|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 74 | Friday April 13, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Rychel – Cracknell – Terry
[one_half_last]Valiev – Taormina
Zach Fucale, David Broll, Tom Parisi, Trevor Owens, Nikita Korostelev, Anthony Beauregard, Garrett McFadden, Simon Bourque (DTD), Thomas Ebbing (DTD), Daniel Audette (lower body), Stefan Leblanc (day to day)
It’s been the story of the season in Laval: the Rocket had plenty of difficulty winning on home ice. In fact, the team won just 10 games at Place Bell all season long. With one last chance to give their dedicated fans a good showing, the home team let their second-to-last game of the season slip through their fingers.
The first period flew by in a flurry of skating and not much else. No penalties, no scoring, and barely even a stoppage in play. Shots were only 5-4 for Laval at the end of the frame, but the Marlies had maintained the majority of pressure throughout the period.
In the second period, things swung fully in Toronto’s favor. Just over three minutes into the period, the Marlies scored the first goal of the game. The Rocket were the first ones to make their way to the penalty box a short time later on a too-many-men penalty, and the visiting team’s dominant power play came through to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Within about the first five minutes of the last frame, Toronto extended their lead to 4-0 with two consecutive goals by Chris Mueller. Despite the Rocket maintaining their discipline, they just couldn’t keep up with one of the league’s best teams, nor could they solve goaltender Garret Sparks.
Finally, with just under four minutes left in the game, Jeremy Gregoire fought his way through traffic and got the puck to Rinat Valiev, who buried it to put Laval on the board.
The game ended with a lot of extra activity after a whistle, which carried over to some additional not-so-friendly activity near the Toronto bench which earned Michael McCarron a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Both teams now travel overnight to Toronto where they’ll meet one last time this season, this time at Ricoh Coliseum. It should be an interesting 60 minutes of hockey, with tensions boiling over, frustrations coming to a head, and the Rocket needing to prove something before the final horn of the season.
▲ Jeremy Gregoire, Rinat Valiev
|0 for 1||Power Play||1 for 2|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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