Laval Rocket vs Syracuse Crunch Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game, Interviews, AHL, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 34, Home Game 16 | Wednesday, February 9, 2022
|Place Bell, Laval, QC
Rocket LineupForward lines
Joel Teasdale – Danick Martel – Jesse Ylonen
Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Peter Abbandonato – Kevin Roy
Brandon Baddock – Jean-Christophe Beaudin – Justin Ducharme
Alexandre Fortin – Cam Hillis – Gabriel BourqueDefense pairings
Xavier Ouellet – Louie Belpedio
Sami Niku – Tobie Paquette-Bisson
Corey Schueneman – Tory DelloGoaltenders
Kevin Poulin – Louis-Philip GuindonScratches
Terrance Amorosa, Devante Smith-Pelly, Gianni Fairbrother, Carl NeillInjuries
Josh Brook (surgery), Brandon Gignac (upper-body injury), Lukas Vejdemo (DTD), Jean-Sebastien Dea (DTD), Alex Belzile (DTD)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
After enduring a complete shelling in Belleville last Saturday, the Laval Rocket returned to Place Bell on Wednesday night to kick off a three-game home stand against the Syracuse Crunch.
With Lukas Vejdemo, Alex Belzile, and Jean-Sebastien Dea still sidelined from their injuries sustained last week, forwards Cameron Hillis and Justin Ducharme were recalled from Trois-Rivieres. In addition, defenseman Sami Niku reported to Laval after clearing waivers from Montreal a week ago.
Head coach Jean-Francois Houle has preached mightily in recent days the need to start games with more energy, and his team definitely did so tonight. Less than two minutes after puck drop, Hillis intercepted a Syracuse pass in their zone and didn’t waste time putting the puck into the back of the Crunch net.
Laval looked much more engaged in the opening minutes of the game then they have in recent outings. The game had a quick pace, with few whistles and no penalties in the opening frame.
Hillis, looking to make the most of his callup, scored his second goal of the night off a rebound from Louie Belpedio‘s shot with a scramble in the crease.
Gabriel Dumont gets one back for Syracuse with a quick shot from the circle through traffic that beats Kevin Poulin.
Casper Kaczperski was in the Syracuse goal to start the second period, replacing Amir Miftakhov.
Not long after the opening faceoff, however, one of his teammates knocked into him in the crease, allowing a wide open shot at the net. Peter Abbandonato made no mistake, giving the Rocket a 3-1 lead.
Belpedio then extended that lead about midway through the period when he picked up his own rebound and buried a sharp-angled shot. Tensions started to bubble up as the game wore on, but nothing really came of it. In fact, Gabriel Bourque took the first penalty of the game with just over six minutes left in the period.
Crunch forward Anthony Richard scored his eighth goal of the season when he wristed the puck past Poulin just 18 seconds into the third period.
Despite the Crunch mounting more pressure in the final frame, the Rocket played a good period as well. Poulin made some key saves to keep the Crunch two goals away from tying the game.
Hillis took an interference penalty, just the second infraction by either team in the entire game, with a little over six minutes left in regulation. But the penalty killers did their job, followed by Bourque potting a shorthanded empty-net goal as an insurance policy.
Just when it looked like the game was over, Joel Teasdale added one more goal to Laval’s side of the scoreboard when he tipped a point shot by Xavier Ouellet into the Syracuse net.
It was just the kind of redemption game the Rocket needed, and set the tone for the remainder of this mini-series against the Crunch which will continue on Friday night.
Be sure to scroll down to hear full audio of post-game interviews with Belpedio, Abbandonato, Hillis, and Houle conducted by the AHL Report team and other members of the media.
Plus / Minus
▲ Cam Hillis, Louie Belpedio, Peter Abbandonato
|1 for 1
|0 for 2
Stars of the Game
|AHL Official Three Stars
|Video highlights will be uploaded when available
What Did They Say?
Post-game interviews conducted tonight for the AHL Report by Chris G
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