RECAP | Rocket – Americans: Two Points Slip Away

Photo by Rochester Americans

Laval Rocket vs Rochester Americans Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL | Regular Season – Game 59 | Friday, February 28, 2020
Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY






Photo by Rochester Americans

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Yannick Veilleux – Ryan Poehling – Kevin Lynch

Jacob Lucchini – Laurent Dauphin – Nikita Jevpalovs

Alexandre Alain – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox

Michael Pezzetta – Aaron Luchuk – Antoine Waked

Defense pairings

Gustav Olofsson – Josh Brook

Otto Leskinen – Maxim Lamarche

Ryan Culkin – Cale Fleury


Cayden Primeau – Michael McNiven


Keith Kinkaid, Nathanael Halbert, Justin Woods, Jesperi Kotkaniemi (flu)


Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (pectoral surgery), Hayden Verbeek, Will Pelletier, Evan McEneny, Joseph Blandisi

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson
The Rocket got a boost last weekend when they finally snapped their losing streak with two back-to-back wins at home. They found further relief on Wednesday night when they earned their first road win since mid-January against the Belleville Senators.
But bad news continued to haunt the Rocket, as early in the day on Friday the team announced that Jesperi Kotkaniemi would be sidelined in tonight’s game while battling the flu.
That meant an entirely new top line would make its debut against the Rochester Americans, with Cayden Primeau making his fourth consecutive start in net.
The Amerks put their stamp on the game early, though, when Rami Elie took advantage of a loose puck off a faceoff in the Rocket zone and softly tossed the puck toward the net. It trickled under Primeau’s outstretched pad and Rochester was up early.
For the remainder of the period, it was mostly a pretty back-and-forth kind of game, with each team getting a couple of good looks at the net but no scoring.
Otto Leskinen, in his first game back from injury, took a late high-sticking penalty and with just 43 seconds left in the period, Casey Mittelstadt buried a big rebound to make it 2-0 for Rochester.
One word can describe the second period: weird. It began with Kevin Porter laying a hit on Jacob Lucchini along the boards which earned him a match penalty, including a five-minute major. Lucchini was very slow to get up from the hit.
But before play was stopped to call the penalty, the Rocket seemed to have knocked the puck into the net. Upon review, an Amerks player had batted it down behind the net with a high stick, the puck landed on top of the net, fell down and into the goal. Nikita Jevpalovs was awarded the tally.
Later in the period, Maxim Lamarche was found guilty for hooking Rasmus Asplund as the Rochester forward drove to the Laval net. Asplund was given a penalty shot, in which he actually had Primeau beaten cleanly, but he shot the puck wide of the net.
About 30 seconds later, Alexandre Alain connected with Laurent Dauphin on a give-and-go to even the score at 2-2 before the buzzer sounded for intermission.
The third period, although even in shots at 10-10, seemed to be tilted completely in the favor of the Rocket. Their forecheck was exceptionally strong, making it next to impossible for Rochester to maintain puck possession or open any shooting lanes.
With just about five minutes left in the period, however, William Borgen fired a blast from the point which Eric Cornel deflected backhand as he crossed in front of the crease to allow the Amerks to retake the lead. An empty-net goal with seven seconds remaining put the Rocket away for good.
With many divisional opponents winning their games on this night, the Rocket slip back to seventh place in the North Division, but still only three points back of a playoff spot. The race gets tighter as Laval heads to Utica for another division clash on Saturday night.

Plus / Minus

▲  Cale Fleury, Laurent Dauphin, Alexandre Alain
▼  Maxim Lamarche, Aaron Luchuk, Ryan Poehling

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
36 Shots 30
0 for 4 Power Play 1 for 2
4 Penalty Minutes 16
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (26-24-5-3) 0 2 0 2
Americans (31-17-4-5) 2 0 2 4
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Jevpalovs (8), Dauphin (12)
  • ROC: Elie (7), Mittelstadt (9), Cornel (11), Cornel (12)
  • LAV: Primeau (L) 15-11-3-3
  • ROC: Hammond (W) 15-11-3-4

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Eric Cornel  ROC
  2. Casey Mittelstadt  ROC
  3. Laurent Dauphin  LAV


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

Social Media

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