RECAP | Rocket – Thunderbirds: Laval Completes Third Period Comeback

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Photo by China Wong | Springfield Thunderbirds

Laval Rocket vs Springfield Thunderbirds Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media, Montreal Canadiens

FINAL | Regular Season – Game 27 | Saturday, December 7, 2019
MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA

ROCKET

Laval

4-3

THUNDERBIRDS

Springfield

Photo by China Wong | Springfield Thunderbirds

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Ryan Poehling – Jake Evans – Riley Barber

Alexandre Alain – Lukas Vejdemo – Joe Cox

Dale Weise – Michael McCarron – Nikita Jevpalovs

Hayden Verbeek – Kevin Lynch – Antoine Waked

Defense pairings

Karl Alzner – Josh Brook

Xavier Ouellet – Maxim Lamarche

Gustav Olofsson – Christian Folin

Goaltenders

Charlie Lindgren – Keith Kinkaid

Scratches

Ryan Culkin, Michael Pezzetta (suspended)

Injuries

William Pelletier (undisclosed), Phil Varone (wrist), Evan McEneny (lower body), Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (day-to-day)

Game Report

After a game they’d likely want to quickly forget in Syracuse on Friday night, the Rocket completed their road trip with a second visit to Springfield in as many weeks. With Michael Pezzetta out of the lineup due to a suspension from an illegal check to the head against the Crunch the previous night, Hayden Verbeek had the opportunity to make his season debut with Laval.

But the game definitely did not start the way anyone would have drawn it up. Just 23 seconds after the opening faceoff, Springfield drove the net and Joe Cox, in his effort to defend, careened backwards into Charlie Lindgren, his back connecting squarely with Lindgren’s mask and sending him violently backwards. After being looked at by the training staff, Lindgren stayed in the game despite looking more than a bit shaken up.

Jake Evans then took a nasty hit along the boards that earned the Rocket a power play for the boarding penalty assessed to Sebastian Repo. Evans was no worse for wear, however, and deflected Josh Brook‘s shot to put the Rocket on the board first, 1-0. 

19 seconds later, however, Daniel Audette continued to mount points against his former team when he found the back of the net and triggered the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss. During the bear cleanup, it was decided that Lindgren would come out of the game and Keith Kinkaid took his position in the Laval crease.

Towards the end of the first period, Springfield doubled their score when Thomas Schemitsch fired off a one-timer from the blue line that blew past Kinkaid thanks in part to a screen in front by Audette.

In the second period, play seemed to slow down a bit as both teams struggled to get shots on net. Laval went down another player during this frame as Michael McCarron left the ice with an apparent injury and did not return. Then, thanks to a too-many-men penalty by the Rocket, Springfield extended their lead to 3-1 when Dryden Hunt chipped in a loose puck that got lost in a very crowded Laval crease.

Both teams continued to trade penalties back and forth, but in the third period Laval put their heads down and concentrated on getting pucks in the net. Evans scored his second goal of the night just over three minutes into the frame when Ryan Poehling completed a spectacular pass from the perimeter to Evans as he drove the net.

Then it was Kevin Lynch‘s turn to light the lamp and bring the score even at 3-3. At this point, the Rocket took a couple of additional penalties which gave Springfield plenty of chances to retake the lead, but Laval’s penalty killers came up strong. 

Instead, it was Riley Barber on a late power play for the Rocket, who tallied the game winner off an assist from Evans and Lukas Vejdemo. Evans finished the night with three points.

It was a big comeback win for Laval after a dismal night in Syracuse, and they now head back to Quebec to start a four-game home stand on Tuesday night when they host the Cleveland Monsters.

Plus / Minus

▲  Riley Barber, Jake Evans, Ryan Poehling

▼  Gustav Olofsson, Dale Weise, Joe Cox

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
ROCKET   THUNDERBIRDS
30 Shots 28
2 for 7 Power Play 2 for 5
10 Penalty Minutes 14
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (14-10-3-0) 1 0 3 4
Thunderbirds (14-13-0-0) 2 1 0 3
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Evans (4), Evans (5), Lynch (3), Barber (6)
  • SPR: Audette (6), Schemitsch (1), Hunt (2)
  • LAV: Kinkaid (W) 1-1-0-0
  • SYR: Desrosiers (L) 7-3-0-0

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Riley Barber  LAV
  2. Daniel Audette  SPR
  3. Jake Evans  LAV

Watch

 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

Social Media

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Follow @theAHLReport on Twitter

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