RECAP | Comets – Rocket: Laval Nabs Victory in Defensive Matchup



FINAL (OT) | 2018-19 Season, Game 12 | Saturday November 3, 2018 
Place Bell, Laval, QC





Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Agostino – Evans – Alain
Scherbak – Vejdemo – Jevpalovs
Audette – Froese – Belzile
Pezzetta – Chaput – Waked[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Kulak – Fleury
Sklenicka – Lernout
Moravcik – Lamarche[/one_half_last]



Alexandre Grenier, Hunter Shinkaruk, Ryan Sproul, Adam Plant

Injury List:

Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), McCarron (back)

Game Report

Game Report written Chris G

On Saturday afternoon the Laval Rocket and Utica Comets played the second game of their back-to-back series at Place Bell. Going into this game, the Rocket were 0-3 this season in the second game of back-to-backs.

Joel Bouchard made several changes to the lineup as Michael McCarron (back injury), Alexandre GrenierHunter ShinkarukRyan Sproul, and Adam Plant were not dressed, while Alexandre Alain Daniel AudetteAntoine WakedDavid Sklenicka, and Brett Lernout slotted into the lineup. Michael McNiven got the start in goal, as was the plan for the weekend, after also coming into relieve Charlie Lindgren on Friday night.

There were no goals scored in the first period, with just 11 shots on goal between both teams. Additionally, there weren’t many scoring chances in the period by either team. Audette had the best opportunity, but wasn’t able to complete a nice pass play started by Byron Froese and Alex Belzile.

The Comets almost replicated their first goal from Friday’s game as Jonathan Dahlen snuck up behind Laval’s defence, leading to a breakaway, but McNiven came up with the save. Lernout was sent to the penalty box with 2:55 remaining after sending Tanner MacMaster into the boards. The Rocket penalty killers came up big ye again, and the Comets didn’t capitalize on the power play.

Cam Darcy scored the game’s first goal as Jake Evans and Froese weren’t able to clear a rebound and the puck went straight to Darcy who backhanded it into the net.

Michael Pezzetta took a pair of penalties in the period, but he certainly had to thank his teammate Nikita Jevpalovs for scoring shorthanded with a blocker side wrist shot that Comets netminder Ivan Kulbakov wasn’t able to stop.

During Laval’s three penalty kills in the period they also got a scoring opportunity but Lukas Vejdemo wasn’t able to complete a wraparound attempt, and the puck went through Belzile’s skates.

Both teams had several chances to score in the third period. The Rocket had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:50 but didn’t generate any dangerous opportunities during that time. Laval continued to take penalties as well, as Evans and Jevplalovs took turns in the box with under five minutes in the period. Then, with just 30 seconds left in regulation, the Comets took a too-many-men penalty which would carry over into extra minutes.

During the overtime power play, Evans completed a passing play started by Kenny Agostino and Belzile to give the Rocket the victory.

After the game, the players and coach seemed relieved to get their first win in seven games. Bouchard says his players will have the next two days off before they head to Utica to face the Comets for a third consecutive game on Wednesday night.

Nikita Scherbak left the game at the end of the first period due to illness and didn’t return.  Be sure to listen to full audio from all post-game interviews in the player below.

▲     Alex Belzile, Byron Froese, Michael McNiven, Michal Morvacik

▼     Michael Pezzetta, Maxim Lamarche, Brett Lernout

35 Shots 20
1 for 7 Power Play 0 for 5
17 Penalty Minutes 21
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Rocket (4-7-1-0) 0 1 0 1 2
 Comets (5-6-1-0) 0 1 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Jevpalovs (2), Evans (3)
  • UTI: Darcy (2)
  • LAV: McNiven (W) 1-2-0-0
  • UTI: Kulbakov (L) 4-2-1-0
 AHL Three Stars

  1. Kenny Agostino  LAV
  2. Ivan Kulbakov  UTI
  3. Byron Froese  LAV

 Video highlights


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

Post-game interview with Alex Belzile:

Post-game interview with Antoine Waked:

Post-game interview with Michael McNiven:

Post-game interview with Michal Moravcik:

Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report

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