RECAP | Americans – Rocket: Solid Return for McNiven, Rochester Wins Shootout

Photo by Laval Rocket
FINAL (SO) | 2018-19 Season, Game 36 | Friday, January 4, 2019 
Place Bell, Laval, QC




Photo by Laval Rocket


Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Audette – Evans – Froese
Jevpalovs – Vejdemo – Grenier
Belzile – Martineau – Alain
Pezzetta – Verbeek – Waked[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Sklenicka – Lernout
Ouellet – Fleury
Plant – Lamarche[/one_half_last]



Michal Moravcik, Alex Kile

Injury List:

Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Charlie Lindgren (lower body), Noah Juulsen (undisclosed), Michael McCarron (undisclosed), Hunter Shinkaruk (undisclosed)

Game Report

Game Report written by Chris G

The Rochester Americans visited Place Bell for the first of two matchups against the Laval Rocket this weekend. The North Division-leading Americans won the only game that these two teams previously played by a score of 3-2.

Laval is coming off a 4-2 win against Belleville on Wednesday night, while Rochester beat Bridgeport 5-4 in a shootout on the same night.

Returned to the Rocket earlier this week by the Canadiens, Michael McNiven got the start in goal. It’s his first game action since December 14th, where he made 25 saves against the Syracuse Crunch. Michael Moravcik returned to the lineup, replacing Adam Plant. 

The first period was evenly played by both teams exchanging chances equally. David Sklenicka sent the Americans to the dressing room down by one goal as he scored his second of the season with a top corner point shot past Scott Wedgewood.

Nikita Jevpalovs hit a post in the first minute of the game, while Alex Belzile did the same in the final moments of Laval’s only power play of the period.

The teams exchanged power play goals in the second period. Alexander Nylander redirected a Brendan Guhle point shot passed McNiven while Xavier Ouellet was in the penalty box. Less than two minutes later, Daniel Audette made a slot pass as he was knocked off his feet to Belzile, who scored his seventh of the season. In the final minute of the period, Judd Peterson’s pass attempt was redirected by Brett Lernout into his own goal.

There was no scoring in the third frame, a period that the Americans outshot the Rocket 12-3. Audette had his team’s most dangerous scoring chances of the period as he fanned on two one-timer opportunities on the same shift.

The overtime didn’t settle anything either, but McNiven did make a spectacular glove save to keep his team alive. Nylander scored the winner for Rochester in the shootout, while Belzile was the only one that put the puck in the net for Laval.

“We worked hard, it was a good hockey game. Our guys are growing, they buying into to what were doing. We’re giving ourselves a chance. We’re in every game right now,” said Joel Bouchard after the game.

Listen in the player below for full post-game audio.  These two teams face off against each other again on Saturday at 3:00pm Eastern time.

▲     Daniel Audette, Alex Belzile, Michael McNiven

▼     Brett Lernout, Alexandre Alain, Maxim Lamarche

24 Shots 35
1 for 3 Power Play 1 for 2
4 Penalty Minutes 6
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Rocket (14-16-3-3) 1 1 0 0 0 2
 Americans (22-11-2-0) 0 2 0 0 1 3
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Sklenicka (2), Belzile (7)
  • RCH: Nylander (8), Peterson (1)
  • LAV: McNiven (L) 4-4-1-1
  • RCH: Wedgewood (W) 13-6-1-3
 AHL Three Stars

  1. Zach Redmond  RCH
  2. Victor Olofsson  RCH
  3. Daniel Audette  LAV

 Video highlights
 Post-game interview
Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard:

Post-game interview with Michael McNiven:

Post-game interview with Daniel Audette:

Post-game interview with Alex Belzile:

Post-game interview with Xavier Ouellet:

Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report

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