Laval Rocket vs Toronto Marlies Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 39, Away Game 21 | Monday, February 21, 2022|
|Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Jesse Ylonen
Gabriel Bourque – Danick Martel – Alexandre Fortin
Devante Smith-Pelly – Peter Abbandonato – Shawn St. Amant
Cedric Desruisseaux – Cam Hillis – Joel TeasdaleDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio
Sami Niku – Tory Dello
Tobie Paquette-Bisson – Carl NeillGoaltenders
Michael McNiven – Cayden PrimeauScratches
Louis-Philip Guindon, Kevin Poulin, Josh Brook, Kevin Roy, Terrance Amorosa, Justin Ducharme, Mathew SantosInjuries
Brandon Gignac (upper-body injury), Lukas Vejdemo (upper-body injury), Alex Belzile (lower-body injury), Gianni Fairbrother (upper-body injury), Jean-Christophe Beaudin (DTD)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
Just 24 hours prior to today’s puck drop, the Laval Rocket were in Rochester taking on the Americans as their North Division road trip continued. The Amerks have been a tough opponent this year, but on Sunday the Rocket were the victors and did it in style.
In a Monday afternoon Family Day matinee, the Rocket and Toronto Marlies took to the Scotiabank Arena ice in the absence of the Maple Leafs. The parent clubs for both of these teams would meet at the Bell Centre for a tilt of their own at 7:00 pm.
Gabriel Bourque rejoined the team after coming off the COVID-19 protocol list this weekend, and Michael McNiven found himself in the starter’s net for the first time in more than two months.
With fans back in the building for the first time in over a month, there was plenty of energy felt in the arena and the Marlies came out buzzing. Michael McNiven made some early diving saves for Laval while missing his paddle, which was out of reach down the ice.
Gabriel Bourque took a tripping penalty early in the period, and on the ensuing power play Joey Anderson backhanded a rebound to open the scoring for Toronto.
Alex Steeves then took a turn in the penalty box a few minutes later, but instead of the Rocket scoring an equalizer, the Marlies doubled their tally. Brett Seney beat Sami Niku on a foot race through the neutral zone. Jesse Ylonen tried to catch Seney, but the Toronto forward fed a trailing Anderson, who beat McNiven shorthanded.
The period then settled down for a bit, although the Marlies were the team applying more pressure. Down two goals early, it was apparent that the Rocket were chasing the game.
With just over a minute left in the period, Seney put a floating puck on net and Antti Suomela batted it down and into the Rocket’s net. McNiven immediately signaled to the officials that he believed it was knocked in with a high stick, but they disagreed and play continued with Laval down three goals.
Former Rocket forward Joseph Blandisi delivered another blow to his former team a minute later when he buried a rebound 16 seconds before the horn. Laval headed to the locker room trailing 4-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Cayden Primeau started the second period in net for Laval, replacing McNiven. Less than three minutes into the frame, Jack Kopacka deked around a sprawling Xavier Ouellet and fed the puck to Joseph Duszak as he drove the net with Cam Hillis hot on his heels. Duszak poked the puck past Primeau to put Toronto up 5-0.
Laval finally got a bit of relief a few minutes later when Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored a power play goal after scooping up a loose puck in front of the net and going forehand-backhand to beat Michael Hutchinson.
The final 20 minutes of hockey seemed a bit less intense, and the Rocket certainly came out looking to redeem themselves. Louie Belpedio scored his seventh goal of the season when he buried a one-timer about four minutes into the period.
Turnovers proved to be deadly once again for the Rocket, however, and a turnover by Danick Martel at the blue line of the offensive zone gave Kyle Clifford just enough space to skate the puck in the other direction and snap the puck past Primeau to restore Toronto’s four-goal lead.
Anderson was on the ice for a late-period power play, looking to complete the hat trick, but the Rocket were able to get to the final horn without adding another goal against.
The Rocket will have a day off in Toronto on Tuesday to regroup before dropping the puck against the Marlies again on Wednesday to finish out the road trip.
Be sure to scroll down to hear post-game interviews with Peter Abbandonato, Harvey-Pinard, and Houle by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Louie Belpedio, Xavier Ouellet
▼ Michael McNiven, Sami Niku, Danick Martel
|1 for 3||Power Play||1 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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