RECAP | Rocket – Monsters: Laval Comes Up Big in Cleveland

Photo by Cleveland Monsters

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

FINAL | Regular Season – Game 61 | Thursday, March 5, 2020
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH






Photo by Cleveland Monsters

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Yannick Veilleux – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Kevin Lynch

Jacob Lucchini – Joseph Blandisi – Nikita Jevpalovs

Alexandre Alain – Laurent Dauphin – Joe Cox

Michael Pezzetta – William Pelletier – Antoine Waked

Defense pairings

Gustav Olofsson – Josh Brook

Otto Leskinen – Cale Fleury

Ryan Culkin – Maxim Lamarche


Cayden Primeau – Michael McNiven


Nathanael Halbert, Justin Woods, Aaron Luchuk


Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (pectoral surgery), Hayden Verbeek, Evan McEneny, Jesse Ylonen, Ryan Poehling

Game Report

Game Report written by Amy Johnson

On a rare Thursday night matchup, the Laval Rocket continued their road trip with a jaunt to Cleveland for two games against the Monsters. More changes in the Laval lineup were evident as Lukas Vejdemo was recalled to Montreal, along with William Pelletier and Joseph Blandisi returning from injury. After warmups it was announced that Cale Fleury would be a late scratch, allowing Nathanael Halbert to draw back into the lineup.

The opening period against the team occupying the bottom spot in the North Division started out heavily in the Rocket’s favor. Cleveland couldn’t find a way to get out of their own zone, and Laval put heavy pressure on them for the opening five minutes of play.

After that, however, the ice began to slowly tilt in the other direction. The Monsters took the first penalty of the game, but Laval couldn’t muster a single shot on goal during the power play. Cleveland forced turnover after turnover while shorthanded, and even managed to register their own shot on goal.

For the remainder of the frame, the Monsters took it to the Rocket, displaying some pretty physical play along the boards and putting some pressure on Cayden Primeau in net.

Laval began the second period with 42 seconds remaining on a penalty kill, with Blandisi still in the box for tripping. After getting out of that situation, the Rocket put on an offensive showcase as they scored three goals in about five minutes.

First up with Michael Pezzetta with his second goal of the year, putting the puck in the net after it bounced back off the end boards. Next Alexandre Alain ripped a wrister into the Cleveland net just over 30 seconds later to double the Rocket’s tally.

For the third goal, Jesperi Kotkaniemi dished the puck perfectly through traffic to Yannick Veilleux as he drove the net hard and set up his winger for an easy tap-in.

Laval looked to be in complete control heading into the second intermission, until Branden Troock just got enough of a shot off in the slot to beat Primeau with 20 seconds left in the frame. The teams headed to the dressing room with the Rocket leading 3-1.

The Monsters took that momentum and dominated the third period, outshooting the Rocket 11-4 in the frame. They did manage to get one more goal past Primeau, a power play tally by Sam Vigneault, but Veilleux also scored on the man advantage for his second goal of the night, and Kotkaniemi potted his first AHL goal: an empty-netter to end the night.

Laval and Cleveland clash one more time this season: Friday night for a rematch. Things got fiesty at times in this game, so with a 24-hour turnaround it’ll be an entertaining matchup to be sure. Tonight’s victory places Laval just one point out of a playoff position.

Plus / Minus

▲  Nikita Jevpalovs, Yannick Veilleux, Cayden Primeau, Gustav Olofsson

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
21 Shots 31
1 for 3 Power Play 1 for 5
10 Penalty Minutes 6
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (28-24-5-3) 0 3 2 5
Monsters (24-29-4-2) 0 1 1 2
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Pezzetta (2), Alain (11), Veilleux (10), Veilleux (11), Kotkaniemi (1)
  • CLE: Troock (3), Vigneault (11)
  • LAV: Primeau (W) 16-11-3-3
  • CLE: Vehvilainen (L) 10-17-4-3

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Yannick Veillux  LAV
  2. Gustav Olofsson  LAV
  3. Brendan Troock  CLE


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

Social Media

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