RECAP | Rocket – Thunderbirds: Laval Kicks Off Roadtrip with OT Victory

Photo by China Wong | Springfield Thunderbirds

Rocket vs Thunderbirds Game Recap: Score, Line-up, Game Report, Statistics, Three Stars, Highlights, Post-game, Social Media

FINAL (OT) | 2018-19 Season, Game 42 | Monday, January 21, 2019 
MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA




Photo by China Wong | Springfield Thunderbirds


Forward lines and defense pairings: 

[one_half]Audette – Froese – Belzile
Jevpalovs – Vejdemo – Waked
Shinkaruk – Martineau – Grenier
Kile – Verbeek – Alain[/one_half]

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



Charlie Lindgren, Michael Pezzetta, Adam Plant, Jake Evans, Michal Moravcik

Injury List:

Gustav Olofsson (shoulder), Noah Juulsen (upper body injury), Michael McCarron (upper body injury)

Game Report

The Laval Rocket went back out on the road Monday, visiting the Springfield Thunderbirds for a delayed game start. Originally scheduled for 1:00pm EST, the puck drop had to be pushed back to 7:05pm EST due to inclement weather conditions preventing Laval from departing Quebec on Sunday.  With a full day of bus travel disrupting the typical game day schedule, how would the team respond?

In the first period, the Rocket looked relatively rested as they kept pace in a quickly-played period that also saw its fair share of physicality. With minor penalties being exchanged quite often in the frame, it didn’t take long for Springfield to get on the board first with a power play goal by Tomas Jurco. Cale Fleury answered with a power play tally of his own less than two minutes later to even the score at 1-1.

At one point late in the period, Alex Belzile took a puck up high in the face and had to be helped down the tunnel. He would eventually return to the game in the following frame.

The second period would have kicked off with an extended period of power play time for Laval, but an interference call on Maxim Lamarche turned it into two minutes of four-on-four play. A series of three more penalties against the Rocket proved to be too much for the penalty killers and Springfield captain Paul Thompson took advantage of one of the five-on-three opportunities to give the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead.

Gameplay slowed down and evened out a bit throughout the middle frame, but the Rocket kept showing bursts of energy. Toward the end of the period, Nikita Jevpalovs managed to put the game-tying goal past Samuel Montembeault to make it 2-2 heading into the second intermission.

The Rocket power play continued to show success as the Thunderbirds took an interference penalty just 20 seconds into the third period. Six seconds into the man advantage, Byron Froese found the back of the net to give Laval their first lead of the night.

But the Thunderbirds weren’t ready to give up. They peppered Michael McNiven throughout the third period and, despite him coming up with some solid saves, Dryden Hunt finally found the back of the Laval net to tie the game once again and force overtime.

Both goaltenders stood tall in the three-on-three overtime minutes, which good chances at both ends of the ice, but Xavier Ouellet made a nifty wraparound move with just 44 seconds left in OT which allowed the puck to trickle over the goal line and give Laval the victory.

The Rocket now head to Pennsylvania to take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday night, followed by the Hershey Bears on Saturday.


▲     Michael McNiven, Antoine Waked, Brett Lernout

▼     Hayden Verbeek, Alex Kile

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
34 Shots 41
2 for 5 Power Play 2 for 5
14 Penalty Minutes 12
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Rocket (19-17-3-4) 1 1 1 1 4
 Thunderbirds (19-14-6-4) 1 1 1 0 3
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Fleury (4), Jevpalovs (9), Froese (13), Ouellet (2)
  • SPR: Jurco (2), Thompson (18), Hunt (15)
  • LAV: McNiven (?) 5-4-2-1
  • SPR: Montembeault (?) 13-8-6-1

Stars of the Game

 AHL Official Three Stars

  1. Xavier Ouellet  LAV
  2. Tomas Jurco  SPR
  3. Byron Froese  LAV


 Video highlights

What Did They Say?

 Post-game interviews

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

Social Media

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