Laval Rocket vs Belleville Senators Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 33, Away Game 18 | Saturday, February 5, 2022|
|CAA Arena, Belleville, ON|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Gabriel Bourque – Danick Martel – Kevin Roy
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Peter Abbandonato – Jesse Ylonen
Brandon Baddock – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – Joel Teasdale
Alexandre Fortin – Devante Smith-PellyDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio
Gianni Fairbrother – Tobie Paquette-Bisson
Corey Schueneman – Tory Dello
Louis-Philip Guindon – Kevin PoulinScratches
Josh Brook (surgery), Brandon Gignac (upper-body injury), Lukas Vejdemo (DTD), Jean-Sebastien Dea (DTD), Alex Belzile (DTD)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
As the Rocket rounded out this week’s road trip with a visit to Belleville, their lineup looked a little worse for wear. Granted, it was a victory to come out of Utica taking three out of four possible points, but they also lost the services of Lukas Vejdemo, Alex Belzile, and Jean-Sebastien Dea to injury in the process.
So on Saturday night, Jean-Francois Houle decided to ice 11 forwards and seven defensemen against the Senators, with Louis-Philip Guindon in the crease.
For a team that has struggled in the opening 20 minutes for quite a few games this season, Laval wasn’t helped by a late night of travel by bus following an intense Utica game. They looked a bit tired right out of the gate.
Tired can lead to mistakes, and a turnover by defenseman Gianni Fairbrother in the neutral zone less than five minutes after the opening faceoff allowed Rourke Chartier to put the puck through Guindon’s five-hole. The Senators, on the other hand, were skating well and applying plenty of pressure to the Rocket.
About midway through the period, both teams had to wait during a 10-minute maintenance delay to fix a pane of glass. 30 seconds later, the ice crew was back to fix it again. It took a total of about 20 minutes for the issue to be fixed and the teams needed a short skate to warm up again before play resumed.
Belleville controlled the play for most of the period and, except for a clear shot on goal by Kevin Roy that was swallowed by Mads Sogaard, the Rocket didn’t have much in the way of dangerous scoring chances. Mark Kastelic took the game’s first penalty, for roughing, with only 49 seconds left before intermission.
The Rocket had more than a minute of power play time remaining on Kastelic’s penalty to start the second period, but weren’t able to find the back of the net on the advantage.
They did, however, look a bit more lively and found some moments of good pressure on the Senators. Laval put more shots on goal in the opening five minutes of the middle frame than they did in the entire first period.
But the wind came out of the visitors’ sails when Michael Del Zotto found Chartier trailing in on the rush all alone in the circle and the forward potted his second goal of the night.
After another unsuccessful power play, the Rocket found themselves shorthanded for the first time when Corey Schueneman got whistled for holding the stick. Guindon and the penalty killers were able to keep the Senators off the board on their power play, but there wasn’t anything they could do when Egor Sokolov teed up a one-timer with 6:28 left in the period and buried it.
The Rocket tried to get something going in the third period, but their fourth power play opportunity of the night proved to be a killer. Captain Xavier Ouellet blew a tire at the blue line and Logan Shaw quickly picked up the loose puck for a shorthanded breakaway, easily beating Guindon.
Belleville then immediately handed Laval another prime opportunity a few minutes later when Jacob Bernard-Docker went to the box for a high-sticking double minor. Less than 30 seconds in, Jonathan Aspirot was whistled for cross-checking to give the Rocket a full two minutes of five-on-three hockey.
It didn’t take long for Jesse Ylonen, who already had a few good opportunities to score, to find the back of the net when he wired the puck on net and went bar down.
The good vibes ended there, however, when Gabriel Bourque went off for a four-minute high-sticking penalty. Michael Del Zotto fired a point shot at Guindon and none other than former Laval Rocket forward Jake Lucchini tipped the puck into the net.
To make matters worse, the Sens scored on the second part of the double minor power play as well. Mark Kastelic quickly sniped the puck past Guindon on the tail end of a smooth tic-tac-toe play from Chartier and Roby Jarventie.
Ouellet said it best in our post-game interview when he quipped, “We’re better than how we played tonight.” The Rocket will now head home, rest, and get ready to host the Syracuse Crunch three times next week.
Be sure to scroll down to hear full audio of post-game interviews with Ouellet and Houle conducted by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Jesse Ylonen, Corey Schueneman, Louie Belpedio
▼ Brandon Baddock, Gianni Fairbrother, Louis-Philip Guindon
|1 for 7||Power Play||2 for 4|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews conducted tonight for the AHL Report by Amy Johnson
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