|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 17 | Friday November 17, 2017
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Carr – Holland – Terry
[one_half_last]Taormina – Jerabek
Simon Bourque, Thomas Ebbing
Noah Juulsen (foot), Jeremiah Addison (shoulder), Markus Eisenschmid (lower body)
After squeaking out a close victory over the Utica Comets on Wednesday night, the Laval Rocket were back in action on Friday in what was slated to be a tough matchup against the powerful Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Eric Gelinas started the scoring off early for the Rocket, with a bouncing puck that went up over former Canadiens goaltending prospect Dustin Tokarski, landing behind him in the paint and into the net.
The pace of the first period was fast, with very few stoppages in play. The Phantoms were able to control puck possession a bit better than the home team, however the Rocket did manage to outshoot their opponents 11-8 in the opening frame.
While Chris Terry served a slashing penalty, Lehigh Valley got that first goal back with a puck that Zach Fucale seemed to have stopped, but then trickled through his pads and across the goal line. Just a few minutes later, Mike Vecchione scooped up a juicy rebound off of Fucale’s pads and fired it into the net.
The second period was a huge disappointment for Laval. After what started out as a very solid penalty kill on a Brett Lernout hooking call, Vecchione scored his second of the night with a quick-release wrister from the high slot. The Phantoms seemed to continue to control the pace and the puck, and the Rocket found themselves pinned in their own zone for much longer than they should have been. Lehigh Valley outshot the home team 17-9 in the middle frame.
If the second period was disappointing, the third period was a disaster. Phil Varone dangled hard in the slot and wristed a puck home blocker side on Fucale to give the Phantoms a 4-1 lead. Jeremy Gregoire got one of those goals back off a marvelous feed from Michael McCarron as he was falling into the corner.
As the tensions continued to ramp up, and the penalties continued to accrue, Tokarski took a spearing swipe at Daniel Carr in the crease which went unnoticed until Carr retaliated and a major brawl broke out behind the net. Once the mayhem settled down, Varone schooled Fucale again before he had a chance to make a break for the bench and the Rocket found themselves down 5-2.
In the final 30 seconds of the game, McCarron and big defenseman Sam Morin dropped the gloves for a heavyweight bout. It sets a pretty fiesty precedent for the rematch of this game in two weeks in Allentown.
The Rocket will now board a plane for Winnipeg where they’ll spend a few days in a back-to-back matchup with the Manitoba Moose which begins on Sunday afternoon.
▲ Michael McCarron, Jeremy Gregoire, Eric Gelinas
▼ Zach Fucale, Antoine Waked
|0 for 5||Power Play||3 for 5|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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