|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 71 | Saturday March 31, 2018
Giant Center, Hershey, PA
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Terry – Cracknell – Korostelev
[one_half_last]Austin – Taormina
Daniel Audette (lower body), Stefan Leblanc (day to day), Markus Eisenschmid (day to day), David Broll, Michael McNiven, Bailey Webster, Jeremiah Addison
After yet another loss on Saturday night, while waiting to conduct interviews post-game outside the Rocket dressing room, someone inquired as to how media members go about generating questions for the team, loss after loss after loss. My answer: delicately.
Laval has now gone 1-8-1-0 in their past 10 games and the effort in Hershey was another one steeped in frustration, defensive breakdowns, and practically 60 minutes of chasing the puck.
Things didn’t start off on the right foot when Antoine Waked found himself in the penalty box on a holding call just 36 seconds after the opening faceoff. Fortunately, the penalty killers were effective and were only put to work one more time after that for the rest of the game. For once, discipline wasn’t the obvious problem.
But getting pinned in the defensive zone was a big issue for most of the night. The Bears peppered Charlie Lindgren with pucks in the opening period until the visiting team finally managed to get a shot on Phoenix Copley more than six minutes into the game. Lindgren was sharp as he continued to find ways to stop plenty of shots and rebounds in close.
Hershey struck first on a seamless tic-tac-toe play, but later in the frame Nikita Korostelev potted his first AHL goal when Jordan Boucher put the puck on his tape and he skated up ice on a breakaway. But just 36 seconds later, the Bears had regained the lead, 2-1.
The power play unit showed their prowess once again on a late-period man-advantage when Adam Cracknell found the back of the net for his 27th goal of the season to tie the game once again, 2-2, before the teams headed to the dressing room.
There were some close chances for Laval in the second period, namely from Jeremy Gregoire and Anthony Beauregard, but for the most part the team continued to chase the play and gave up two more goals against.
Another late-period goal, this one an unassisted breakaway by Waked, gave the Rocket some life before the third period, but the damage had already been done. Two more goals against the final frame would send Laval on a long bus ride back to Quebec with no wins on the week’s road trip.
The team has five games left on the calendar, with three of them coming this week as they host Rochester and Springfield at Place Bell before heading to Belleville for one more game at Yardmen Arena.
▲ Adam Cracknell, Nikita Korostelev
▼ Trevor Owens, Adam Plant, Johnny Austin
|1 for 3||Power Play||1 for 2|
|AHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Sylvain Lefebvre
Post-game interview with Charlie Lindgren
Post-game interview with Jeremiah Addison
Post-game interview with Nikita Korostelev
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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