Laval Rocket vs Utica Comets Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL – OT | Game 32, Away Game 17 | Friday, February 4, 2022|
|Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, NY|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Gabriel Bourque – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Joel Teasdale
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Alex Belzile – Jesse Ylonen
Kevin Roy – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – Danick Martel
Brandon Baddock – Peter Abbandonato – Devante Smith-PellyDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio
Corey Schueneman – Tory Dello
Gianni Fairbrother – Tobie Paquette-BissonGoaltenders
Kevin Poulin – Louis-Philip GuindonScratches
Alexandre Fortin, Terrance AmorosaInjuries
Josh Brook (surgery), Brandon Gignac (upper-body injury), Lukas Vejdemo (undisclosed)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
While many hockey fans spent Friday night taking in the 2022 NHL All Star Skills Competition in Las Vegas, the Laval Rocket found themselves back on the ice in Utica for a rematch against the Comets. They hoped to add another two points to their season record, after mounting a four-goal comeback on Wednesday night to down the division leaders.
Kevin Poulin was tapped to start in net for a second consecutive game, while Jean-Francois Houle shuffled his forward lines around a bit as Lukas Vejdemo was out of the lineup.
The Rocket controlled the puck for the better part of the opening five minutes of play in this game, testing Utica goaltender Akira Schmid a few times right off the bat.
But Laval fell into penalty trouble early on, and that would eventually be a defining role in the opening period. Poulin needed to be strong in net and stopped a number of quality scoring chances.
The Rocket penalty killers came up big on a Utica five-on-three power play, but soon after five-on-five hockey was restored it was A.J. Greer who opened the scoring.
Greer found himself alone in the far circle with a Rocket defender late to get back, and the Comets forward rang the puck off the far post, where it deflected across the net and in.
Brandon Baddock then tried to test Greer’s mettle by challenging him to some rough stuff a few minutes later, but the Comet was having none of it. Baddock went to the box to serve an unsportmanlike conduct penalty, while Greer potted his second of the night on the power play.
Already down a forward with Vejdemo out of the lineup tonight, Houle’s bench got even shorter to start the second period. Both Alex Belzile and John-Sebastien Dea were injured in the opening period and did not return to the game. The coach told AHL Report after the game that it wasn’t looking promising for any of the three forwards to play on Saturday.
Despite those losses, the Rocket dug deep and put up a good fight in the remaining 40 minutes of play. Poulin did his part in net, and then Tory Dello put a perfect snap shot on Schmid from the far circle to get Laval on the board.
Things started to get heated when Gabriel Bourque took Ryan Schmelzer hard into the boards and Kevin Bahl immediately responded. Schelzer would also not return to the game.
The Comets dominated the shot clock in the third period, but Laval found a way to keep its hopes alive when defenseman Corey Schueneman found a lane through traffic. That goal was enough to tie the game and force overtime.
But the Rocket would walk away with just one point on this night, as Alexander Holtz potted the game winner just 21 seconds into the extra minutes.
More notable was the extracurricular activity that took place once Utica was done celebrating their victory. With Laval’s bench pouring onto the ice, Baddock, Danick Martel, Gianni Fairbrother, and others engaged in what teetered on the edge of being a full-out brawl. The three players mentioned all received game misconducts.
The Rocket now board a bus and travel north back into Canada where they’ll rest up before taking on the Belleville Senators in Ontario on Saturday night.
Be sure to scroll down to hear full audio of post-game interviews with Corey Schueneman, Martel, and Houle conducted by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Corey Schueneman, Kevin Poulin, Danick Martel
▼ Brandon Baddock, Gianni Fairbrother
|0 for 2||Power Play||1 for 3|
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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