extended its perfect streak by killing off Louie Belpedio’s holding minor. The Thunderbirds managed one shot during the man-advantage.
Despite being on the receiving end of mock cheers from the spectators during the contest, Hofer stopped 34 pucks through 40 minutes.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard got Laval’s best scoring chance of the period 13 seconds after puck drop, when he picked up a rebound from Alex Belzile’s shot that forced Hofer to make a quality save.
Springfield’s chances came in the second half of the period. With four minutes remaining, Calle Rosen’s point shot beat Primeau and hit the post to his right and remained out of the net.
Paquette nearly cost his team when he was called for slashing with 3:38 remaining. Former Canadien Bitten nearly haunted his old team again at two different opportunities during the power play. First, he hit the post with a shot, and then moments later, he was stopped by Primeau on a breakaway. Luckily for the Rocket, the score remained tied, and overtime was needed to settle the winner.
It took 4:06 to get the deciding goal, and it came from the home team. Sami Niku from behind of the visiting net found Harvey-Pinard in the slot, and his shot went through Hofer to cross the red line.
As the Rocket was celebrating the victory near the Thunderbirds exit, a spear from Hofer created a 40-man scrum. The goaltender received a five-minute major for spearing, part of a combined 99 minutes of penalties assessed to both teams for the brawl.
Laval showed character and resiliency to tie the series and come back from the two-goal deficit to win 3-2.
Four players from each side received infractions for the post-game activities on the ice. The league has the option review the sequence to determine if any supplemental discipline is warranted.
Game five will take place at Place Bell on Saturday at 7:00pm eastern.
Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with Harvey-Pinard, Primeau, Belzile, Dea and Houle by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Jean-Sebastien Dea, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Gabriel Bourque
▼ Joel Teasdale, Xavier Ouellet
|1 for 2
|0 for 3
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews conducted for The AHL Report tonight by Chris G
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