RECAP | Senators – Rocket: Laval Blows Another Late Lead

Photo by Laval Rocket

Belleville Senators vs Laval Rocket Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Post-Game Interviews, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL (OT) | Regular Season – Game 47 | Saturday, February 1, 2020
Place Bell, Laval, QC






Photo by Laval Rocket

Rocket Lineup

Forward lines

Charles Hudon – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Joe Cox

Yannick Veilleux – Phil Varone – Riley Barber

Matthew Peca – Jake Evans – Kevin Lynch

Michael Pezzetta – Laurent Dauphin – Alexandre Alain

Defense pairings

Gustav Olofsson – Christian Folin

Otto Leskinen – Cale Fleury

Karl Alzner – Josh Brook


Keith Kinkaid – Cayden Primeau


Maxim Lamarche, Will Pelletier, Ralph Cuddemi, Antoine Waked, Evan McEneny, Nikita Jevpalovs


Noah Juulsen (upper body), Alex Belzile (pectoral surgery), Andrew Sturtz, Hayden Verbeek, Lukas Vejdemo, Xavier Ouellet

Game Report

Game Report written by Chris G

Laval hosted Belleville on Saturday for the second game of the weekend series. The Senators came up with a 4-3 win on Friday night in front of a sold out crowd at Place Bell. 

Earlier in the day, the Canadiens assigned Jesperi Kotkaniemi to the AHL. Kotkaniemi started the game playing with Charles Hudon to his left and Joe Cox to his right. Xavier Ouellet was back in the lineup after missing the last game with a lower body injury. Nikita Jevpalovs and Christian Folin were scratched. 

Keith Kinkaid got the start in goal. In his last start, Kinkaid made 30 saves in a loss against Rochester.

The first period was highlighted by Laval spending a lot of time in the penalty box, giving Belleville four power play opportunities. The penalty kill, which has recently been struggling, shut down the Senators. Kinkaid made several key saves in the opening 20 minutes. 

Hudon nearly gave his team the lead in the final two minutes of the period as he stepped out of the penalty box. Hudon got to Alexandre Alain’s clearing attempt in the neutral zone and went on a breakaway that was stopped by Filip Gustavsson. Laurent Dauphin picked up the rebound on the play and set up Hudon for another scoring chance, however his shot hit the side of the net. 

After accepting a pass from Kevin LynchJake Evans opened the scoring 2:49 into the second period on a two-on-one, beating Gustavsson between the legs.

The Senators tied the game 3:01 later, when Alex Formenton lifted Cale Fleury’s stick to prevent him from the getting the puck. The play led to an odd-man rush where Michael Carcone beat Kinkaid glove side with a wrist shot. 

Two minutes later, during a Laval power play, Phil Varone redirected Riley Barber’s pass into the net. The Senators put pressure on the Rocket for the balance of the period, and Kinkaid continued making the stops to keep his team in the lead through 40 minutes. 

At 1:38 into the third period, Ouellet took a point shot into traffic that Barber redirected between the pads to give Laval a two-goal lead. At 7:26, Kotkaniemi obtained his first AHL point as he set up Hudon for a one-timer from the right faceoff dot to score his 21st goal of the season. It was the team’s seventh power play goal in as many games.

It seemed that the home team would go on to win against the division leaders, however the Senators weren’t done. They scored three goals in the last 5:45 of the third period. 

Logan Brown cut the lead to two goals as he went around Ouellet and beat Kinkaid with a top corner glove side shot. With 4:10 remaining, Josh Norris knocked the puck into the net while laying on his stomach on the ice after getting checked by Cale Fleury. Belleville sent the game into overtime with nine seconds remaining as Rudolfs Balcers took a shot behind the red line that surprised Kinkaid. 

The come from behind was completed 3:04 into the extra frame as Jordan Murray scored after Kinkaid stopped his first two shots of the sequence.

Kotkaniemi had a good debut in the American Hockey League, playing 16 minutes of ice time, as per Bouchard, including time on the power play. 

He nearly scored his first goal in the third period moments after Hudon’s goal as Gustav Olofsson set him up with a perfect pass for a one-timer that hit the side of the net. Kotkaniemi  was also strong on the face off circle, winning 10 of 13 draws. 

Laval attempts to snap their four-game losing streak on Wednesday at 7:00 pm eastern time as they host Utica. Listen to full audio of player and coach post-game interviews in the player below.

Plus / Minus

▲  Phil Varone, Riley Barber, Jesperi Kotkaniemi

▼  Matthew Peca, Xavier Ouellet, Laurent Dauphin

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
22 Shots 37
2 for 3 Power Play 0 for 6
16 Penalty Minutes 10
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Rocket (22-20-4-1) 0 2 2 0 4
Senators (29-14-3-1) 0 1 3 1 5
Scorers Goalies
  • LAV: Evans (10), Varone (4), Barber (11), Hudon (21)
  • BEL: Carcone (11), Brown (7), Norris (24), Balcers (11), Murray (6)
  • LAV: Kinkaid (L) 3-6-2-0
  • BEL: Gustavsson (W) 12-5-2-1

Stars of the Game​​

 AHL Official Three Stars
  1. Jordan Murray  BEL
  2. Xavier Ouellet  LAV
  3. Phil Varone  LAV


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard

Post-game interview with Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Post-game interview with Gustav Olofsson

Post-game interview with Xavier Ouellet

Post-game interview with Riley Barber

Interviews conducted by Chris G for AHL Report

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