Charles Hudon – Ryan Poehling – Alex Belzile
Phil Varone – Jake Evans – Riley Barber
Nikita Jevpalovs – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox
Michael Pezzetta – Michael McCarron – Dale Weise
Otto Leskinen – Xavier Ouellet
Gustav Olofsson – Maxim Lamarche
Karl Alzner – Josh Brook
Charlie Lindgren – Cayden Primeau
William Pelletier, David Sklenicka, Alexandre Alain, Noah Juulsen, Kevin Lynch
Matthew Peca (day-to-day)
Coming off of the Rocket’s first win of the season, in Rockford, IL Monday afternoon, the team returned to Laval to take on the Providence Bruins in the first game of a three-game home stand.
The opening frame was fast-paced and full of energy, with very few stoppages in the first 10 minutes. Michael Pezzetta, playing in just his second game of the season, deflected a puck shot by Gustav Olofsson to put the Rocket up 1-0.
Soon after, Michael McCarron laid a hit from behind on an opponent which earned him a boarding minor before both players dropped the gloves for a fight. With McCarron in the box, Lukas Vejdemo took advantage of a turnover in the Bruins’ zone to double the Rocket score, shorthanded.
Less than two minutes later, Phil Varone danced his way into the offensive zone and made a clean cross-ice pass to Riley Barber who had an open net back door to put the Rocket up 3-0.
But Laval wasn’t finished yet. With less than 90 seconds left in the opening period, Ryan Poehling won an offensive zone draw and got the puck to Joe Cox who fired it past Max Lagace to send the teams to the dressing room with a 4-0 score for the Rocket.
Lagace was replaced by Dan Vladar in the second period, and there was definitely a shift in momentum as Providence turned up the heat, and the scoring chances. They outshot the Rocket 19-8 in the middle frame, and managed to get on the scoreboard with a goal by Peter Cehlarik.
At the end of the period, with Poehling banging the puck near the net trying to tally a goal before the horn, Vladar seemed to twist his knee coming back into the crease. He needed plenty of assistance getting to the dressing room for intermission, which would force Lagace back into the net for the third period.
But this time, Lagace’s job was a bit easier, as Laval really struggled and the Bruins pounced on their opportunities. Paul Carey forced a turnover deep in the Rocket zone and put the puck past Charlie Lindgren quickly. Then, later in the period, Cehlarik scored his second of the night with a wrister short side, and with just 18 seconds left on the clock the Bruins managed to find an equalizer to force overtime.
The extra minutes flew by pretty quickly, but both goaltenders stood tall. Providence had a few good attempts on Lindgren, but Laval could only generate one shot on goal in overtime.
Lindgren and Lagace continued their strong performances in the shootout, as neither had allowed a puck to cross the goal line until the sixth round, when Jake Evans potted the game winner.
Yes, the Laval Rocket put up plenty of goals, and yes their goaltending saved them, and yes they managed to get two points. However, their third period collapse which allowed the Bruins to make a full four-goal comeback to jeopardize the win was something that the coaches will likely not want to see repeated.
The Rocket face the Bruins again at Place Bell on Friday night, before welcoming the Hershey Bears to Laval on Saturday. Listen to full audio of player and coach post-game interviews in the audio player below.
Plus / Minus
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Michael Pezzetta, Nikita Jevpalovs, Ryan Poehling
▼ Otto Leskinen, Michael McCarron, Dale Weise