RECAP | Rocket – Comets: Laval Continues to Climb

Photo by Lindsay A. Mogle | Utica Comets

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

FINAL | Regular Season – Game 60 | Saturday, February 29, 2020
Adirondack Bank Center, Utica, NY






Photo by Lindsay A. Mogle | Utica Comets

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


Michael McNiven – Cayden Primeau


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 big news coming out of Laval on Saturday wasn’t that Jesperi Kotkaniemi would be out of the lineup again with the flu, it was that the Montreal Canadiens had loaned goaltender Keith Kinkaid to the Charlotte Checkers. It was the move that put the nail in the coffin on a poor management over the summer to sign Kinkaid, and now allows Cayden Primeau and Michael McNiven to become a development tandem in the AHL.

After losing to the Rochester Americans on Friday night, the Rocket were fighting to get some points back against another divisional opponent, the Utica Comets. With McNiven getting his second start of the season and Primeau getting the night off, the Rocket took to the offensive early in the game.

Alexandre Alain and Jacob Lucchini both scored in the opening 20 minutes, and both burying juicy rebound off of Michael DiPietro. Alain’s came on the power play, and Lucchini scored his goal at even-strength, his first in a Rocket uniform.

If the first period was good for Laval, the second period was excellent. Despite being outshot by Utica, the Rocket kept their foot on the gas and used a heavy forecheck yet again to control the game.

Laurent Dauphin scored twice in the period, once on the power play with a one-timer from the far circle, and then on a breakaway all alone. Yannick Veilleux also potted a goal with a laser shot from the slot. The Comets had no answers for their opponent and pulled DiPietro after the fourth goal. His replacement? Jake Kielly, making his AHL debut.

That’s where the scoring ended for the Rocket, and even though Utica did manage to get two of those goals back in the third period, the entire team pulled together to shut their opponent down and not fall into a third period slide.

Overall, it was a decent week for the Rocket, and even though they’re still just out of a playoff position, there is enough hockey left to give them a chance to get back into the race. They’ll next travel to Cleveland on Thursday and Friday for a back-to-back against the Monsters.

Plus / Minus

▲  Nikita Jevpalovs, Laurent Dauphin, Jake Lucchini


The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
21 Shots 30
2 for 4 Power Play 1 for 7
14 Penalty Minutes 8
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (27-24-5-3) 2 3 0 5
Comets (31-21-3-2) 0 0 2 2
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Alain (10), Lucchini (8), Dauphin (13), Veilleux (9), Dauphin (14) 
  • UTI: Stevenson (2), Gadjovich (13)
  • LAV: McNiven (W) 2-0-0-0
  • UTI: DiPietro (L) 19-10-2-1

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Lauren Dauphin  LAV
  2. Nikita Jevpalovs  LAV
  3. Jonah Gadjovich  UTI


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

Social Media

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