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 5 | Saturday, June 11, 2022
Springfield leads series 3-2
|Place Bell, Laval, QC|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Cedric Paquette – Alex Belzile
Gabriel Bourque – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Kevin Roy
Joel Teasdale – Danick Martel – Jesse Ylonen
Lucas Condotta – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – 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, Riley Kidney, Gianni Fairbrother, Peter Abbandonato, Joshua RoyInjuries
Lukas Vejdemo (lower body), Mattias Norlinder (upper body), Brandon Gignac, Nate Schnarr
Game Report written by Chris G
Laval hosted the Eastern Conference Final for the last time of the series on Saturday. On Friday, the Rocket tied the series 2-2 thanks to an overtime winning goal by Rafael Harvey-Pinard.
Head coach Jean-Francois Houle returned to a formation of 12 forwards and six defencemen for game five. After playing his first game in three months, Gianni Fairbrother was scratched for the contest. Houle said that his decision was not motivated by the 21-year old’s performance on Friday. Forward Kevin Roy slotted into the lineup for the first time since Mar. 17th.
Forward Nate Schnarr was not available on Saturday due to injury that occurred during game four. Jean-Christophe Beaudin took his spot after sitting out the last two games of this series.
Cayden Primeau got the call in goal after making 42 saves on Friday.
Bad blood between these two teams began even before puck drop as Harvey-Pinard and Will Bitten were jousting at the faceoff circle.
Laval successfully completed another penalty kill when Alex Belzile was in the box for tripping. The Rocket obtained the first scoring chances when Cedric Paquette’s shot directly hit the crossbar after beating former Canadien Charlie Lindgren, and moments later, Lindgren stopped Beaudin on a breakaway opportunity.
After an unsuccessful powerplay opportunity, Laval capitalized on their second chance when Harvey-Pinard extended his goal streak to four games by redirecting Sami Niku’s point shot behind the goal line. Niku’s assist extended his point streak to four matches.
Laval nearly increased their lead to two goals when Jesse Ylonen was robbed by Lindgren on an odd-man rush.
The Rocket’s third powerplay of the period was cancelled after 10 seconds when Belzile received an extra minor penalty during a post-whistle scrum.
Springfield controlled the majority of the second period, and it all began when Roy received a boarding penalty in the offensive zone. Through the first 7:31 of the frame, the Thunderbirds were outshooting the Rocket 8-1.
Laval got its first dangerous chance of the period during a powerplay, when Jean-Sebastien Dea shot from the slot and was stoned by Lindgren.
Harvey-Pinard doubled Laval’s lead at 12:05 when his shot deflected off defenceman Brady Lyle’s skate and trickled past the goal line.
Nathan Todd cut the lead to one goal after being on the receiving end of James Neal‘s pass, and beat Primeau with a one-timer from the slot.
The Rocket ended the period shorthanded as Belzile was serving his fourth minor penalty of the evening.
Laval’s indiscipline continued into the third period as Paquette was called for high-sticking. As it has throughout this series, the penalty kill did the job to keep Springfield off the board.
Sam Anas nearly tied the score when his shot was partially saved by Primeau before hitting the post.
Springfield gave Laval a powerplay opportunity and Harvey-Pinard nearly netted his third, but his shot hit the knob of Lindgren’s stick for the save. The Rocket’s power play was cut short as Niku entered the box for hooking.
The visitors tied the score with 4:24 remaining when Dakota Joshua’s shot hit Tobie Paquette-Bisson’s stick before beating Primeau. Overtime would be needed for a second consecutive night.
Laval got several chances to seal the win in overtime but were not able to bury them. Danick Martel missed a wide-open net on an odd-man rush, and Dea was stopped by Lindgren on a breakaway.
James Neal buried the winning goal as he beat Primeau from the slot with 1:25 remaining.
Springfield has a controlling 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final. Laval will travel to Massachusetts on Sunday in preparation for Monday’s match. The Rocket need back-to-back wins on the road to advance to the Calder Cup Final.
Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with Ouellet, Devante Smith-Pelly, Harvey-Pinard and Houle by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Cayden Primeau, Rafael Harvey-Pinard
▼ Tobie Paquette-Bisson, Corey Schueneman, Cedric Paquette, Kevin Roy, Alex Belzile
|1 for 5||Power Play||0 for 7|
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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