|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 61 | Saturday March 10, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Rychel – Cracknell – Terry
[one_half_last]Parisi – Taormina
Yannick Veilleux (lower body), Daniel Audette (lower body), Etienne Boutet
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
After playing a sluggish 30 minutes of hockey on Friday night, and finding themselves down 3-1 to the Belleville Senators, the Laval Rocket not only found the grit and determination to bounce back, but they did it in exciting fashion with a 4-3 overtime victory. On Saturday night, the two teams faced off at Place Bell yet again for a rematch.
The home team carried the momentum from that big win right into their game on this night as they came out of the gates forechecking hard, with a ton of energy and jump. They maintained control of the puck for most of the first period, and Chris Terry got the scoring started with a perfect wrister from the slot off a rebound.
All four of Laval’s lines seemed to be awake and ready to play as Luc-Olivier Blain was the next Rocket player to pot a goal, his second of the season. It came off a really nice centering pass from David Broll on the boards and Blain deked Belleville goaltender Marcus Hogberg with a smooth backhand-forehand move to make it 2-0.
But the home team didn’t stop there. They finished out the first period with a third goal, this one by Kerby Rychel as he stepped into a big shot in the slot after taking a feed from Terry. The Rocket scored three goals in eight shots on Hogberg to head into the first intermission leading 3-0.
Momentum swung the other way in the middle frame, however. Jack Rodewald took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone by Stefan Leblanc and skated in on Michael McNiven on a breakaway to get the Senators on the board.
The teams exchanged three consecutive interference goals, but the penalty killing units on both sides of the ice came through and no power play goals were given up. Then Andreas Englund and Michael McCarron got tangled up in a big hit along the boards which neither seemed to care for, and the gloves came off.
Not long after the tilt, Maxime Lajoie shot the puck towards the Laval goal which McNiven swallowed. Or so he thought. The puck trickled through him and Eric Selleck was waiting on the doorstep behind him to bank it into the net. At the second intermission, the Laval lead was cut to 3-2.
The collapse was completed in the third period when the Rocket continued to allow the Senators to control the pace of play and the puck. Getting outshot in the period 14-4, Laval gave up three more goals, including an empty-netter, to hand over the 5-3 victory to Belleville without much effort.
Perhaps another road trip will get the team back in the win column. They head out of town for two games in Toronto this week, then travel to Utica and Syracuse before they return home to Quebec.
▲ Kerby Rychel, Chris Terry, Michael McCarron, David Broll
▼ Stefan Leblanc, Eric Gelinas
|0 for 3||Power Play||0 for 4|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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