Charles Hudon – Jake Evans – Alex Belzile
Phil Varone – Ryan Poehling – Ryan Barber
Matthew Peca – Lukas Vejdemo – Nikita Jevpalovs
Alexandre Alain – Kevin Lynch – Dale Weise
Xavier Ouellet – Otto Leskinen
Karl Alzner – Josh Brook
Gustav Olofsson – Maxim Lamarche
Charlie Lindgren – Cayden Primeau
Michael Pezzetta, William Pelletier, Joe Cox, Ryan Culkin, David Sklenicka
After having the better part of a week to try to repair what was broken in Laval’s opening weekend losses, the Rocket flew to Milwaukee to take on the Admirals for the first time in franchise history. The game would also mark the return of Gustav Olofsson to the lineup, who hadn’t played a game in about a year due to injury.
Milwaukee didn’t waste any time scoring, with Yakov Trenin scoring his third goal of the season after deking around Xavier Ouellet at the blue line and putting the puck past Charlie Lindgren on a breakaway.
The Admirals then spent a good portion of the remainder of the first period in the penalty box, giving the Laval power play units plenty of ice time and room to shoot the puck. But the Rocket goals would come during even-strength play, with Josh Brook punching a snap shot through traffic from the circle and then Nikita Jevpalovs deflecting a point shot by defenseman Otto Leskinen. Leskinen had the primary assist on both goals.
In the middle frame, Laval took a step back, only mustering four shots on goal and committing plenty of turnovers. Their 2-1 lead didn’t last long, as Milwaukee scored twice, including a shot by Cole Schneider that got through four Rocket sweaters.
Laval turned up the heat on the shot clock yet again in the third period, putting 13 shots on Connor Ingram as opposed to the mere five which Lindgren faced in the frame. Head coach Joel Bouchard also began to experiment with line combinations, and Canadiens prospect Ryan Poehling found himself bumped from the second line down to the third, centering Matthew Peca and Alexander Alain.
Despite the efforts of the Rocket, everything came unraveled after a timeout when Bouchard pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker. Trenin picked up the puck along the boards in the offensive zone and, with Jake Evans diving to try to absorb the puck, fired a shot toward the empty net. Ouellet managed to get a piece of it, but not enough to keep it from crossing the goal line. The captain immediately showed his frustration by smashing his stick over the net.
For the first time in franchise history, the Rocket go 0-for-3 to begin the season and are the only team left in the Eastern Conference with zero points. The team now travels to Rockford where they will face another team for the first time in their short history, the IceHogs, on Monday afternoon.
Plus / Minus
▲ Otto Leskinen, Nikita Jevpalovs, Riley Barber
▼ Xavier Ouellet, Ryan Poehling