Phil Varone – Ryan Poehling – Alex Belzile
Charles Hudon – Jake Evans – Alexandre Alain
Nikita Jevpalovs – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox
Matthew Peca – Michael McCarron – Dale Weise
Gustav Olofsson – Xavier Ouellet
Otto Leskinen – Noah Juulsen
David Sklenicka – Josh Brook
Cayden Primeau – Charlie Lindgren
Maxim Lamarche, Kevin Lynch, Michael Pezzetta
William Pelletier (undisclosed), Riley Barber (upper body), Karl Alzner (upper body)
After registering two road losses this week, the Laval Rocket took the ice in Providence on Saturday night to try to right the ship against the Bruins. After defeating the Bruins twice in Laval last week, the Rocket needed to be prepared for a team looking for payback.
Riley Barber and Karl Alzner were added to the injured players list, with Alzner being replaced by David Sklenicka, who had not suited up since the season’s opening weekend. Additionally, Matthew Peca returned to the lineup from injury status and Michael McCarron returned from suspension.
But the opening 10 minutes of the game were likely not what Joel Bouchard had in mind for his struggling team. Nearly half of the first period went by without the Rocket registering a single shot on goal. They lost nearly every faceoff, plagued themselves with perimeter-only passing, and couldn’t create any chances in deep.
For the Bruins, they were allowed to control the pace and play of the period and managed to get on the board first when Peter Cehlarik buried his own rebound to make it 1-0. To their credit, however, the Rocket didn’t sit back and finally started to generate some momentum of their own. Alex Belzile tipped in a centering pass from Phil Varone to even the score at 1-1.
The second period, for the most part, was a lot of the same as the Bruins continued to control the puck. The home team then regained their lead when captain Paul Carey flipped the puck back towards the net off the faceoff and managed to get it past Cayden Primeau. After that, Laval had trouble getting shots on goal yet again and, through the first 15 minute of the period, only had registered three shots.
But once again luck seemed to be on their side when Carey took the first Providence penalty of the night and Xavier Ouellet ripped a shot from the point after the Rocket won the faceoff during the power play. The puck deflected into the Bruins net to even the score once again.
It was in the third period that the game seemed to shift. Shots were way down, as both teams tightened up play in the neutral zone and shut down shooting lanes. Both Dale Weise and Jake Evans had prime scoring chances on Kyle Keyser, but the goaltender denied each of them.
When the game eventually went to overtime, it was another battle, and despite the Rocket getting two wide open breakaways, both Keyser and Primeau stood tall in their nets and forced a shootout. Charles Hudon and Phil Varone both scored to give Laval the victory.
It wasn’t the prettiest road trip for the Rocket, but they did manage to get three out of a possible six points this week. They now return to Quebec where they’ll get ready to face the Hartford Wolf Pack once again next Wednesday.
Plus / Minus
▲ Cayden Primeau, Phil Varone, Ryan Poehling, Jake Evans
▼ Lukas Vejdemo, Josh Brook