Charles Hudon – Michael McCarron – Dale Weise
Matthew Peca – Jake Evans – Alex Belzile
Nikita Jevpalovs – Kevin Lynch – Antoine Waked
Alexandre Alain – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox
Gustav Olofsson – Xavier Ouellet
Otto Leskinen – Noah Juulsen
David Sklenicka – Josh Brook
Charlie Lindgren – Cayden Primeau
Maxim Lamarche, Michael Pezzetta, David Sklenicka
William Pelletier (undisclosed), Riley Barber (upper body), Phil Varone (undisclosed)
Could Laval extend their win streak to five games on Saturday night? Joel Bouchard opted to give his team the same line combos as Friday in an attempt to repeat their performance, with a change in netminder to Charlie Lindgren as the only switch.
The game began much the same way as it had the previous night, with play going back and forth down the ice without much in the way of quality shooting. Then the penalties started to mount, and seemingly every time Cleveland would find themselves in the penalty box, Laval would manage to negate their power play chances with a penalty of their own.
But Kevin Lynch managed to score his first goal of the season on one of the four-on-four moments of play, as he muscled his way around Stefan Matteau to flick the puck past Veini Vehvilainen.
Tensions began to mount as Calvin Thurkauf cross-checked Dale Weise in the back of the head, and then moments later Alex Belzile found himself in the middle of a ten-man scrum at the other end of the ice. He and Marko Dano took special exception to one another, and got some questionable shots in around the officials. Dano would receive a game misconduct, and Belzile was handed a 10-minute misconduct for continuing an altercation.
The night of first goals continued into the middle frame as Matthew Peca scored his first of the season on a sharp-angle shot that found a bit of open space to make it 2-0 for Laval.
But the physicality and penalties continued to mount as Jake Evans took a hard hit into the stanchion (much like Zdeno Chara‘s hit on Max Pacioretty years ago) and Antoine Waked immediately dropped the gloves in his teammate’s defense. His reward? Five for fighting, plus a two-minute instigator penalty and a 10-minute misconduct for instigating.
The third period saw Cleveland come out strong and on the hunt for a goal, but Lindgren stood tall all night long and denied the Monsters at every turn. With just over three minutes left in the game, Cleveland pulled their goaltender and after Lukas Vejdemo forced a Monsters turnover in their own zone, Belzile picked up the puck and buried an empty-netter.
Josh Brook took another late penalty and during the time shorthanded, Noah Juulsen blocked a shot with his torso and went down the tunnel in some obvious pain. Belzile, however, picked up the puck again and scored another empty-netter shorthanded to seal the victory for Laval and the shutout for Lindgren.
Laval has now won six consecutive games, as their streak continues. They’ll look to keep it going next week when they’re home for three games against Belleville, Milwaukee, and Bridgeport.
Plus / Minus
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Lukas Vejdemo, Noah Juulsen
▼ Josh Brook, Dale Weise