RECAP | Rocket – Monsters: Vejdemo, Verbeek Lead Gutsy Comeback Win

Photo by Cleveland Monsters

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

FINAL | 2018-19 Season, Game 57 | Thursday, February 28, 2019 
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH




Photo by Cleveland Monsters


Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Audette – Evans – Belzile
Kile – Vejdemo – Alain
Roy – Martineau – Grenier
Pezzetta – Verbeek – Cox/one_half]

[one_half_last]Alzner – Lernout
Ouellet – Fleury
Sklenicka – Lamarche[/one_half_last]



Adam Plant, Nikita Jevpalovs, Morgan Adams-Moisan, Ryan Culkin

Injury List:

Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Noah Juulsen (eye), Michael McCarron (shoulder), Antoine Waked (upper body injury), Hunter Shinkaruk (upper body injury)

Game Report

The Laval Rocket found themselves back on the road again this week, with a rare Thursday night game in Cleveland where they would face the Monsters in back-to-back games. With the departures of Dale Weise and Michael Chaput, and Nikita Jevpalovs sidelined with an injury for a second consecutive game, some new faces graced the forward lines for Laval. Marc-Olivier Roy and Joe Cox (recently signed to a PTO from the ECHL Florida Everblades) made their way into the lineup.

Despite a relatively evenly played first period, the Monsters took an early 2-0 lead in the game when Ryan Collins and Kole Sherwood each scored even-strength goals just 38 seconds apart in the opening five minutes of the game.

The Rocket managed to stay out of the penalty box in the first 20 minutes, but could not convert either power play opportunity they were given in the period.

Things opened up quite a bit in the middle frame, particularly when Lukas Vejdemo took advantage of a breakaway during an extended four-on-four period of play. Vejdemo protected the puck from Cleveland’s chasing defender and expertly put the puck past Jean-Francois Berube.

Paul Bittner soon restored the two-goal lead for the Monsters, however, when he found mesh on a sharp-angled backhander that found the top right corner of the net. Joel Bouchard decided to pull Charlie Lindgren after that goal, and sent Michael McNiven into the crease in relief. Lindgren gave up three goals on 10 shots, however he wasn’t to blame for all of them – particularly the third one.

Hayden Verbeek scored his second goal of the season when he skated hard toward the Cleveland net, undressed the Monsters’ defensemen and beat Berube cleanly. The home team answered right back with a big point shot by Tommy Cross, where Xavier Ouellet yet again didn’t help his goaltender. This time the captain was fully screening McNiven and even fell in front of him, preventing him from seeing the puck.

But Verbeek made a big splash with just under two seconds left in the second period when he drove hard to the net and scooped up a loose rebound to make it just 4-3 for Cleveland heading into second intermission.

Vejdemo would score again in the third period to tie the game at 4-4. The goal came on a Laval power play as he got in tight to the crease and found the puck on the doorstep. Jake Evans finished the comeback in the waning minutes of the game after Alex Belzile made a clean centering pass to him in the slot.

For a team that was done 2-0 early in the game, and saw their starting goaltender pulled before the halfway mark, tonight’s comeback showed plenty of determination in the Laval locker room. They’ll only have a short time to celebrate, however, as they face off against the Monsters once again on Saturday night.


▲    Lukas Vejdemo, Hayden Verbeek, Michael Pezzetta, Brett Lernout

▼    Xavier Ouellet, Marc-Olivier Roy, Maxim Lamarche

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
26 Shots 24
1 for 5 Power Play 0 for 3
6 Penalty Minutes 10
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Rocket (24-24-5-4) 0 3 2 5
 Monsters (26-24-6-1) 2 2 0 4
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Vejdemo (9), Verbeek (2), Verbeek (3), Vejdemo (10), Evans (11)
  • CLE: Collins (3), Sherwood (13), Bittner (9), Cross (4)
  • LAV: McNiven (W) 9-6-2-2
  • CLE: Berube (L) 18-17-5-0

Stars of the Game

 AHL Official Three Stars

  1. Jake Evans  LAV
  2. Lukas Vejdemo  LAV
  3. Hayden Verbeek  LAV


 Video highlights

What Did They Say?

 Post-game interviews

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

Social Media

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