Laval Rocket vs Abbotsford Canucks Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 58, Away Game 33 | Saturday, April 2, 2022|
|Abbotsford Centre, Abbotsford, BC|
Rocket LineupForward lines
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jean-Sebastien Dea – Danick Martel
Kevin Roy – Lukas Vejdemo – Nate Schnarr
Gabriel Bourque – Brandon Gignac – Joel Teasdale
Justin Ducharme – Peter Abbandonato – Jean-Christophe BeaudinDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Sami Niku
Terrance Amorosa – Louie Belpedio
Olivier Galipeau – Josh BrookGoaltenders
Cayden Primeau – Kevin PoulinScratches
Darien Kielb, Nicolas Mattinen, Devante Smith-Pelly, Lucas CondottaInjuries
Alex Belzile (lower-body injury), Tobie Paquette-Bisson (undisclosed), Gianni Fairbrother (undisclosed), Cameron Hillis, Tory Dello, Cedric Paquette
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
To finish out this four-game road trip, the Rocket traveled as far west as they ever have in franchise history when they arrived in British Columbia for a two-game series against the Abbotsford Canucks.
Laval is trying to hold onto their second place position in the North Division, so while the Canucks aren’t a divisional rival, the four points up for grabs this weekend would be a welcome addition to the Rocket’s winning percentage. They collected three out of four possible points in Manitoba earlier this week, ending that series with a 4-2 victory.
Forward Lucas Condotta, the team’s newest addition who was signed to a PTO this week after signing a one-year, entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens, won’t be in the lineup for this game. He will join the team for practice on Tuesday when they are back home in Quebec.
The opening five minutes of this game were very much a back-and-forth affair, as both teams struggled to get any significant penetration in their respective offensive zones. However, with just one shot on goal for each team at the 15:04 mark, Abbotsford opened the scoring off a nice play by Jack Rathbone. Brandon Cutler finished it with a quick shot from the slot.
Laval had some chances in the first half of the period, but couldn’t find the back of the net on a power play opportunity or on a breakaway by Danick Martel.
In the second half of the frame, the Canucks started to come on more strongly. Their persistence finally paid off late in the period with some hard work through traffic by Madison Bowey, and banked into the net by Carson Focht.
The Rocket tried to turn the tables in the final few minutes, but Spencer Knight was up to the task. Then, with just 32 seconds left before intermission, Gabriel Bourque made a bad decision to board Focht in the corner. That move drew a crowd, put Bourque in the box, and Laval on the penalty kill.
It looked as if the Rocket would make it to intermission for a breather and to regroup, but with many of the guys on the ice watching a Canucks player who went down after whiffing on a one-timer, John Stevens fired the puck past Cayden Primeau on his blocker side to make it 3-0 with just one second left on the clock.
A Montreal Canadiens jersey thrown on the ice at the horn was plenty of indication of how Rocket fans in attendance felt about the opening 20 minutes for their team.
The Rocket struggled to get set up in the offensive zone early in the middle frame, but neither team really had much open ice to work with. Lukas Vejdemo had a good scoring chance, but Martin continued to stay sharp and denied the Laval forward.
Primeau made some key stops of his own as the Canucks began to pepper the net with shots, but the Rocket defense couldn’t get the puck out of their zone. After Rafael Harvey-Pinard went down in the corner, Sheldon Rempal grabbed the puck, tucked it between his own skates, deked around Josh Brook and backhanded to the puck into Laval’s net to make it 4-0.
The Rocket power play continued to struggle as they came up empty on their second and third man advantage chances of the night. A scary moment came with just under three minutes left in the period as Sami Niku and Tristen Nielson got their skates tangled as they went into the corner. Both players went down awkwardly, and although they were slow to get up, each were able to eventually get off the ice under their own power.
Despite not being able to get on the board through 40 minutes of play, the Rocket were at least able to slow down the Abbotsford forwards enough to outshoot them 11-9 in the period.
Rathbone added another assist on the night when, just over a minute into the third period, he fired a shot that rang off the crossbar and Matt Alfaro buried the rebound.
The Rocket spent a lot more time in the Abbotsford’s zone in this period, putting a lot of pressure on the Canucks and Martin. Although they had a higher amount of shot attempts, not many pucks actually got through to the crease. Laval missed some very good opportunities, including a couple of times when they had a wide-open net.
In the final minutes of the game, with two Canucks players in the penalty box, the Rocket gave up a shorthanded goal when Stevens went streaking up the ice on a breakaway.
But as has been the case with this Laval team, they fought until the bitter end. With eight seconds left on the clock, the Rocket spoiled Martin’s shutout bid when Justin Ducharme put the puck over the goal line from in tight.
This was a tough loss for Laval to take on a night when Syracuse and Rochester both won their games, and Belleville earned a point in an overtime loss.
The Rocket play one more game in Abbotsford on Sunday before flying home to Laval for a three-game home stand.
Plus / Minus
▲ Peter Abbandonato, Sami Niku
▼ Cayden Primeau, Josh Brook, Xavier Ouellet
|0 for 3||Power Play||1 for 1|
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews not available for tonight’s road game
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