Opening Weekend Struggles | RECAP: LAV @ BEL


GAME RECAP | Laval Rocket vs Belleville Senators: Line-up, Score, Statistics, Highlights, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL | Game 2, Away Game 1 | Saturday, October 15, 2022
CAA Arena, Belleville, ON






Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Alex Belzile – Jesse Ylonen

Anthony Richard – Brandon Gignac – Danick Martel

Xavier Simoneau – Jan Mysak – Gabriel Bourque

Lucas Condotta – Nate Schnarr – Pierrick Dube

Defense pairings

Otto Leskinen – Justin Barron

Mattias Norlinder – Tory Dello

William Trudeau – Madison Bowey


Kevin Poulin – Cayden Primeau


Brennan Saulnier, Joel Teasdale, Mitchell Stephens (suspended), Alex Green, Peter Abbandonato


Gianni Fairbrother (knee)

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson 

After kicking off the 2022-23 series on Friday night with an overtime loss in front of more than 9,000 raucous fans packed inside Place Bell, the Laval Rocket took to the road on Saturday for a quick trip to Belleville, Ontario to take on the Senators.

Head coach Jean-Francois Houle made the decision to give veteran goaltender Kevin Poulin the net, after Cayden Primeau‘s appearance on Friday. Additionally, there was at least one change made in his forward corp after it was announced early in the day that 2022 first-round draft pick Filip Mesar had been loaned to the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL. That led to Pierrick Dube drawing in, as well as Nate Schnarr in place of a suspended Mitchell Stephens.

First Period

After an entertaining, action-packed game on Friday night, tonight’s game started with a bit more of a mellow tone. In fact, a collective five shots on goal were tallied by both teams in the opening seven minutes before Tory Dello took the game’s first penalty (cross-checking).

Laval’s penalty killers succeeded in their task and shortly after the penalty expired, Dube scored his first AHL goal with a quick wrister to beat Antoine Bibeau. Schnarr assisted on the goal.

With Belleville dressing seven defenseman in this game, the Rocket were pouring on the pressure in the offensive zone. The ice was tilted mostly in Laval’s direction for the rest of the period, until the Sens found an equalizer late in the frame.

With Jesse Ylonen in the box for tripping late in the period, Jayce Hawyrluk potted his second goal in as many nights when he cleaned up a rebound in front of Poulin to even the score.

Second Period

The first half of the second period did not start the way Laval would have liked. Jan Mysak headed to the box just 12 seconds after the opening faceoff and, despite the Rocket generating a couple of shorthanded scoring chances, the Senators managed to capitalize on the power play. Philippe Daoust, with the help of Hawyrluk, finished the play to give Belleville their first lead of the night.

Soon after, Laval found themselves on their first man-advantage of the night, but instead of tying the game, the Sens added to their lead. Mattias Norlinder fell at the blue line, springing Cole Reinhardt for a shorthanded breakaway, putting the puck easily through Poulin.

But things changed quickly in the second half of the period, after Gabriel Bourque fired a wrist shot top shelf past Bibeau to pull the Rocket back within a goal. He was assisted on the play by Anthony Richard and Otto Leskinen.

Norlinder then redeemed himself by getting the puck on net, where Alex Belzile was waiting next to the crease for a tip-in, tying the game at 3-3.

Things unraveled a bit as the period wound down, however, after Scott Sabourin and Xavier Simoneau each got two minutes for roughing, after which Ylonen took a slashingn penalty to give the Sens a four-on-three advantage which would carry over into the third period. The Rocket seemed to be slipping back into the undisciplined play we saw from them in the preseason.

Third Period

Scoring settled down in the third period, and the play tightened up a bit, but tensions remained on a solid simmer. At one point, Dillon Heatherington even tried to tangle with Ylonen and instead found himself in the penalty box.

With the clock winding down, and just 5:30 left in the period, Sabourin found himself perfectly positioned to wire a puck past Poulin after it had careened off the end boards. Empty-netters by Cedric Pare and Jake Lucchini in the final 90 seconds added insult to injury.

What’s Next?

The Rocket weren’t victorious in either of their two preseason games, and they’re still searching for a regular win after their two opening weekend games. They next welcome the Springfield Thunderbirds to Place Bell on Wednesday night, where the home team will look to get their first win of the season.

Plus / Minus

▲ Justin Barron, Mattias Norlinder, Otto Leskinen

▼ Jesse Ylonen, Brandon Gignac, William Trudeau

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
35 Shots 36
0 for 4 Power Play 2 for 7
16 Penalty Minutes 10
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (0-1-1-0) 1 2 0 3
Senators (2-0-0-0) 1 2 3 6
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Dube (1), Bourque (2), Belzile (1)
  • BEL: Hawryluk (2)-PPG, Daoust (1)-PPG, Reinhardt (1)-SHG, Sabourin (1), Pare (1)-ENG, Lucchini (1)-ENG
  • LAV: Poulin (L) 0-1-0-0
  • BEL: Bibeau (W) 1-0-0-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Jayce Hawyrluk  BEL
  2. Philippe Daoust  BEL
  3. (not announced)


 Video Highlights

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Post-game interviews not available for tonight’s road game

Social Media

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