|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 32 | Saturday December 23, 2017
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Terry – Cracknell – Scherbak
[one_half_last]Gelinas – Taormina
Willie Corrin, David Broll
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
The Rocket played a solid game on Friday night and deserved the win, despite a late-game comeback by Rochester, who would eventually win in overtime. Laval looked to build on that effort in their rematch against the Amerks on Saturday night.
It was a quick first period in that the first stoppage of play didn’t occur until nearly 13 minutes had passed. Both teams were strong on their skates and the puck, but neither side could muster many good shots on net.
Late in the period, Michael McNiven made a series of big saves for Laval as the Americans surged in the final five minutes and began getting in close to the net.
But there wasn’t much he could do when, with 20 seconds left before intermission, Garret Ross was left all alone to receive a centering pass and put a one-timer right into the net.
The second period brought some more tension when Jeremy Gregoire and Andrew MacWilliam each sat in the penalty box together on two separate occasions. First was when Gregoire had had enough of MacWilliam’s jabs while they were jostling for position in the crease. The pair went off with coincidental roughing minors.
In response, Laval seemed to feed off that energy and picked up their own pace by getting a lot more pucks on net and buzzing around Adam Wilcox in the Rochester crease.
Then MacWilliam tried a new opponent, Michael McCarron, and after the two of them escalated their chirping, Gregoire stepped in and dropped the gloves. The pair sat again, this time with five-for-fighting penalties.
That really seemed to wake up the Rocket bench, and when Chris Terry got the puck on his stick down low he was determined to put it past Wilcox. His first shot hit the netminder and bounced off, he shot off the rebound deflected behind the net, and upon getting it back a third time finally found mesh. The teams went to the dressing room tied at 1-1.
For the final period, however, the Rocket fell back a bit. Gregoire and MacWilliam got in each other’s faces for a third time, but no penalties were handed out. Then after a clean point-to-point pass from Zach Redmond, Stuart Percy rifled the puck towards the net and Sahir Gill deflected it past McNiven to put the Amerks up 2-1.
Late in the game, on a power play, McCarron couldn’t control the puck along the far boards and turned the puck over to Kevin Porter who skated it through the neutral zone, drove the net, and roofed it. The Rocket couldn’t recover and found themselves on the losing side of the game yet again.
Both teams now have a very short holiday break for Christmas, after which they’ll meet again in Rochester next Wednesday.
▲ Chris Terry, Michael McNiven, Adam Cracknell, Jeremy Gregoire
▼ Daniel Audette, Michael McCarron,
|0 for 3||Power Play||0 for 1|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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