RECAP | Rocket – Comets: Chaput, Strong Second Period Propel Laval to Victory

Michael Chaput (Photo by Amy Johnson | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required


FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 13 | Wednesday November 7, 2018 
Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, NY




Michael Chaput (Photo by Amy Johnson | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required


Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Chaput – Evans – Belzile
Scherbak – Vejdemo – Jevpalovs
Shinkaruk – Froese  Grenier
Pezzetta – Audette – Alain[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Kulak – Fleury
Moravcik – Lamarche
Sklenicka – Lernout[/one_half_last]



Adam Plant, Ryan Sproul, Antoine Waked

Injury List:

Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), McCarron (back)

Game Report

For the third time in six days, the Laval Rocket and Utica Comets dropped the puck on another division rivalry game – except this time the teams had traveled to New York and the Adirondack Bank Center. With the two teams splitting the weekend series evenly at 1-1, it was obvious that emotions and intensity would run high in this game.

Michael McNiven (Photo by Amy Johnson | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required

However, the tensions bubbled up perhaps a bit too quickly and completely early on in the first period. After taking more than five minutes to register their first shot on goal, the Rocket found themselves pinned in their own end for much of the first 10 minutes making some bad defensive mistakes which had Michael McNiven working hard to keep the puck out of his net.

Nikita Scherbak looked to make a good impression after the leaving Saturday’s game early due to illness, and was noticeable at both ends of the ice, avoiding turnovers and creating some solid scoring chances at even-strength and on the first wave of the power play.

Nikita Scherbak (Photo by Amy Johnson | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required

But then the penalty parade began for both sides, with Laval taking some egregious penalties to give Utica plenty of four-on-four or five-on-three opportunities. Byron Froese found himself in the box with a five-minute boarding major and was soon joined by Alexandre Grenier. The Comets took full advantage, with Tanner Kero scoring two power play goals in less than a minute.

(Photo by Amy Johnson | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required

But things quickly turned around in the middle frame, when Laval came out looking like a completely different team. Grenier, Daniel Audette, and Alexandre Alain each scored a goal within a four-minute time span to take a 3-2 lead.

Utica came right back just over a minute later to tie the game at 3-3, which chased McNiven from the net and put Charlie Lindgren into the crease in relief. He managed to shut down Utica for the remainder of the night. Michael Chaput gave the Rocket a much-needed second consecutive victory when he put the puck past Ivan Kubalkov for his fourth goal of the season.

Nine different Rocket players earned points on this night, including Froese with two assists and Grenier with one goal and one assist.  Kenny Agostino was missing from the lineup after being called up to Montreal earlier in the day. The team now travels to Cleveland for a back-to-back series against the Monsters which starts on Friday night.

Byron Froese (Photo by Amy Johnson | © Rocket Sports Media) Mandatory Credit Required

Be sure to listen to the full audio of our exclusive interview with head coach Joel Bouchard in the audio player below as he discusses his team’s victory, challenges ahead, and commends Scherbak’s performance. You can also hear exclusive interviews with Lindgren, Froese, and Hunter Shinkaruk.

▲     Nikita Scherbak, Charlie Lindgren, Hunter Shinkaruk, Byron Froese

▼     Michael Pezzetta, Nikita Jevpalovs

22 Shots 24
1 for 6 Power Play 2 for 5
13 Penalty Minutes 14
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Rocket (5-7-1-0) 0 3 1 4
 Comets (5-7-1-0) 2 1 0 3
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Grenier (3), Audette (1), Alain (1), Chaput (4)
  • UTI: Kero (2), Kero (3), MacEwen (5)
  • LAV: McNiven, Lindgren (W) 4-5-1-0
  • UTI: Kulbakov (L) 4-3-1-0
 AHL Three Stars

  1. Michael Chaput  LAV
  2. Tanner Kero  UTI
  3. Jonathan Dahlen  UTI

 Video highlights


 Post-game interview
Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard:

Post-game interview with Charlie Lindgren:

Post-game interview with Byron Froese:

Post-game interview with Hunter Shinkaruk:

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

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