Laval Rocket vs Rochester Americans Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
FINAL – 3OT | North Division Final – Game 3 | Wedneday, May 25, 2022
Laval wins series 3-0
|Place Bell, Laval, QC
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Jesse Ylonen
Brandon Gignac – Cedric Paquette – Alex Belzile
Gabriel Bourque – Peter Abbandonato – Danick Martel
Lucas Condotta – Nate Schnarr – Joel TeasdaleDefense 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, Gabriel Mollott-Hill, Kevin Roy, Alexandre Fortin, Justin Ducharme, Max Kaufman, Riley Kidney, Gianni FairbrotherInjuries
Lukas Vejdemo (lower body), Mattias Norlinder (upper body)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
The Laval Rocket hit the road for the first time in this North Division Final and heading south to Rochester, NY. Blue Cross Arena would be the setting for game three in this best-of-five series, and everything was on the line for the home team.
Coming into the game with a 2-0 lead in the series, Laval had the Amerks’ backs against the wall with their season in jeopardy and a potential sweep in the making.
Jean-Francois Houle opted to keep his lineup exactly the same as Monday night, with Cayden Primeau getting his seventh consecutive postseason start. Rochester head coach Seth Appert confirmed that Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was still not ready to make a return to the net, so Aaron Dell would be in the crease for the third time in this series.
After the morning skate, Houle told our AHL Report team that emotions would likely be high in this game at both ends of the ice, and warned that his team knew the importance of staying disciplined, out of the penalty box, and focused on the game at hand.
Rochester couldn’t have started the game much better, as they lit the lamp just about a minute after the opening faceoff. The puck came out of the corner and out toward Primeau, who deflected it into the slot but Mark Jankowski was waiting there to fire right back at the Laval netminder, and past him.
That seemed to wake up the Rocket a bit, and they pushed back hard in the next few minutes and got a number of good shots on net. But then Xavier Ouellet was whistled for cross-checking, and Laval would go shorthanded.
On just their third shot of the game, Rochester earned their second goal of the night during the Ouellet power play, as JJ Peterka wired a snap shot past Primeau on his blocker side.
The rough stuff continued, as Laval got their first man advantage of the night after Ryan MacInnis was sent to the box for a boarding call on Sami Niku. But unlike their opponents, the Rocket were not able to get on the board on the power play.
Laval continued to get some quality chances on net, and their pace was high, but they couldn’t find a way to get a puck past Dell, even when he went down behind his net and scrambled to get back on his skates.
Both teams played tight, defensive hockey to start the second period, and both goaltenders made some key saves to keep the score locked at 2-0. Rochester took away a lot of Laval’s open ice, making it difficult for the visitors to get many clean looks through to the net.
Rafael Harvey-Pinard was called for interference when he made contact with Dell in the crease, and the Rocket had to kill off another penalty, their third of the night.
After a few minutes of sustained pressure in the offensive zone, Laval finally broke through when Brandon Gignac deflected the puck from Corey Schueneman‘s point shot to make the score 2-1 for Rochester.
About a minute later, Danick Martel buried the equalizer after Gabriel Bourque fed him the puck from down low and Martel ripped it past Dell from the slot.
But the Rocket weren’t finished yet. Another minute later, Ouellet blasted a shot from the point to give Laval their first lead of the night. Jean-Sebastien Dea extended the lead when he found himself with a wide-open net after Dell couldn’t recover fast enough to get across the crease. With four unanswered goals, the Rocket headed to intermission up 4-2.
If you thought the first period goal scored by Rochester right off the bat was fast, Brett Murray decided to do it even faster in the third. Just 13 seconds after the puck dropped, Murray drove the puck to the net and flipped it past Primeau glove side to pull Rochester within one goal.
Immediately following that, the teams went to four-on-four hockey as Jankowski and Gignac headed to the box for a holding-the-stick and roughing penalty, respectively. During that four-aside play, Peterka scored his second goal of the night as he drove to the net and intercepted a pass from Peyton Krebs.
With a little over 11 minutes left in the frame, the Amerks restored their lead when Murray scored his second goal of the night. With a screen in front of Primeau, a point shot got through to make it 5-4 for Rochester.
After some questionable officiating all night long, Rochester ended up shorthanded with 1:58 left in regulation and Jesse Ylonen found a way to tie the game once again. But with just 22 seconds left on the clock, Peter Abbandonato was whistled for tripping. Rochester didn’t score before the end of regulation, but would start overtime with a healthy amount of power play time to try to extend their season.
The overtime period was frenzied, at best, and the Rocket found themselves killing off the remainder of the Abbandonato penalty, and also a Niku penalty later in the period. But neither team could get a puck through and over the goal line, and more overtime was needed.
Two more overtimes, to be exact. Just minutes into the third overtime period, Jean-Sebastien Dea scored a power play goal to clinch the series with a sweep of the Americans.
Laval now has some time to rest before gearing up for the Eastern Conference Final series. They must wait to find out the results of the Atlantic Division Final to know if they’ll be facing the Springfield Thunderbirds or the Charlotte Checkers.
Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with Ouellet, Dea, Gignac and Houle by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Jean-Sebastien Dea, Jesse Ylonen,
▼ Alex Belzile, Sami Niku, Tory Dello
|2 for 4
|1 for 6
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars
What Did They Say?
Post-game interview conducted for The AHL Report tonight by Amy Johnson
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