Charles Hudon – Jake Evans – Joe Cox
Alexandre Alain – Michael McCarron – William Pelletier
Nikita Jevpalovs – Kevin Lynch – Ralph Cuddemi
Michael Pezzetta – James Phelan – Antoine Waked
Gustav Olofsson – Xavier Ouellet
Otto Leskinen – Evan McEneny
Karl Alzner – Josh Brook
Keith Kinkaid – Cayden Primeau
Ryan Culkin, Hayden Verbeek, Maxim Lamarche
Phil Varone (wrist), Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (day-to-day), Dale Weise (day-to-day)
The Rocket kicked off the week with another rare Tuesday night game at Place Bell, this time hosting the Rockford IceHogs. After dropping their last two games, against Rochester, Laval was looking to get back in the win column before a divisional matchup with the Utica Comets later in the week.
With Lukas Vejdemo now also recalled to Montreal, Joel Bouchard‘s roster saw some additional new faces make their debut. William Pelletier drew in for the first time this season, finally healthy from injury, and James Phelan also made his first appearance since being signed to a PTO. Keith Kinkaid was given the start in the Laval crease.
The start of this game was much more in line with what Bouchard likely wanted from his team: lots of offensive pressure, and plenty of time on the man advantage. Charles Hudon got the scoring started with a power play goal from the right circle, his typical high-danger spot. Coming into the game, Hudon sat in 3rd place in the AHL in power play goals with seven, right behind Chris Terry.
Laval continued their onslaught of shots on Colin Delia, peppering him with a total 16 shots in the period, compared to Rockford’s three shots on Kinkaid. The Rocket did eventually find themselves down a man when Jake Evans took a hooking penalty later in the period, but Alexandre Alain tallied a shorthanded goal when Josh Brook dished him the puck cross-ice through two defenders and Alain snapped the puck past Delia.
As has been the case in the past, however, the Rocket took a turn for the worse in the second period, accruing four minor penalties in the opening eight minutes of the frame. Despite turning aside their opponent in all four penalty-killing situations, Laval gave up a shorthanded goal to Joseph Cramarossa who skated the puck up ice on a breakaway and went five-hole on Kinkaid.
Rockford came on strong on the forecheck in the third period and outshot the Rocket 10-5 in the frame. Their strong play and possession allowed them an equalizer when Dmitry Osipov blasted the puck from the blue line and it trickled into the Rocket net.
The game couldn’t be decided in regulation or overtime, and so it went to the shootout. Delia managed to keep all five Laval shooters at bay, and it was Anton Wedin in the fifth round who won the game for the IceHogs.
Laval will head on the road Friday to face off against the Utica Comets in an important divisional matchup before going on their Christmas break. Listen to full audio of player and coach post-game interviews in the player below.
Plus / Minus
▲ Charles Hudon, Alexandre Alain, Josh Brook
▼ Michael McCarron, Antoine Waked, James Phelan