RECAP | Comets – Rocket: Three Assists for Kotkaniemi

Photo by Laval Rocket

Utica Comets vs Laval Rocket Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL (OT) | Regular Season – Game 48 | Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Place Bell, Laval, QC






Photo by Laval Rocket

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Charles Hudon – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Jake Evans

Yannick Veilleux – Phil Varone – Riley Barber

Matthew Peca – Kevin Lynch – Nikita Jevpalovs

Alexandre Alain – Laurent Dauphin – Antoine Waked

Defense pairings

Gustav Olofsson – Xavier Ouellet

Otto Leskinen – Cale Fleury

Karl Alzner – Josh Brook


Michael McNiven – Keith Kinkaid


Maxim Lamarche, Will Pelletier, Ralph Cuddemi, Evan McEneny, Michael Pezzetta, Cayden Primeau


Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (pectoral surgery), Andrew Sturtz, Hayden Verbeek, Lukas Vejdemo, Joe Cox

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson

After a weekend filled with drama, due to Cale Fleury and Jesperi Kotkaniemi being sent down to Laval from the Montreal Canadiens, coupled with two back-to-back losses to the Belleville Senators on home ice, the Laval Rocket took to the Place Bell ice on Wednesday night to host another division rival: the Utica Comets.

The Comets, coming into the game, were solidly in third place ahead of Laval in the standings. With Cayden Primeau just getting sent back to the Rocket after his emergency callup to Montreal, Joel Bouchard chose to start Michael McNiven for the first time this season.

The opening 20 minutes were highlighted by special teams, as all three goals scored at either end of the ice happened on the power play. For Laval, both of their goals came at the hands of Charles Hudon, each assisted by Xavier Ouellet and Kotkaniemi. In between, the Comets were able to briefly tie the game with a power play goal of their own.

Yannick Veilleux and Dyson Stevenson dropped the gloves for a bout of fisticuffs after Veilleux put a high hit on Olli Juolevi that knocked the Utica player’s helmet off of his head. Stevenson immediately stepped in to defend his teammate.

In the middle frame, the special teams showcase continued as Guillaume Brisebois deflected a puck off the stick of Alexandre Alain and into Laval’s net on a power play. But then, with Gustav Olofsson in the box to serve a holding penalty, Jake Evans easily skated the puck into the Utica zone and wristed the puck cleanly into the net on a shorthanded attempt to restore the Rocket lead.

The Comets, however, kept fighting back and managed to score the very first even-strength goal of the night when John Stevens snapped a shot past McNiven’s ear on the far side to tie the game for the third time.

Evans would go on to score another power play goal in the third period, but the Comets just wouldn’t go away, with powerhouse forward Reid Boucher potting an equalizer to tie the game at 4-4.

Extra minutes would be needed in this one, but for once Laval was able to pull through in overtime and take the much-needed two points against a divisional foe and put an end to their losing streak. The Rocket now head out on the road for a five-game trip that begins on Saturday in Belleville.

Plus / Minus

▲  Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jake Evans, Charles Hudon, Xavier Ouellet

▼  Kevin Lynch, Antoine Waked, Nikita Jevpalovs

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
38 Shots 35
3 for 3 Power Play 2 for 4
13 Penalty Minutes 11
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (23-19-4-2) 2 1 1 1 5
Comets (26-18-3-2) 1 2 1 0 4
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Hudon (22), Hudon (23), Evans (11), Evans (12), Ouellet (9)
  • UTI: Perron (6), Brisebois (4), Stevens (5), Boucher (25)
  • LAV: McNiven (W) 1-0-0-0
  • UTI: DiPietro (L) 14-7-2-1

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Xavier Ouellet  LAV
  2. Jake Evans  LAV
  3. Charles Hudon  LAV


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard

Post-game interview with Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Post-game interview with Michael McNiven

Post-game interview with Jake Evans

Post-game interview with Xavier Ouellet

Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report

Social Media

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